Travis Kelce making case to be top TE behind Gronk
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski had a dominant performance on opening night. Kansas City TE Travis Kelce followed that up with a game Sunday in the Chiefs’ win over the Texans to make the case that he is the second-best player at the position after Gronk, catching six passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
Kelce entered 2015 as our No. 3-ranked TE with a 84.7 rating, behind Gronk (94) and Dallas’ Jason Witten (87.8). If Kelce continues his progression, he should pass Witten by the end of the season and crack into the 90s of our rating system.
In 2014, Kelce ranked No. 2 among TEs in yards per route run at 2.26, behind Gronkowski’s 2.53. No other TE came in over 2.0 YPPR. But like Gronkowski, Kelce isn’t just a great pass-catching tight end; he also did solid work as a run blocker, earning a 79.7 rating in that category.
To be clear, Gronkowski is still in a category of his own at the tight end position. As we wrote Friday, the only player with a bigger lead over his position group in the NFL is J.J. Watt. Kelce is still coming into his own; after all, Sunday marked just the second time in his career he has topped 100 yards receiving.
But it wouldn’t be surprising at all for Kelce to take over the No. 2 spot in our tight end rankings by season’s end – and Sunday’s performance against the Texans was a good start.