In today’s NFL, the tight end position has grown to a higher standard. Like other skill positions, tight ends have an advantage. Very rarely do defenders light up an opposing tight end. However, the defense is often hindered by penalties when it does happen. The Chiefs tight ends have another advantage. With a deep set of skill players, opposing defenses often have too much to keep up with. This is more evident now, than ever before for Kansas City. This is why many people believe Travis Kelce’s numbers could continue to improve.
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Tight Ends on the current roster: Travis Kelce, Blake Bell, Deon Yelder, Nick Keizer, John Lovett, Manasseh Garner
Is Travis Kelce the best tight end in the league? Many think so, but some still don’t believe that. It may be more true now though, that Rob Gronkowski is retired. Regardless of Kelce being the best tight end in the league, he is the best fit for what Kansas City does. His size allows for the Chiefs to line him up in many different spots on the field. Having the ability to place him in the slot is generally a plus more than a minus. The little wiggles he has at the top of routes can open up some easy catch opportunities. Even as a blocker, Kelce fits the mold of what the Chiefs are looking for. Most of all, his above average athleticism is starting to further shape what teams are looking for in their tight ends.
For the stat lovers out there, Kelce has continued to increase his stock. Entering 2019, Kelce has three straight seasons with 1,000+ receiving yards. He’s also a reliable, go-to target, having 83+ receptions in those three years. Finally, Kelce recorded his first double digit touchdown season last year. He caught 10 touchdowns in his first season as a duo with Patrick Mahomes.
Neck and Neck
For the other two Chiefs tight ends spots, it doesn’t really matter who is list at TE2 or TE3 on the depth chart. I see both Blake Bell and Deon Yelder making the team. Neither have gained too big of an upper hand on the other through training camp or the preseason games. Bell, a new addition to the team, seems like he could surprise. Yelder has continued to develop in the Chiefs system. All the potential is there. But, there is certain kinks that need to be worked out.
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Both of these Chiefs tight ends have struggled with drops in the preseason. As blockers, both are fine in the running game. The thing is, neither guy has a ton of experience behind Kelce. Yelder has not been active in any NFL games. Meanwhile, Bell has just 30 career receptions over 4 seasons. Half of those receptions came in his rookie season with the 49ers. It will be interesting to see just how much each guy can stay afloat week to week.
Both Nick Keizer and Manasseh Garner are likely to be cut. Keizer has seen minimal action in the fourth quarter of preseason games. Garner, who was just signed about two weeks ago, hasn’t stepped on the field at all for Kansas City. John Lovett, an exciting UDFA signing, is anticipated to remain with the team. It could start with a stint on injured reserve, however. Lovett suffered a shoulder injury on a special teams play in the first preseason game. If he is able to eventually join the team during the regular season, Andy Reid would be more than jolly. Consequently, Reid and others loved Lovett during training camp, so it would be a surprise to see the Chiefs just let him go.
Final Depth Chart:
1) Travis Kelce
2) Blake Bell
3) Deon Yelder
Possibly placed on IR: John Lovett
That will conclude the roster predictions for the tight ends. Next time, we will move to the trenches. The offensive line predictions are next on the list. For now, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage for more sports and NFL content.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.