Travis Kelce Scouting Report

April 2nd, 2013

Travis Kelce could be the best TE in this draft

QB / RB / FB / WR / TE / OT / OG / OC / DT / DE / OLB / ILB / CB / SAF
Prospect: Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 255 lb
Grade: 7.33 (Grading Scale)

Scouting Report:

+Combination of height/weight/speed as an all-around athlete
+Deceptively fast with ability to press the deep third of defenses and be effective in open field with top end speed
+Significant acceleration ability off the line and out of cuts with adequate foot quickness
+Flexible athlete with loose hips and smooth change of direction ability
+Thick, solid build with adequate height and length
+Powerful lower body which aids ability to drive block and keep his balance while playing off contact

+Soft-handed pass catcher who very rarely lets the ball get into his body
+/-Doesn’t have an exceptional catch radius, can extend out away from his body with ease to make catches but isn’t a leaper
+Adjusts body well to the ball in the air and tracks it naturally

Run Blocking:
+True drive blocker who can stone linebackers at the second level and churn his legs to generate movement up front
+Adequate strength from his base to handle bigger defenders like defensive ends on the edge
+Effective space blocker who can break down and mirror downfield targets to maximize contact and sustain
+Fires his hands to the chest of defenders and controls well
-Prone to getting too grabby with his hands occasionally, which leads to holding calls, needs to learn when to let go
+Sustains blocks admirably with continuous foot movement and a strong upper body to limit defenders’ ability to disengage
-Struggles with gap leverage on occasion trying to flatten defenders instead of simply getting to the correct shoulder and walling them off

+Developed route tree from the slot, in-line positions, and the backfield, can make an impact in the seam/intermediate and underneath
+Natural manipulator of the middle of the field with a feel for the holes in zone coverage
+Precise route runner with double move ability
+Can eat up a cushion quickly with a consistent vertical route stem and get defenders to overextend before he breaks
+Impressive separation ability with acceleration out of his breaks, breaks down at route landmarks and explodes away from the defender
+Ability to use his hands to gain subtle separation or to maximize size mismatches is relatively undeveloped, too often reliant on athletic ability
+Nimble feet after the catch to turn upfield on a dime and make defenders miss with deceptive elusiveness
+Has the strength to drag defenders and finish in the run after catch to maximize yardage

+/-Effort level as a blocker is normally very high, but he will get lazy on occasion and let his effort level drops
+Plays with an instinctive awareness of down and distance both as a route runner and after the catch
-Was suspended for an entire season for an undisclosed violation of team rules in 2010

Travis Kelce’s name has been thrown around at an increasing rate ever since his senior season ended. He never received the attention of guys like Tyler Eifert and Zach Ertz before then, for good reason. Almost all of Kelce’s production came as a senior, though that production was impressive. He put up 45 receptions, 722 yards, and 8 touchdowns, making some stunning plays along the way. Kelce also has bloodlines to his credit; his brother is Eagles center Jason Kelce. He’s a complete tight end with the ability to contribute immediately in both the running and passing games at the next level. He’s not without a few question marks though. He was essentially kicked off the team at Cincinnati and didn’t play for an entire season as a result, a mysterious situation that not many seem to have a grasp on. Kelce was also a contributor for the Bearcats offense for only a single season. Every part of his game projects well though, which should overshadow any questions. Kelce has the size and athleticism to create mismatch problems for defenses and is a developed route runner. He’s also a dominating run blocker, which isn’t common among tight end prospects in recent years. Kelce’s versatility make him a candidate for a “move TE” role, one you can send in motion pre-snap or use from a variety of positions to create mismatches. For those reasons, he’s a lock to go in the second round if not sooner. His skillset is simply uncommon, even in an impressive crop of tight ends.—Darren Page

Scouting Notes:

Cincinnati vs. Louisville
• Gets his hands into the chest of Adrian Bushell and drives him well downfield on an inside run
• Eludes the contact of the underneath nickel cornerback on a seam route, is open for a second underneath the safety but the ball is well overthrown
• Consistently locking onto defensive backs and driving them well downfield until the whistle
• Locks onto the chest plate of an outside linebacker on the edge and gets called for a clear hold when the defender starts to shed
• Catches a short throw after crossing the formation behind the offensive line on play action, is dragged down by multiple defenders for a short gain
• Uses a change of speed and burst out of his break to separate up the seam on a linebacker, adjusts his body to snag the ball thrown behind him
• Manhandles defensive backs who are rolled up on the line on numerous occasions, drive blocker

Cincinnati vs. Duke
• Bobbles a high throw on a crossing route, pulls it down on the second attempt and gets tackled for a limited gain
• Puts an effective cut block as the kick out man on a misdirection run to open up the hole
• Stones an inside linebacker at the second level as the lead blocker from an H-back position
• Lets the end suck inside on a counter sweep and seals him there on the corner as the lead blocker from the backfield
• Gets lazy on a kickout block from the backfield and doesn’t fire his hands into the defender, gets knocked back on initial contact and gives up a tackle for loss
• Leads up the hole for the back on an inside run and stacks up the inside linebacker before driving him backwards
• Separates out of his break on a simple square in route against a nickel cornerback from the slot, the quarterback takes off with the ball too quickly
• Sets up the same cornerback in man coverage with a quick step to the inside before breaking to the outside on a short out, accelerates out of his cut, quickly turns upfield after hauling in the catch and slips the tackle of the cornerback before cutting inside of the tackle attempt of a safety and dragging two defenders after a long gain
• Sits down between zones on a curl route and catches the fastball with his hands for a short gain
• Simply runs right past the underneath zone coverage up the seam, hauls in the pass in the bubble between the underneath cornerback and safety over the top, cuts to the outside quickly and displays incredible athleticism to outrun the safety for a long touchdown

Cincinnati vs. South Florida
• Shows good vision in pass protection to pick up a stunt, slides laterally with quick feet
• Runs a few yards past the sticks on the third and long before quickly dialing it down and coming back on a hook route, catches the pass with his hands and turns upfield to ensure he gets the first down
• Runs wide open up the seam on a cover 2 safety with two vertical routes to cover, QB has already pulled the ball down
• Throws an effective cut block on a defensive back on a quick screen to his side to spring the wide receiver into space
• Delays a route on a goal line play action look by attacking the linebacker with his hands up like a run blocker before redirecting inside of him for a wide open touchdown catch
• Sits down outside of the outside linebacker’s zone and catches a hook route with his hands before turning upfield to pick up an extra yard
• Snags the ball with his hands on a crossing route, plants and turns upfield on a dime and puts his head down against a linebacker before reaching out to gain the necessary yardage for a first down
• Shows impressive concentration to bring in a low throw on a flat route out of the backfield before turning upfield and finding a seam for a big gain
• Seals the end on a combo block with ease and generates movement to create a big lane for the running back to bounce outside
• Comes up lame with a leg injury after a short reception and short gain after the catch and leaves the game

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