Here’s a theory: Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is good at football. Pro Football Focus confirmed that theory Monday night with the release of Nos. 40 through 31 on their “Top 50 NFL Players” list.
Kelce was slotted at No. 40.
Here’s what Sam Monson of PFF said about Kelce:
Kelce is one of the league’s most devastating weapons after the catch. Last season, he gained an average of 7.7 yards per reception after the catch, the most among TEs with at least 30 receptions, and he gained 652 yards after the catch, a total that on its own would have ranked 13th among TEs for total receiving yards. Kelce has broken at least 10 tackles every season of his career, and both his target volume, receptions and receiving yardage has gone up each year.
You could certainly make an argument that Kelce is better than the 40th-best player in the league right now. A few of the guys ranked slightly higher than Kelce include Malcom Bulter, Patrick Peterson and Mike Evans. It’ll be interesting to see where PFF ranks Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Now that the Chiefs will be without Jeremy Maclin and uncertainty remains for the remaining wide receivers, Kelce will certainly be a go-to move now more than ever for Alex Smith.
Kelce posted 85 receptions in 2016, along with 1,125 yards (both career highs), but he only scored four touchdowns. He’ll have to be a bigger weapon for Smith in the red zone in 2016, as Smith had a mediocre 45.3 completion percentage inside the 20.