The tight end looked to be a position of strength entering last season. Three injuries later and the Chiefs were just looking to hang on by Week 3. They hope to change that in 2014.
Locks to make the roster
Anthony Fasano: The veteran spent all of his time with the first team during spring practices, where Fasano looked healthy after his injuries last season. Fasano is a veteran presence who understands how to find the open holes in the defense and possesses an impressive catch radius for his position.
Travis Kelce: The microfracture surgery that Kelce sustained in 2013 was a huge blow to the Chiefs offense. Kelce, a receiving threat, is capable of creating separation from the defender. Although, Kelce wasn't available until the Chiefs minicamp this past June, there was a noticeable difference when he was on the field. He gives the offense a different type of speed on the field. Regardless of his prior injury, I expect Kelce to get three full seasons before they have clear evaluation on his future.
On the bubble
Demetrius Harris: The collegiate basketball player converted to a professional tight end has now hit year two of his NFL career. Harris showed a noticeable difference in size and strength returning to offseason practices this year. He started with a case of the drops but proceeded to work his way up to some first team work. Harris made some incredible athletic catches in shorts but his performance in pads will decide his future. If Harris can translate his spring practices into pads, he will become the third tight end on this roster.
Sean McGrath: The bearded one became a fan favorite in 2013. McGrath did everything the organization asked of him. He gave great effort. He did his best at route running and blocking. He came into a complex offense one week before the season and proceeded to make an impact. That speaks volumes about his work ethic. The problem is that Kelce and Harris offer more potential in the offense. Something to keep in mind though is that McGrath is the backup long snapper behind Thomas Gafford. If Gafford sustains an injury, I'm not sure who their backup snapper would be if McGrath is gone. Harris vs. McGrath will be an interesting camp battle.
Richard Gordon: Gordon helped the Chiefs stabilize their injury-riddled tight end position near the end of the season. He was able to help in the run game and made some impressive one-handed grabs during offseason workouts. But the difference in athletic ability between him and Kelce and Harris is noticeable. Gordon has a tough road ahead of him in securing the third spot.
I believe the Chiefs will keep three tight ends. The numbers at the running back, receiver and secondary positions may force their hand.