The Kansas City Chiefs have released their first depth chart of training camp and it read mostly as expected with the exception of an interesting twist at tight end. Anthony Fasano was listed as the starter while rookie Travis Kelce was able to move up to the number two spot over last year’s starter Tony Moeaki.
Moeaki was the Chiefs’ second-leading receiver last season, but that’s a lot like being the second-tallest mountain in Kansas as he managed only 453 receiving yards and one touchdown. Moeaki’s career has been injury-plagued and the injuries are biting him again. He was forced to miss OTAs which has given Kelce more of an opportunity to showcase his skills, and he has done nothing but impress.
The 6’5”, 260 pound rookie is known for his tremendous run-blocking ability and has been making a lot of noise in training camp with his athleticism and pass-catching ability. Kelce has been catching passes in high-traffic, and poorly-thrown balls and making it look routine. Most importantly, the off-the-field issues that cost him the entire 2011 season with the Cincinnati Bearcats seem to be behind him.
A lot of teams tend to favor veterans over rookies on the depth chart, but Coach Andy Reid clearly doesn’t take on that practice. The Chiefs’ coaching staff seems to be sending a message that the past is past, and those who work hard and perform now will be rewarded.
It’s still early and there is plenty of time for Moeaki to move back up, but it won’t be easy with Kelce showing almost no hiccups in his transition to the pros so far. Jumping Fasano on the depth chart will be more challenging, though, as he is also having a very impressive training camp.
There has been nothing but high praise since Kelce joined the Chiefs and he is proving he has the talent to be the starter. Even if he isn’t starting, the Chiefs are showing a very tight end-heavy passing attack in camp; Kelce should see plenty of opportunities no matter where he ends up on the depth chart.