Sep 21, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (right) celebrates his touchdown against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
It’s an interesting question. The Kansas City Chiefs have two players that stand above the rest on the roster, with Jamaal Charles and Justin Houston reigning in the potentially all-time great category. Charles has a shot at the Hall of Fame with a few more great years while Houston is on a historic pace after recording 22 sacks in 2014.
However, because the roster is so talented across the board, it’s tough to say who the best player is outside of Houston and Charles. Let’s run down a few of the candidates and lock in the answer.
Maclin is one of the better receivers in the NFL right now. Maclin, 26, played his first five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles before cashing in on a five-year, $55 million deal with the Chiefs in March. Maclin immediately becomes the best receiver Kansas City has had since Stephone Paige back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.
Last year, Maclin went off for over 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns, but prior to that had never recorded more than 1,000 yards or hit double-digit touchdowns. It begs the question whether Maclin is simply hitting his peak and is about to have 3-4 great years, or whether he was ultra-motivated by being on a one-year deal. Regardless, expectations are through the roof for Maclin going into 2015.
Kelce does not have the track record of Maclin, but he’s quickly emerging as one of the best tight ends in football. Last year, Kelce rebounded from microfracture knee surgery in 2013 and came onto the scene with 862 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Most impressively, Kelce is a force of nature with the ball in his hands after the catch.
The third-year man out of the University of Cincinnati appears primed for a breakout campaign. After showing his skills, Kelce has a full offseason where his knee won’t be a hindrance. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Kelce make the Pro Bowl with his first 1,000-yard season under his belt.
Next: Three more candidates...