Travis Kelce   TE   Cincinnati

TALENT BOARD ROUND  2

 

STRENGTHS

Travis has terrific athletic talent to play his position at a high level for the team that drafts him.  He shows on film to possess excellent lower and upper body strength and to be very smart.  He is a very good blocker when blocking for both the run and the pass.  He does a solid job blocking in line as well as on the move and in space.  He has nice foot speed and shows excellent hands to catch the ball down the field as well as catching those quick short passes when being covered.  Travis has good run after the catch abilities and will become a quarterback's best friend in the passing game.  Travis has talent to impact at the next level equal to Rob Gronkowski.  His style of play is different, but when it's all said and done, the impact will be the same.     

 

CONCERNS

Right now, Travis does not fire off the line into his routes quickly enough.  Travis lacks the street smarts of his position when running routes.   He doesn't run his short routes with enough sharpness and quickness to gain separation for more yardage after the catch.  If he needs ten yards, he runs ten yards.  He has to understand that sometimes, if you need ten yards, you have to run a quick eight, separate and not slow down so that you can gain the other two yards after you catch the ball.  All of this could be because of the injury he played with most of the year and the fact that he is relatively new playing the tight end position.  Doing an internet search it seems that Travis got suspended for a full season and that needs to be looked at, but to my knowledge, there have been no problems since his suspension in 2010.  Still, you have to wonder...a whole season?  Nevertheless, Travis seems to have turned the page and became an impact player in spite of playing injured most of the year.   

 

BOTTOM LINE

Travis might be one of the only true complete tight end in this draft.  There are many pass catching tight ends and a few who block better than they catch, but not many that have the potential to become an impact tight end like Travis has.  He has good enough speed to scare the hell out of the safeties and linebackers as well as the hands to become a quarterback's best friend in the passing game.  He can pass block and run block both in space and on the line.  I'll tell you another little secret: this kid can throw the ball pretty well and when you draft him, you are not only selecting an impact tight end, but you are also getting a player who could be your 3rd quarterback or emergency quarterback.  I have no doubt that if you wanted to put in a package that utilizes read option plays, Travis could run those plays and shock most teams with his ability to run and pass the ball out of that formation. Travis has that type of athletic talent.  It was hard to evaluate Travis this year because, in most of the games, he seemed to lack the explosion and aggressiveness in his play that I have seen before.  However, I suspect it all is injury related and some team will get themselves an impact player later in this draft than most will rate him.  Let me say this about Travis:  if it wasn't for Travis playing injured most of the year and being suspended for a full year, I would consider him the best tight end in this class.  As it stands right now, he is the second best tight end on my personal Talent Board and I'm having a hard time not listing him as the best in this draft. That's what interviews are all about, I guess. 

 

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Mar/2013