Travis Kelce TE Cincinnati #18
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Size/Athleticism: Prototypical build for a traditional tight end. He’s a tough, physical player and sort of a throwback tight end prospect. Not a great athlete, but he can contribute as a receiver. Lined up in the slot occasionally, but typically used as an h-back or traditional in-line tight end in Cincinnati’s offense.
Separation Skills: The vast majority of his receptions came on short and intermediate passes, he’s not a threat to stretch the field. Needs to give more effort coming back to the quarterback when a play breaks down. Noticed multiple times on film where he’ll basically give up on a play when his initial route doesn’t lead to anything, but the play is still continuing.
Ball Skills: He’ll drop a few passes, but he’s generally reliable. Not put in a lot of situations where he had to compete for the ball. Not one of the new-age tight ends who can be lined up wide as a red zone target, although he does use his size well and can shield defenders to make catches in traffic.
Blocking: Among a small handful of tight ends in this class that excel in this area. Lacks the size to really dominate, but he clearly takes pride in his blocking ability and he’s a nasty, physical player when he needs to be. He’s not one of these pass-catching tight ends that just tries to hold his own, he does his best to finish guys off.
Intangibles: A team leader. Intense player on the field.
Durability: Suffered an abdominal tear during 2013 offseason, forcing him to skip Senior Bowl and NFL Combine workouts.
Comments: Kelce is one of the most well-rounded tight end prospects in this year’s class and one of the few true three-down tight ends. He was on the field for just over 80 percent of Cincinnati’s snaps in 2012, demonstrating just how much the coaching staff trusted him in every aspect of the game. He won’t post the fantasy numbers to become a household name in the NFL, but he could be a Joel Dreessen-type player who is an asset as a blocker and a reliable target in the short passing game.