Since debuting back in 2010 Rob Gronkowski has gone on to become Tom Brady's most trusted receiver in New England. A second-round pick out of Arizona, Gronkowski has revolutionised the tight-end position. Now, after a breakout 2015 season, it seems the Chiefs have found a similar weapon in a #87 of their own, Travis Kelce.
A third round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Kelce will enter the 2016 season full of confidence after tormenting opposing defenders throughout the course of 2015. The 26 year-old was a fantasy sleeper and illustrated his impact on offense countless times. In fact, look no further than his two touchdown, 106-yard performance in Week 1 as an example of how he left defensive coordinators across the league on high alert.
Much like Gronkowski, Kelce possesses a turn of pace into the backfield too quick for linebackers, and a level of strength too much for safeties to handle. In Kansas City's offense last season Kelce went on to post 875 yards from 72 receptions as Alex Smith's favourite target behind Jeremy Maclin.
After going 1-5 to start the season, the Chiefs went on to win their last 10 games in a row and clinch a deserved spot in the post-season. While this was in large part down to their formidable defence and ground game, Kelce's presence on third-down in particular proved vital on numerous occasions. With this in mind, it's no wonder why the 6'5" Cincinnati graduate has averaged 12.5 yards per reception thus far in his career.
Kelce was rewarded with his first Pro Bowl selection following last season's stellar showing and, as a result, will no doubt look to build on that heading into 2016. Head coach Andy Reid has built a team primed for the post-season in Kansas City and Travis Kelce is becoming a key component within it.
The Chiefs begin their regular season against the San Diego Chargers on September 11th.