TE Travis Kelce

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Travis Kelce unable to do complete workout after getting sick
http://blogs.nfl.com/2013/04/04/travis-kelce-unable-to-do-complete-workout-after-getting-sick/
Kelce, who is the No. 4-rated tight end according to Mike Mayock and the No. 69-rated player in my Hot 100 prospect rankings, worked outdoors on FieldTurf in chilly 43-degree temperatures. There were 12 teams present, including four tight end coaches, and Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and part of his coaching staff.

Kelce (6-foot-5 1/4, 250 pounds) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.62 and 4.65 seconds. He had a 35-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-4 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.47 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.12 seconds. Due to the sports hernia injury, I’m told that the scouts on hand didn’t think Kelce was in optimum condition for the workout. He got sick after running his 40s, and did not run any routes. He was able to catch passes while in a stationary position during the workout.
 

Pachyderm_Wave

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Real good player. I like him as the #2 TE on my board behind Eifert. Reminds me a little of Heath Miller, who was one of the last breed of complete tight ends to come out of college.

Some team is going to get an early contributor and an underrated prospect in the 2nd/3rd round and be real happy with him.

His 10'4" broad jump would've been 2nd among TE's at the combine, only behind Chris Gragg's 10'5" jump. A good broad indicates an ability to sustain blocks in-line.... it's no coincidence that Gragg and Kelce are both two of the better blockers in this class.

His 7.12 cone would've tied him with Jake Stoneburner for 8th among TE's that tested at the combine.

The 4.47 shuttle would've tied him with Zach Ertz for 8th among TE's tested at the combine.

35" vertical would've been tied with Dion Sims for 4th among TE's, and only 1/2" from Tyler Eifert's 35 1/2" vertical.

Even if you go with the high end 4.65 in the 40-yard dash, it also would be tied with Stoneburner. Only Gragg (4.50) was faster. If you go with the 4.62, it would be tied for 2nd with Matt Furstenburg.... a 242 pound H-back.
 

ckparrothead

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He's also been my 2nd best TE in the class but I would note that Vance McDonald is neck and neck with him pending results of exploration into Kelce's character history. He was suspended an entire year by his own team for a reason. I've heard rumor that during a locker room fight he basically grabbed his helmet and started swinging it at someone's head essentially trying to kill them. He plays with a real mean streak on the field so it wouldn't surprise me. A scout told PFW that Kelce is a "train wreck" off the field, though it should be noted that scouts seem to tell PFW a lot of untrue things nowadays just because they know Nolan Nawrocki will buy it wholesale and print it like a bible truth.

I like watching the two players Kelce and McDonald next to one another. McDonald is a more fluid guy especially after the catch. In fact McDonald is the most complete after catch tight end in the Draft, far more so than Jordan Reed. Vance and Kelce are both built like a chest of drawers but Vance has a thicker bubble and more weight on him. When Vance ran a 4.60 and had a 9'11" broad jump it was 17 lbs heavier than Kelce when he did his pro day. You watch Vance McDonald in 2011 versus Travis Kelce in 2012 and the comparison as far as blocking goes isn't even close. Kelce is a mean and nasty player that takes shots at guys, buries them, just loves knocking people around and being a bully on the field. Vance McDonald was pretty much a slot wide receiver and he blocked a little like one. But then you watch Vance McDonald and 2012 and you see a different guy. The transformation was actually kind of remarkable, because I don't think of it as likely for a player to have a wholesale change in personality like this. In 2012, Vance became a bully. Watching him pick on defensive backs is like watching a PSA on bullying at school. He played on the line a little more, Rice coaches no longer reserving the role solely for Luke Wilson. McDonald became a lot more physical period, even out running the routes, and at the Senior Bowl he was blocking linebackers and defensive ends with ease. Remarkable transformation. Still not quite the same blocker as Kelce, but he became a guy who had the lower leg strength and explosiveness to SUSTAIN blocks which is what you don't see in so many guys (like Jordan Reed, for example).

They both clearly have the intricacies of making themselves quarterback-friendly down really well. They get into and out of their breaks quickly with balance, wasting few steps. They come back to the football. They show "my ball" mentality. They're comfortable in the briar patch dealing with physical coverage and still making themselves available. The difference is that Travis Kelce has very good, very consistent hands...where Vance McDonald has a persistent history of drops. McDonald's drops got better in 2012 as opposed to 2011, but they were still there.

The two players make a nice pairing for the 2nd round or so, guys below a Tyler Eifert but well ahead of the likes of Zach Ertz, Gavin Escobar, Dion Sims and especially Jordan Reed who IMO is very overrated. I rate Joseph Fauria and Chris Gragg ahead of those guys as well. I might think about Ertz, Escobar or Sims ahead of my next group of favorites (Cunningham, Lutzenkirchen, Rivera)...but not anyone else. I'd just assume let other teams have their crack at the guys that make me uncomfortable.
 

Pachyderm_Wave

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I don't trust McDonald's hands. I think he's a DE/TE hybrid that will always have issues with consistency catching the ball. Rice is a program that's always flipped kids back and forth from TE to DE, and vice versa. Even TE/QB/DE like they did with James Casey. Evaluating Rice TE's has traditionally been a complex exercise on it's own, without factoring in the design of the offense.

