#5 – Travis Kelce, Tight End
When the 2020 season concluded, we made the argument that Travis Kelce had cemented his future place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Given that argument, we believe that he is deserving of ranking as one of the greatest third round draft picks in Chiefs’ history.
Kansas City drafted the Cincinnati prospect with the 63rd overall selection in the 2013 draft. The superstar tight end received a season ending injury in his first game, but has played in 95 out of 96 regular season games in the six years since then and all nine of Chief playoff games in his career.
A high school quarterback and three sport star, Kelce was pushed down draft boards with only one season of collegiate production and another entire year in which he was suspended for violating team rules. NFL.com indicated post-Combine that Kelce was “not a tremendously explosive athlete.”
After six seasons of play, five Pro Bowl selections, two 1st Team All-Pro accolades, and a Super Bowl Championship, it’s clear that the best tight end in all of football has proven his doubters wrong.
In his six seasons, Kelce has 507 receptions, 6,465 yards, and 37 touchdowns. In nine career playof games, he’s added another 52 receptions for 632 yards and 6 touchdowns. His totals are good enough to place him in the top 20 of every statistical category for tight ends in NFL history—in just six seasons.
Kelce currently ranks 13th in receiving yards, 15th in receptions, 7th in yards per catch, 2nd in yards per game, and 20th in touchdown catches. The all time leader in many of these categories, Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, by comparison, played for 17 seasons.
Kelce will move up this list before his playing days are over. But for now, he comes in as the fifth best 5th round pick in franchise history.