Travis Kelce says Kansas City did ‘unbelievable job’ hosting draft
By Matt Conner
Travis Kelce had nothing but great things to say about the way the K.C. region handled the 2023 NFL Draft.
It wasn’t just an incredible weekend for Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. It was a weekend to remember for the entire Kansas City metro area as the National Football League came to town last week for a three-day stretch of fun and festivities to celebrate the 2023 NFL Draft.
An estimated 312,000 people visited the draft held at Union Station and the surrounding area, and several millions more watched the fanfare on television—giving everyone a chance to see the beauty of K.C. as they highlighted local sites to see, things to do, and of course, lots of BBQ.
On the latest episode of Kelce’s podcast, New Heights, co-hosted by his brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, spoke about their draft experiences and reflected on their own rookie campaigns as hundreds of current prospects make their way into the NFL.
First, Kelcel and his brother took in the sights and sounds of the draft in Kansas City—the first-ever draft for Jason after being drafted—and both had nothing but praise for the event. Specifically Travis applauded Kansas City for a job well done as the host.
“I’ve been to a few,” Kelce said. “I went to Vegas’s last year. I saw Cleveland’s. I’ll tell you what, man. I might be a little biased from the energy of the city and what we had going on, but I had a whole bunch of fun this week and I thought Kansas City did an unbelievable job of hosting the draft. The draft stage was amazing. It was the biggest stage and venue that had been put up for the draft yet. That thing was packed to a t. I just thought it was such a cool and unique setting for the draft and it really made it memorable.”
The results have been strong with viewership rates up 12 percent over a year ago. That’s a testament to the personalities involved, the fact that some well-known quarterbacks and players were involved, and growing interest, but that also reflects well on K.C.
Kelce and his brother also took the time to recall their own draft experiences and the mindset they had coming into the league. Jason asked Travis for any advice for rookies and he actually had plenty to say. It seemed like good advice to pass along as the Chiefs welcome several players to rookie minicamp in the days ahead, including seven new draftees.
“The biggest thing that I see year in and year out is that everybody wants to be that star player, that guy that comes in and immediately gets all the plays called for him, all the opportunities to be great, and that’s not necessarily how it works in the league,” said Kelce.. I mean, if you’re a first round draft pick, that’s one thing, but for the most part, guys are going to have to come in and find a role.
“I was the same way. I was the number two tight end for my first two or three years and I had to come in and help the team however I possibly could, so special teams, I was in every special team meeting. I was going to the tight end room afterwards I’m going to the quarterbacks just trying to get a better understanding of timing and things like that. I’m soaking and listening to every bit of knowledge I possibly can just to try to find a role with the team. And everybody is going to have to do that.
“So rookies, come in there with big dreams, big hopes that you’re going to be that household name, but at the same time, the task at hand is that you gotta help this time right now win. Sometimes that means you just gotta find a role on the offense or defense or whatever you’re playing.”