2013 Draft Prospect Profile: Travis Kelce

Welcome to our 2013 Draft Prospect Profile series, written by Rob Quinn. Rob is putting together quick, digestible summaries for highly publicized discussed prospects, prospects that interest him, and prospects that interest YOU.

If there’s someone out there who has piqued your interest and you want to know a little but more about him before April rolls around, get at Rob and request he put a profile together. You can email him at RQUINN619@billsmafia.com with a request.

The series isn’t Bills-centric necessarily; however, when the occasion calls for it, Rob will include thoughts on how a player might impact the Bills were they to draft him. But overall, the goal is to educate you on some of the names you’ll hear called in April.

Travis Kelce: TE, Cincinnati (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Travis Kelce: TE, Cincinnati (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Travis Kelce
Tight End
6’5” 255 lbs
Cincinnati Bearcats
@tkelce (unverified)

While Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert and Stanford’s Zach Ertz headline the 2013 NFL Draft class’ tight end group, Cincinnati Bearcats tight end Travis Kelce could very well be best prospect of them all. Kelce only saw one full season of action during his senior year, in which he hauled in 45 passes for 722 yards, scoring eight touchdowns.

The Good

Kelce is a physical tight end that’s active in both run blocking and receiving. He succeeded everywhere he lined up, from H-Back to an in-line blocker and split out wide as a receiver. Kelce is a dominating and powerful blocker and consistently holds his ground against defensive linemen and blitzers. He’s instinctive and smooth when blocking, picking up pass rushers with ease.

In this play, Kelce shows his pass blocking ability, recognizing his responsibility and provides the quarterback with a clean pocket.

In the run game, Kelce is just as effective, as we see him displaying clean technique, blowing through not one, but two defenders to pave the way for his running back.

Kelce is a physical player that uses his strength and tenacity to his advantage when he has the ball in his hands. He’s seemingly always aware of the first down marker and often requires multiple tacklers to bring him down, like we see in this play.

As a receiver, Kelce displays great hands and has the athleticism to adjust his body to bring in passes, as shown in this play, where he blows past the safety and outruns defenders for a game-winning touchdown in the 2012 Belk Bowl against Duke.

Kelce is a smart player and finds a way to manipulate holes in zone coverage. Here, Kelce displays an excellent burst off the snap and fools the strong-side linebacker with a double move, once again finding the endzone.

The Bad

Kelce’s only real negative aspect to his game is his top-end speed. He’s not going to blow past defensive backs and is more “quick” than fast. Kelce was suspended for the entire 2010 season after an unspecified violation of team rules, so teams will really have to look into the situation to find out more about him as a person. While he consistently finds holes in soft coverage, he doesn’t run the crispest routes and can be over-aggressive at times.

How He Fits The Bills

Kelce would be an excellent fit for the Buffalo Bills’ new “K-Gun” offense, as he has the ability to hold his own in the run game while proving to be a threat as a receiver. He’s a complete tight end that can be used in a variety of roles and that versatility allows him to stay on the field.

Pro Player Comparison

Rob Gronkowski

Projected Draft Postion

Second Round

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