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Road to the Draft: Travis Kelce

By Mark Gaughan

Travis Kelce

Position: Tight end
School: Cincinnati
Measurements: 6-foot-5, 255 pounds.
Workout numbers: Did not participate at combine.
2012 stats: 45 catches, 722 yards, 8 TDs.
Draft projection: Third round.

Lowdown: Kelce has the height, powerful build, long arms and running ability to be an upper-echelon NFL tight end. He had an outstanding senior season for the Bearcats, averaging 16 yards a catch. He may have the best upside of any tight end in this year’s draft. However, teams will have to make a good evaluation of him off the field. Kelce was suspended on the eve of the 2010 Sugar Bowl game for the bowl game and the entire subsequent season. He violated team rules, which never have been made public. He also is recovering from a sports hernia surgery, which he played through the second half of the 2012 season. He had a shoulder injury in 2011, from which he fully recovered last season. It’s hard to forecast where in the draft Kelce will be taken. He could be an attractive option for the Buffalo Bills if he meets their character criteria. Kelce is an athlete. As a freshman, he split time between tight end and Wildcat quarterback. Highlights of his senior season included a two-touchdown game in a 35-24 Cincinnati win over Syracuse and an 83-yard catch and run with 44 seconds left to give the Bearcats a victory over Duke in the Belk Bowl. Kelce’s brother, Jason, is starting center for the Philadelphia Eagles.

He said it: Kelce on his message to NFL teams about his suspension: "Just let them know that I’m a high-character guy. There’s stuff that’s happened in my past that’s happened. I’ve dealt with it. I’ve learned from it, and I’ve overcome everything that’s happened earlier in my college career. And to let them know who I am as a person, that I’m willing to do whatever the team needs me to do and I’m all for the organization as a whole."

Kelce on his winning TD in the Belk Bowl: "Talk about a way to go out. It was unexpected. … It was a seam route, I was running down the hash and I was about 20 yards downfield and I looked around and noticed I was open. I turned over my shoulder and the ball was in my lap. From that point on, it was just adrenaline that took me to the end zone. For us to go out like that, especially with the coaching staff that we had and the amount of support we had going into it, it was an all-around team effort. That play itself was a milestone for me personally, but for the team to get a win in that condition is definitely something special."

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2013 draft | Road to the Draft | Travis Kelce
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | [email protected]


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | [email protected]


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | [email protected]

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