The tight end position is one, where the Kansas City Chiefs have been set at for a long time. Travis Kelce has been one of the best there around the NFL for a handful of seasons. He is coming off of arguably his best season in 2020. Kelce had a career high in receptions (105), receiving yards (1,416), receiving touchdowns (11), yards per receptions (13.5) and receiving yards per game (94.4) in 15 games. But at the same time, there is a chance to add depth.
The team has announced they will not be tendering restricted free agent Deon Yelder a contract for 2021. Therefore, he will be entering the open market. The other two tight ends who saw action for the team last year were Nick Keizer and Ricky Seals-Jones. Though, that action was extremely limited, as they combined for just 10 targets (nine of which went to Keizer).
Others have brought up the idea of the Chiefs adding depth at tight end. And no matter what position it is, that depth is certainly necessary. I have not been as excited to add one, compared to other people. And now, we will allow the fans to receive a chance to make their choice as well. Would you rather the Chiefs add a tight end? Or, would you rather see them enter this season with similar depth behind Kelce, with no upgrades?
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Ben Cleveland
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Nico Collins
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Aaron Robinson
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Brady Christensen
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Payton Turner
We must first start off with how valuable a tight end is in the Kansas City offense. It is not one of the main positions of focus. With the team primarily running out of the shotgun with Patrick Mahomes, there are very little times where the Chiefs use two or more tight ends on a play. The way Kelce is used also plays a factor. He was very much one of the first tight ends to play with the style that is primarily used by NFL teams nowadays. Having the ability to move around the formation, Kelce is used more as a receiver than a traditional tight end.
Could that be changing for other tight ends on the Chiefs roster? Keizer is a restricted free agent. And if the team keeps him, he is likely to continue playing as an inline tight end. However, Andy Reid has toyed with adding more of a hybrid H-back type of player in recent years. We saw the team bring in John Lovett as an undrafted free agent to compete in that role a couple of years ago. And when Seals-Jones saw action, there was a slight attempt of that style being employed with him. You look at the retirement of fullback Anthony Sherman, and there could be a greater possibility that the Chiefs are willing to add this role to the tight end position more often.
Free Agent Options
Kansas City was never going to spend big on the free agent tight end market, obviously. There is one notable free agent that I have been wondering if the Chiefs were possibly interested in. That would be Gerald Everett. The former Los Angeles Rams playmaker has a projected market value of $7.3 million, according to Spotrac. That is not too crippling of a number, salary cap-wise. But again, would Kansas City even be willing to pay around that figure per season when you already have Kelce? If so, Everett’s style on short routes, vertical routes and even in the run game as a blocker could fit what the Chiefs are looking for.
Of course, there are many different ways that the team could go in the draft at tight end. It is rather interesting though, that they have visited and talked with one player in particular. And that is Miami’s Brevin Jordan. This was surprising to me personally, because Jordan is viewed as a guy who could go in rounds two or three in April’s draft. He is a good football player that would bring a lot to offer to an offense. Additionally, there are going to be players teams visit with in the pre-draft process that they will not be able to pick in the end. I just was surprised to see Jordan’s name listed.
If it was me making the call in the draft room, I would wait until day three of the draft to nab a tight end or even go by way of the undrafted free agent class. In my first FPC Chiefs mock draft from this week, I gave the team Alabama’s Miller Forristall in the fifth round. For a late round guy, I enjoy how he attacks while moving upfield after the catch. If the team goes tight end in the draft around that same time in the order, there are a few players who stand out as a fits in Kansas City. This would include Bowling Green’s Quintin Morris, Michigan’s Nick Eubanks, TCU’s Pro Wells, Boise State’s John Bates or Iowa’s Shaun Beyer.
You can go here to vote in the poll for this edition of This Or That: Add a tight end or not?
I mentioned it in the mock draft and early in this piece, I personally do not want to see the Chiefs spend too much premium money or draft capital to add a tight end. Even in the draft period, I am still a little dissatisfied with it. However, the need for depth is certainly there. You know as good as Kelce has been, that eventually you will have to add younger pieces into the fold. Overall, I will vote no in this poll. I just do not see this being a time right now to add much to that tight end room.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs This Or That hypothetical articles throughout this 2021 offseason. We will post them on Tuesday and Thursday. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– 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.