Prospect: Travis Kelce, TE, CincinnatiTravis Kelce

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 255 lb.

Athleticism:

  • Combination of height/weight/speed as an all-around athlete
  • Deceptively fast with ability to press the deep third of defenses and be effective in open field with top end speed
  • Significant acceleration ability off the line and out of cuts with adequate foot quickness
  • Flexible athlete with loose hips and smooth change of direction ability
  • Thick, solid build with adequate height and length
  • Powerful lower body which aids ability to drive block and keep his balance while playing off contact

Hands:

  • Soft-handed pass catcher who very rarely lets the ball get into his body
  • Doesn’t have an exceptional catch radius, can extend out away from his body with ease to make catches but isn’t a leaper
  • Adjusts body well to the ball in the air and tracks it naturally

Run Blocking:

  • True drive blocker who can stone linebackers at the second level and churn his legs to generate movement up front
  • Adequate strength from his base to handle bigger defenders like defensive ends on the edge
  • Effective space blocker who can break down and mirror downfield targets to maximize contact and sustain
  • Fires his hands to the chest of defenders and controls well
  • Prone to getting too grabby with his hands occasionally, which leads to holding calls, needs to learn when to let go
  • Sustains blocks admirably with continuous foot movement and a strong upper body to limit defenders’ ability to disengage
  • Struggles with gap leverage on occasion trying to flatten defenders instead of simply getting to the correct shoulder and walling them off

Routes/Receiving:

  • Developed route tree from the slot, in-line positions, and the backfield, can make an impact in the seam/intermediate and underneath
  • Natural manipulator of the middle of the field with a feel for the holes in zone coverage
  • Precise route runner with double move ability
  • Can eat up a cushion quickly with a consistent vertical route stem and get defenders to overextend before he breaks
  • Impressive separation ability with acceleration out of his breaks, breaks down at route landmarks and explodes away from the defender
  • Ability to use his hands to gain subtle separation or to maximize size mismatches is relatively undeveloped, too often reliant on athletic ability
  • Nimble feet after the catch to turn upfield on a dime and make defenders miss with deceptive elusiveness
  • Has the strength to drag defenders and finish in the run after catch to maximize yardage

Intelligence/Awareness:

  • Effort level as a blocker is normally very high, but he will get lazy on occasion and let his effort level drops
  • Plays with an instinctive awareness of down and distance both as a route runner and after the catch
  • Was suspended for an entire season for an undisclosed violation of team rules in 2010

Overall:

Travis Kelce’s name has been thrown around at an increasing rate ever since his senior season ended.  He never received the attention of guys like Tyler Eifert and Zach Ertz before then, for good reason.  Almost all of Kelce’s production came as a senior, though that production was impressive.  He put up 45 receptions, 722 yards, and 8 touchdowns, making some stunning plays along the way.  Kelce also has bloodlines to his credit; his brother is Eagles center Jason Kelce.  He’s a complete tight end with the ability to contribute immediately in both the running and passing games at the next level.  He’s not without a few question marks though.  He was essentially kicked off the team at Cincinnati and didn’t play for an entire season as a result, a mysterious situation that not many seem to have a grasp on.  Kelce was also a contributor for the Bearcats offense for only a single season.  Every part of his game projects well though, which should overshadow any questions.  Kelce has the size and athleticism to create mismatch problems for defenses and is a developed route runner.  He’s also a dominating run blocker, which isn’t common among tight end prospects in recent years.  Kelce’s versatility make him a candidate for a “move TE” role, one you can send in motion pre-snap or use from a variety of positions to create mismatches.  For those reasons, he’s a lock to go in the second round if not sooner.  His skillset is simply uncommon, even in an impressive crop of tight ends.

Originally published at DetroitLionsDraft.com: Travis Kelce Scouting Report

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