The Kansas City Chiefs need a boost to their passing game in the upcoming season, and the most likely place the team will get it is at tight end. Last season, injuries ravaged the position with Tony Moeaki going down for good in the preseason, Travis Kelce missing almost the entire year to knee surgery and Anthony Fasano absent for half of the year.
Sean McGrath led the Chiefs’ tight ends in 2013 with 26 receptions and 302 receiving yards. McGrath did a good job filling in, but the man who was cut in the preseason by the Seattle Seahawks and picked up by Kansas City was really just the best of a bad situation.
The injuries at tight end were probably a lot more impactful than advertised. Alex Smith’s favorite target with the San Francisco 49ers was never a wide receiver — it was Vernon Davis. Some of that probably speaks to Davis’ abilities, but a lot of it has to do with Smith’s playing style.
As a quarterback who doesn’t like to take a lot of chances downfield, Smith is naturally going to look to dump it off to his tight end. Without a lot of talent at tight end to throw to, Smith ended up aiming most of his dump offs at Jamaal Charles. The Chiefs’ star running back was targeted 104 times, which is 38 times more than his previous career high.
A healthy Kelce and Fasano are going to be big for the Chiefs’ passing game. Demetrius Harris could also bring a spark to the position. The former basketball player has impressed the coaching staff during the Chiefs’ rookie minicamp this past week, and coach Andy Reid has been particularly impressed with how hard he’s worked since last season ended.
Tight end is a very important position in an Alex Smith led offense. The Chiefs should will benefit from the better options available in the upcoming season compared to the near worst-case scenario the team faced at the position in 2013.