The most athletic tight end room in the NFL? That’s what Travis Kelce believes of the Chiefs tight ends heading into the season. With an uptick in competition, something general manager Brett Veach believed was necessary for the 2018 season, the battle for spots behind Kelce is another battle to look forward to at training camp. Let’s break down who makes the squad at this particular position for Kansas City.
Tight Ends on the current roster: Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris, Jace Amaro, Tim Wright, Alex Ellis
NFL’s Best Tight End?
Travis Kelce has long been compared to Rob Gronkowski as the best tight end in the game. Others like Delanie Walker, Greg Olsen, Zach Ertz and plenty of other tight ends deserve major props as well. But Kelce has created a whole new look to the tight end position. Kelce may be one of the crispest route runners in the league and his little wiggles and shakes at the top of routes create more separation than is noticed.
“Even when I thought the tight end room couldn’t get any better… it’s looking like as athletic of a room I’ve ever been in,” Kelce said. Does Kelce possibly believe that new additions like Jace Amaro and Tim Wright exemplify his game more than past backups? With all the changes to the Chiefs offense, this could compile more catches on the outside for Kelce.
Demetrius Harris is still learning how to become a complete tight end, but I believe his spot as the number two tight end is safe. Harris’ catching has improved, but his blocking ability has always been just as good, if not better, than his ability to make catches. Unfortunately, Harris will be suspended for the first game of the 2018 season, due to violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.
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Andy Reid loves to run three tight end sets. Could the number of times the Chiefs use that set decrease with Patrick Mahomes taking over? Possibly, but it likely will always be instilled in an Andy Reid offense.
The final spot among Chiefs tight ends will likely to come down to Jace Amaro and Tim Wright.
Amaro was the 49th overall pick by the Jets in 2014. In his rookie season, Amaro played in 14 games and had 345 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. In 2015, he suffered a torn labrum in the preseason and missed the entire season. Finally, last season, Amaro got a chance with the Titans, but only appeared in 3 games.
Wright has been a journeyman throughout his NFL career. In three seasons from 2013-15, Wright played in 41 games with the Buccaneers, Patriots and Lions. Over those three years, Wright had just over 900 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. Not a bad three year stretch for a tight end. Unfortunately for Wright, all of 2016 was lost due to a torn ACL and he was a preseason cut last season as well.
Both Amaro and Wright are similar, but strictly guessing what the Chiefs will do, I believe Amaro will win the third and final spot on the tight end depth chart. The preseason will provide a lot more chances for both guys, but I think Amaro will be able to edge out Wright due to his ability to run any type of route with ease as well as his blocking attributes. Unless Alex Ellis surprises, he will likely be cut by the Chiefs. He was a UDFA signing back in April.
Final Depth Chart: 1) Travis Kelce 2) Demetrius Harris 3) Jace Amaro
That will do it for the Chiefs tight ends. Next time we project the Kansas City offensive line. As always, be sure to check out all the great sports content at Full Press Coverage.