After a year with Andy Reid, it's becoming clear that there are some positions on which the Kansas City Chiefs head coach places a high value. One of those looks like tight end.
The Chiefs made a big investment at tight end last year with Anthony Fasano (four-year contract) and Travis Kelce (third round pick). Sean McGrath and little known Demetrius Harris, who was a basketball player, to the mix. Herbie Teope of ChiefsSpin.com has posted a few items pointing to the importance of the tight end in Reid's offense. Ideally, the Chiefs hope Kelce can return and stretch the middle of the field for Alex Smith.
The Chiefs don't have any notable additions to their tight end competition at this point but there is one guy they're hoping can take a leap from last season.
I was on vacation for the last week so I missed out on some of the Chiefs rookie minicamp. But of course I was checking my phone (while eating squid from the Adriatic Sea). I saw this tweet from Nick Jacobs on Harris, the former basketball player from Milwaukee.
Here is Demetrius Harris ( @D_NFL_Harris ) catch earlier today. Courtesy of @65TPTPhotog of @KCChiefs pic.twitter.com/SAfLFA789A— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) May 26, 2014
One of the things about Harris last season was his size. Listed at 6'7 and 230 pounds, he needed to become more of a football player than a basketball player. The early returns on his improvement seem good, according to Chiefs coach Andy Reid.
"I’ll tell you he’s a football player right now," Reid said last weekend, via quotes from the Chiefs. "I think this camp was great for him. I thought he played exceptionally well. He’s so big and he’s worked so stinking hard in the weight room, he’s been living in there with Barry (Rubin) this offseason and you can tell. You can see he’s gotten stronger."
That's the hard part though. This is just the offseason. They're in shorts and no pads. This isn't the best time to show added bulk. Given Harris was on the practice squad last year, simply making the 53-man roster would be a big step forward for him.
Like the quarterback position, the Chiefs may not have an elite star at tight end but they do have an established starter along with quality depth which gives you some hope for the future.
A few more clippings on Demetrius Harris since he's the unknown here ...
Observations from Chiefs rookie minicamp | ChiefsSpin.com
Harris came on strong towards the end of the practice with a nice catch after having some passes go through his hands.
Harris shines at TE - Kansas City Star
Harris, 6-7, 230, spent his rookie season on the Chiefs practice squad last year. He showed his basketball skills when beating rookie safety Daniel Sorensen for a jump ball in the end zone.
TE Demetrius Harris making a bid for roster spot - ESPN
If those three stay healthy, there wouldn't seem to be much room for Harris. But if Harris can develop into a go-to receiver in the end zone, that's going to be impossible for the Chiefs to ignore.
Kelce isn't the only mystery man at TE - NFL.com
Coach Andy Reid is thrilled with the progress of former basketball player Demetrius Harris. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound target from Wisconsin-Milwaukee was eligible for the team's rookie camp after failing to record a snap last season.