The Chiefs certainly don’t need to go out and spend a lot of money at tight end with Travis Kelce already on the roster, but the number two tight end spot was basically a giant gapping black hole last season. Deon Yelder wasn’t able to claim the spot for his own, and Nick Keizer was…..Nick Keizer. So the Chiefs could stand to bring in a better option at tight end and I think Richard Rodgers could be a perfect fit.
Rodgers is a good sized tight end, listed at 6-foot-4 and 257 pounds. However, he does move well for a guy that size. The Chiefs need their second tight end to be able to block and Rodgers graded out pretty well last season, with a 62.4 run blocking grade from Pro Football Focus (Keizer was KC’s primary blocking tight end last year and he had a 55.4 run blocking grade). Rodgers was significantly better graded as a pass catcher though. While he only had 24 receptions for 345 yards and two touchdowns last season, PFF gave him a 90.5 receiving grade which was the third highest in the NFL behind Travis Kelce and Darren Waller.
The best part is that Rodgers has spent the last three seasons in Philadelphia under Doug Pederson, so his transition into Andy Reid’s offense would be a very smooth one. If KC wanted to seriously upgrade the pass catching upside of their second tight end without seeing a drop off in blocking, Rodgers seems like a great option and with bigger tight end names available in free agency he shouldn’t come with a big price tag.
If I’ve learned anything during my time following the Chiefs under Andy Reid it’s that he never seems to care about having a number two tight end with any kind of real NFL resume. We’ve been begging for a better number two tight end since the Demetrius Harris days (who is a free agent again), but every year we just end up with guys most people have never heard of. So I tried to find an option that might fit that description while still offering some upside over KC’s current options. That brought me to MyCole Pruitt.
Pruitt was the Tennessee Titans third tight end last season. In his six year NFL career he has a total of 32 receptions for 343 yards and 4 touchdowns. He’s also a little undersized for a tight end at 6-foot-2 and 245 pounds. So why in the wide world of sports would I put him on this list? Well, hear me out for a minute. Despite his size, Pruitt graded out as PFF’s 9th highest graded run blocking tight end (71.1 grade) on a similar number of run blocking snaps as Keizer (55.4 grade). Plus, Pruitt was seen as having receiving upside coming out of college where he had 81 receptions and 13 touchdowns his senior year at Southern Illinois and then ran a 4.58 forty time at the combine.
So if the Chiefs want to continue their tradition of using lesser known guys with very little NFL production at tight end, they could do a lot worse than MyCole Pruitt. At least Pruitt has proven himself as an NFL blocker despite his size and has the speed and college production that suggests he could be more of a weapon at tight end than any of KC’s current options behind Travis Kelce.
Now let’s look at a couple offensive linemen options (fair warning, you may not like them).