How Close is M To G?

This post was written by AA staff member Robert Beames.

Read AA’s exclusive interview with Tony Moeaki right here.


There won’t ever be another TE like Tony Gonzalez in a Chiefs jersey. There may not ever be another TE like him – period – but will anyone even come close? For a while it didn’t look like the Chiefs were even going to attempt to replace him, but now it looks like they may have made that attempt. With all the hype surrounding Tony Moeaki, many KC fans are already asking the question:  Will Tony M. be any closer to Tony G. than anyone else so far? We know lightning doesn’t usually strike twice, but do these two TE’s have anything more in common than their first names? No one is going to forget Gonzalez any time soon, but this year there’s a good chance Moeaki will help Chiefs fans move on without the greatest TE to ever play the game.

The below table compares the college careers of the recent TE signed by the Chiefs with each one’s best year totals in bold. Please note this is not meant to be an exhaustive list. Players using the Chiefs revolving door are not included, neither is Leonard Pope, since we all know he’s no Tony G.

Player Ht Wt College # Rec Yards Avg TD’s
Tony Gonzalez 6-5 251 California 89 1,302 15 8
Best Year 46 699 16 5
Cody Slate 6-4 229 Marshall 199 2,619 13 23
Best Year 66 818 12 5
Tony Moeaki 6-3 252 Iowa 76 953 13 11
Best Year 30 387 12 4
Sean Ryan 6-5 254 BC 74 924 13 12
Best Year 35 447 13 6
Jake O’Connell 6-4 255 Miami (OH) 46 453 10 4
Best Year 25 258 10 0
Brad Cottam 6-7 269 Tennessee 21 341 16 1
Best Year 14 182 13 0

More after the jump.

All the latest attempts to find another HOF TE like Gonzalez have been with players about the same size, except for Slate who is a little light for the NFL, and Cottam who was 15 pounds bigger than the others listed. By the stats alone, it would seem Slate is more like Gonzalez than any of the others – even more Gonzalez-like than Gonzalez was himself. However, coming out of Marshall one has to qualify such insane stats like those. He might put on some weight and put up impressive NFL numbers, but the odds are against it. Sean Ryan stats are better than Moeaki’s, but are not from what most would consider a “big-time” football program. Besides, KC has obviously made a decision on him since he’s now with the Redskins.

From the raw data alone, it looks like Moeaki wasn’t far off from what Gonzalez accomplished in college, especially if we take into account the injuries which deflated Moeaki’s numbers. Both players came from legitimate football conferences – unlike some of the free agents KC signed lately – and won plenty of awards in their college careers.

While Gonzalez did post a faster 40 time than Moeaki – 4.54 compared to 4.69 – Moeaki is still as fast as the Oklahoma TE, Jermaine Gresham, who was the first TE taken in this years draft. If we went solely by straight-away speed, we should be drooling over Slate who was reportedly clocked between 4.4 and 4.5. It all depends who can get open in pads during a real game. Moeaki has proven he can do that at the college level, but everyone else listed above, other than Slate, has already had their shot at the professional level.

Maybe this is coming from an eagerness to fill the void which Gonzalez left, but Moeaki is clearly the best attempt KC has made to have a quality TE since Tony’s departure. It’s going to pay off for the Chiefs beginning this year. KC relied heavily on Gonzalez for years, because he was one of the few weapons the offense had, but Moeaki will benefit from the play-makers Charlie Weis now has. With multiple threats in the backfield at once, Moeaki will often be in single coverage with a linebacker, and if his hands are as good as we are hearing they are, he could create some real problems for opposing teams.

We all know Moeaki is not Tony Gonzalez – not yet. Fortunately, this year he’s on a team where he won’t have to be. That being said, it appears he will start from day one and I think he’s going to be good enough to provide the offense with a dangerous weapon in the middle of the field as well as the Red Zone.

Cheer up Chiefs fans! This year, watching highlights of Tony won’t be so agonizing.

Read AA’s exclusive interview with Tony Moeaki right here.

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs Tony Gonzalez Tony Moeaki

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