On Monday, I noted the Kansas City Chiefs have none of the 14 players ESPN’s Matt Williamson listed as true No. 1 receivers. The Chiefs were also shut out from Williamson’s list of 11 receivers who deserve honorable mention.
This development, while not surprising, was still discouraging for a team trying to establish its passing game.
Williamson has followed up by issuing a list of 13 young receivers who could someday become true No. 1 receivers. Some are already on an NFL roster, some are available in this year’s draft.
The Chiefs again have none of the 13. But Williamson also mentions seven other receivers as worth considering for his list. They do have one of those players: tight end Travis Kelce.
Kelce was drafted in the third-round last year out of Cincinnati. It was quickly evident from offseason practices that Kelce isn’t the prototypical tight end and, accordingly, the Chiefs didn’t plan to use him as a traditional tight end.
Kelce, even at 260 pounds, isn’t much of a blocker, though he has time to develop that part of his game. But, despite his size, he has the ability to get down the field, beat coverage and catch passes.
So the Chiefs lined up Kelce in a variety of places, including split like a wide receiver, and made good use of him. But as the preseason progressed, he developed a knee ailment that eventually required surgery and ruined his rookie season before it could get started.
The Chiefs expect Kelce back at full strength next season. While it’s a big leap from being an offseason star to regular-season receiving threat, Kelce has the kind of potential to make it successfully. That potential indeed makes Kelce someone to consider as the Chiefs continue to search for consistent receiving threats.