The Chiefs’ tight end room looks like heading into 2022.
Justin Miles @justm1les Chiefs Focus @Chiefsfocus
As training camps are wrapping up, we are finally getting a glimpse of how teams are looking heading into the season. The Chiefs are in shape to put together yet another successful year.
While their roster has talent all around, possibly one of the most stacked areas for the team is the tight end room. Obviously any team with Travis Kelce leading the charge is destined to have success at that position. In his 8 years with the Chiefs, Kelce has become one of the greatest tight ends of all time and shows no signs of stopping.
The 7 time Pro Bowler and 3x All Pro is second in every major receiving category in all time Chiefs history, only behind Tony Gonzalez. Kelce has been the Chiefs main receiver in multiple seasons and throughout 8 years he has managed 9,006 yards and 57 touchdowns on 704 catches.
At this point, listed as second string tight end is NFL journeyman Blake Bell. Throughout his 7 season career, Bell has spent two different stints with the Chiefs, both lasting only a year. Despite Bell only racking up 17 catches on 28 targets for 154 yards in those 2 years, he brings experience to the rest of our tight end core and can be a great mentor for our younger players.
During his career, he has played for 5 different teams and has undoubtedly picked up a ton of lessons along the way. Not to mention, he can still be a solid option for Patrick Mahomes and bring veteran leadership to the field as well. Next up on the depth chart is second year player Noah Gray.
Gray was a 4 year player at Duke and in 35 games managed 105 catches for 948 yards and 8 touchdowns. While Gray only caught 7 catches on 10 attempts for 36 yards and a touchdown in his rookie campaign, he has high upside and could easily be a surprise breakout player this year.
Gray possesses all the talent necessary to become a star at the highest stage learning from the best early on in his career definitely won’t hurt. Listed 4th on the depth chart is another young player in Jody Fortson. From the looks of Fortsons career thus far, he has talent but struggles to stay healthy.
He is an impact player when on the field and could be a solid option for the Chiefs. After transfering from a JUCO,. Fortson played 2 seasons at D2 Valdosta State but was injured his senior year and missed significant time. In the games he did play in, he recorded 477 yards and 7 touchdowns on 37 catches. He went undrafted in 2019 but was quickly brought in as an undrafted free agent.
Since then, Fortson has been back and forth from the Chiefs’ practice squad to the roster. Last year, Fortson was looking to prove himself on the field but his season ended early due to an Achilles injury. In the 6 games he did play last season, Fortson caught 5 passes on 5 targets for 47 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Fortson tweaked his quad this past week in practice but is expected to return only after a few days. Despite a rocky start to his career, Fortson has looked good in training camp and could easily grow into a reliable player for the Chiefs program.
Overall, the Chiefs have one of the best tight end rooms in the league. A group with veteran star power and young talent combined will always work out well. With Mahomes at quarterback in an offense where the ball is spread around, all of these players could be due for success in one way or another. While Kelce is one of the best in the league, players don’t last forever. Chiefs fans should have hope in a young group with extremely high upside.