He's similar to a prospect like Mark Harrison at receiver. For all Harrison's physical gifts and athleticism, he can't catch the football. It doesn't matter how fast or athletic you are if you can't catch the football. It doesn't matter how much separation you create for yourself if you can't catch the football.

Harrison drops so many gimmes when he's wide open that it's frustrating to even watch his tape. I don't know that I've ever seen a receiver screw up the one impact play of the game that the offense has been setting up all day long the way Harrison does time and again. His hands are essentially bricks. I can't tell you how many drops he's had on streaks running wide open.... and always at the worst possible time.

He's in the mold of a Dwight Jones, Greg Little, Tamarick Vanover type receiver. Big, fast, athletic... test off the charts.... but just aren't quality receivers because they can't catch, among other things. They're almost better off gaining 10-15 pounds and becoming H-backs.

Chris Harper is more of what you're looking for in a 230 pound receiver. These other guys are on the opposite end of the spectrum because they just can't catch the football, and are in every draft, every year... they stick out like a sore thumb to me.
 

uk_dolfan

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If we pass on Eifert (which very sadly I excpet us to do) Kelce would be a great pick.
 

ckparrothead

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I think those drops for Vance McDonald reached epic proportion in 2011 but in 2012 I did not see evidence of them being a prospect killer. He clearly had some work to do and he improved.
 

Pachyderm_Wave

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He improved his drops as a Senior... up from epic proportions as you say, but they were still an issue in my opinion. I believe he had at least one drop in every game.

Really struggled catching the ball at the Senior Bowl, so it's still a problem. I think he has real trouble when he has to adjust to the ball. Looks a little closer to a bigger John Nalbone to me than he does a big time weapon in the passing game.
 

Austin Tatious

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What do you guys see in Dion Sims? I saw him play, and he's a big boy. But, I was not watching with an eye toward his NFL potential, and was more watching B1G football. Anyway, Sims looks really stiff out there to me in terms of route running, etc. Maybe I didn't see him enough, so I am just curious if you see the same things. I'd take him in the 5th or later as an old school *** kicking blocking tight end. I don't see the value in day 2. I could be talked into 4th round if I am a team that needs a blocking TE because that's all I see him as, and I don't see that type of player as needing a premium draft pick.
 

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Kelce is also my #2 rated TE. I think he's a better all-around TE than Eifert at this very moment b/c he can block in-line or from an H-back position, but Eifert has better ball skills. With the receiving TE's we have on the roster in Clay, Egnew and Keller, I almost think Kelce is the better option b/c he immediately fills the void left by Fasano and gives us something we don't have. I jump at him in Round 2 if he's there (and if they character concerns are not an issue.....he seemed to be clear of those this season).

I'm not a big fan of McDonald as a receiving TE b/c he seems a little stiff in routes and double catches everything. He fights the ball all the time. In college you can get away with that b/c there's more separation. In the NFL, guys will be chopping at his hands as soon as the ball makes contact so it remains to be seen if he will be a reliable receiver. Physical beast though....strong as an ox.
 

ckparrothead

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He improved his drops as a Senior... up from epic proportions as you say, but they were still an issue in my opinion. I believe he had at least one drop in every game.

Really struggled catching the ball at the Senior Bowl, so it's still a problem. I think he has real trouble when he has to adjust to the ball. Looks a little closer to a bigger John Nalbone to me than he does a big time weapon in the passing game.
I don't see a Nalbone in him at all. I understand concern over the drops but his teammate Luke Wilson would be John Nalbone. Vance McDonald is a lot more fluid a football player and pass catcher, a natural ball carrier. I can't agree with that comparison in the slightest.
 

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What do you guys see in Dion Sims? I saw him play, and he's a big boy. But, I was not watching with an eye toward his NFL potential, and was more watching B1G football. Anyway, Sims looks really stiff out there to me in terms of route running, etc. Maybe I didn't see him enough, so I am just curious if you see the same things. I'd take him in the 5th or later as an old school *** kicking blocking tight end. I don't see the value in day 2. I could be talked into 4th round if I am a team that needs a blocking TE because that's all I see him as, and I don't see that type of player as needing a premium draft pick.


I like Dion Sims. Little bit stiff as you say in terms of COD, and plays like the high cut athlete that he is. However, he really is a terrific athlete, especially for his size.... just a high cut one. A little coaching should help him with leverage and be a better player. Explosive lower body and quick out of the hole... had one of the best 10 yard splits (1.60) at the combine.... and 4.75 at 6'5", 262 pounds is impressive.

I'm a little higher on him than most because he played in a more traditional offense at Michigan St., and believe he'll be a better pro than he was a college player. Soft hands. Reminds me of a bigger and little more athletic Troy Drayton.
 

kcbrown

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Thanks for the great info on the TE's guys. Kelce sounds like the kind of badas.s from days gone by. However, that locker room helmet deal sounds nuts. I hope the kid learned from that situation.

This team needs some tough guys like that though. The Texans seemed like they expected to win last year, and we can't have that moving forward. New Fins era baby.
 
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