Kansas City Chiefs All Time Receiving Leaders
When you’re talking about the list of career receiving leaders for the Chiefs, there used to be a clear pecking order of Tony Gonzalez at the top, Otis Taylor second, and Dwayne Bowe in the third spot. However, Travis Kelce has now passed Bowe in both receptions and receiving yards and is just one touchdown behind him. If Travis Kelce retired today, he would likely be seen as the third best pass catcher in team history.
How far behind Gonzalez and Taylor is he? Taylor put up 410 receptions, 7,306 yards, and 57 receiving touchdowns with the Kansas City Chiefs. That means that Travis Kelce is now ahead of him in receptions, only 72 yards behind him in yards, and is 14 touchdowns behind him. So with a good game against the Raiders after the bye week, Kelce could move past him in receiving yards as well, which would put him ahead in two of the three big categories. It’s going to take Kelce a while to overtake Taylor’s impressive touchdown total, but I think you can at least make an argument that after Kelce passes Taylor in receiving yards, he should be considered the team’s second-best pass catcher of all time.
When it comes to overtaking Gonzalez as the team’s all-time best pass catcher, that’s going to take a lot longer. If you were to maintain Kelce’s numbers the rest of this season and then average out his numbers over the seven seasons that he has played (that doesn’t include his missed rookie year), Kelce would average:
- 87.1 receptions
- 1,118.9 yards
- 6.7 touchdowns
Tony Gonzalez ended his Chiefs career with the following totals:
- 916 receptions
- 10,940 yards
- 76 touchdowns
If Kelce finishes this season at the clip he’s going now and then kept averaging his career yearly average after that, it would take him three seasons to pass Gonzalez in yards, four seasons to pass him in receptions, and five seasons to pass him in touchdowns. I don’t feel like that’s an impossible feat for Kelce, who is under contract for exactly five more seasons with the Chiefs after this year.
It becomes even more feasible if you look at what Kelce is averaging since Patrick Mahomes took over as the full time starter. Kelce and Mahomes have played 41 regular season games together. If you average the numbers Kelce has in those 41 games over a 16 game season it gives you:
- 100.7 receptions
- 1,301.1 yards
- 8.2 touchdowns
If Kelce, at some point, misses some games due to injury or starts to decline with age, I don’t know that it’s fair to assume he’ll average those numbers every year over the next five seasons. However, it does make his career yearly average seem more achievable. If Kelce can keep his career pace going through the length of his current contract, he will eventually overtake Tony Gonzalez as K.C.’s all time leading receiver in all three major categories.
So now let’s take a moment to look at where he stacks up with the NFL’s all time greatest tight ends.