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2015 KC Chiefs Roster Analysis - The Tight Ends

 
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Jakuvious


Joined: 06 Sep 2010
Posts: 11058
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:23 am    Post subject: 2015 KC Chiefs Roster Analysis - The Tight Ends Reply with quote

Our last positional group, I don't think this one will carry too many surprises for anybody here. But it does contain one of the team's brightest players moving forward, so it was certainly fun to right about.

And do note, our last positional group does not mean it's the last you'll hear from us. So stay tuned Wink


The little chart below is a depth chart excerpt from the 2015 KC Chiefs Roster Projection linked in the database. Throughout the analysis we will use that chart as a reference point for our considerations.

Color Codes:

black: 2014 active roster/injured reserve player
bold: under contract through 2015
blue: 2014 Practice Squad player
green: new signing
red: expiring contract


THE TIGHT ENDS

TE - Fasano, Kelce, D. Harris

Other Players Barden, Schiltz
Free Agents: Gordon

A General Look at the Unit:
Due to a mix of injuries, youth, and an overall lack of quality at the WR position, the TE corps saw a substantial increase in snaps, targets, and responsibility in the passing game. Some of the offenseís best games featured an expanded use of three TE sets, and the offense as a whole arguably used two TE sets as the base offense. The group was highlighted by the phenomenal breakout of Travis Kelce, who quickly became the best threat the team has had at the position since the great Tony Gonzalez.

The Guys Under Contract:
Travis Kelce made a name for himself quickly and frequently this season. With phenomenal speed, a Gronk-esque knack for making plays after the catch, and reliable hands, he was simultaneously the teamís most dependable and dangerous receiving threat this season. Second in the league in yards per route run to the aforementioned Gronk, arguably the only thing that held him back was his inconsistent snap count. Even late in the season, after his breakout, it was not uncommon for him to miss fifteen snaps or so in a game. Conventional logic would suggest he was pulled for Fasano due to the veteranís blocking abilities, but we would argue that Kelce matched, if not outperformed Fasano, in that respect as well. Either way, Kelce is a budding star in this league. He does have one major flaw to work on, however. While it is safe to call him a reliable receiver, with only four drops on the year, the fact that he matched that with four fumbles as well is simply unacceptable. A RB with four fumbles on 300 touches is understandable, but for a TE to do that on 67 catches can kill an offense.
Anthony Fasano is the perfect clichť of a reliable veteran at TE. A generally reliable blocker with good hands and underwhelming athleticism, he remains an asset to this team. 2014 was not his best year, particularly as a blocker, but the team asked much of him at times, as he tried to aid Fisher and Ryan Harris with pass rushers you just donít want your TE blocking. The question moving forward, is if that reliable but unspectacular performance warrants the $4.225M heís slated to earn in 2015. Weíre skeptical, to say the least.
Demetrius Harris was a pretty big deal coming out of training camp in 2014. Tall, athletic, and a former basketball player, heís everything you look for in a developmental project at TE. Surprisingly, his best play during the regular season actually came as a blocker in those three TE formations against Miami and New England. An injury ending his season was certainly disappointing, but Harris remains a talented player that the team likes moving forward.
Brandon Barden and Adam Schiltz are a duo of practice squad TEs that bounced around the AFC South prior to catching on here. With no playing time from either, as is usually the case with practice squad members, there is not much for us to say of either player.

The Guy in Red:
Richard Gordon was a late re-addition to the roster. After being cut by the team once already prior to the season, he repeated his short stint with the Chiefs from last year. And just as back then he again saw minimal snaps and no catches. He seems to be an emergency favorite of the Chiefs' brass. That said, unless Fasano is cut and no replacement is signed or drafted, we donít anticipate him making the initial roster in 2015. But we would not be surprised to see him re-surface if/when injury strikes.

Cap Considerations:
Fasano is really the only player worth mentioning here. Kelce remains on his rookie deal, and an extension canít be negotiated for at least another year. Every other TE on the roster is making chump change.
Fasanoís future may ultimately come down to the teamís cap situation and the role foreseen for the TE corps next season. If keeping Fasano on does not jeopardize negotiations with higher priority players like Hudson, Houston, or even Parker, then there is little reason to make a move, even if he may be considered overpaid for his (assumed) role as a #2 TE. But if (beyond mere cap considerations) the brass considers shifting the receiving workload more to the WRs, possibly keeping Bowe and/or adding a veteran presence there, then it is unlikely Fasano will stay.
The play of Kelce, the possibility to still expand his role and the multitude of draft picks provide the team with the necessary flexibility to consider Fasano for cap relief. Nevertheless, he is still a useful, veteran presence on the team, so there is no guarantee of a departure.

Overall Assessment:
This was one of the two offensive position groups that we could really be satisfied with this past season, and it is a group that should be trending upwards. Kelce showed genuine star talent, and needs only some polish to become a truly elite force at the position. Provided he recovers well, Harris should be able to re-earn his role as #3 TE at least, if not progress towards a bit more responsibility. The only real wildcard is Fasano. Should he remain, weíll undoubtedly see a repeat of last yearís trio, with the only change being Kelce leapfrogging Fasano on the depth chart. Should the team cut him, however, we expect the Chiefs to try to patch that hole via the draft rather than free agency. If the coaching staff believes Harris is ready for a 400-500 snap role as a #2 TE, a low round pick, an UDFA, one of the Practice Squad guys, or a guy like Richard Gordon should suffice as the third man. If Harris is not ready and Fasano is released, a mid-round pick would not be out of the question, especially considering that Fasanoíscontract expires next year anyway. Due to the lack of appropriate FA we donít see another (cheaper) player replacing Fasano as the #2 TE. Ultimately, we think Fasano is gone out of necessity, and Harris stays at the less demanding role of #3 TE while he develops, so we anticipate a new, young, face in the trio.

Coaching:
Tom Melvin is far from a big name as the teamís TE coach, but he has been a mainstay in Reidís coaching staff for over a decade now, and has consistently gotten solid play out of middling talent over the years. He seems to have made quick work of turning an athlete, in Kelce, into a well-rounded football player. One of the better coaches on this staff that most of us have probably never heard of.

2015 TIGHT END PROJECTION:

TE - Kelce, mid-round pick, D. Harris/Practice Squad/UDFA
_________________

Adopt-a-Chief: Travis "Better Than Tony Moeaki" Kelce
67 catches, 862 yards, 5 TDs, one very funny obscene gesture, one fumble that wasn't a fumble, and one very trolly fumble recovery for a TD
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muttz1983


Joined: 24 Oct 2006
Posts: 78
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This past weekend I attended a wedding and saw Sean McGrath. I was able to talk to him for a few minutes and asked him why he stopped playing. He said that it was so taxing on his body, but after sitting out a year he realized just how much he missed it. He said that he will be trying to get back in. I wonder if the Chiefs would have him try out again. I liked the beard as a player and even more now that I got to talk to him. He seems like a pretty cool guy.
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kingseanjohn


Joined: 16 Oct 2009
Posts: 3333
Location: Global
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

muttz1983 wrote:
This past weekend I attended a wedding and saw Sean McGrath. I was able to talk to him for a few minutes and asked him why he stopped playing. He said that it was so taxing on his body, but after sitting out a year he realized just how much he missed it. He said that he will be trying to get back in. I wonder if the Chiefs would have him try out again. I liked the beard as a player and even more now that I got to talk to him. He seems like a pretty cool guy.


I'd love for him to come to camp this year. I can't remember how well he blocked. But I wouldn't be mad if he made it with Kelce and Fasano/Harris as the others.

Back to the OP, Demetrius Harris is an ERFA and not currently under contract.

Spotrac listing

OverTheCap listing
_________________


2014 Adopt-A-Chief: Jamaal Charles
Carries:206/Yds:1033/TD:9/YPC:5.0
Rec:40/Yds:291/TD:5
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KC_Guy


Joined: 07 Jan 2008
Posts: 7672
Location: Brussels, Belgium
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

muttz1983 wrote:
This past weekend I attended a wedding and saw Sean McGrath. I was able to talk to him for a few minutes and asked him why he stopped playing. He said that it was so taxing on his body, but after sitting out a year he realized just how much he missed it. He said that he will be trying to get back in. I wonder if the Chiefs would have him try out again. I liked the beard as a player and even more now that I got to talk to him. He seems like a pretty cool guy.


That's cool. I thought he really had something to build upon, didn't like seeing him go
.
Don't know if he ever submitted his retirement papers, but if he wants to get back into the League he better try to get a slot at the Veteran Combine.

Not sure he'll be a fit in KC with Kelce and Harris in town. May be he could fill the #3 spot. But he'll have to prove himself before - there's little room for sentimentality in these places.
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Be it known that this day, January 4, be known as Reid Friday from now until ... well, as long as it lasts ...
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