Travis Kelce vs. Decide Gronkowski: Evaluating Chiefs, Buccaneers Corridor of Repute tight ends at 31

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Irrespective of the of Ravishing Bowl 55, Chiefs tight discontinue Travis Kelce and Buccaneers tight discontinue Decide Gronkowski can be without a sign of ending recognized as Ravishing Bowl winners — and in a pair of years, Dependable Soccer Corridor of Famers.

There are greatest 9 tight ends enshrined in Canton and even with the group expanding to no longer no longer as much as 11 with Antonio Gates and Jason Witten entering into soon, or no longer it is aloof an queer membership. Neither Kelce nor Gronkowski, every 31, would must play any other all the kind down to make certain that everybody-time tall situation. Now the quiz is, who will discontinue up going down in NFL history because the extra done receiver at the space?

Since worn Chiefs and Falcons legend Tony Gonzalez retired in 2013 — the the same twelve months the Chiefs drafted Kelce in the third round — Gronkowski has been viewed because the customary for the popular pass-delighted game. The Patriots’ 2d-round cast off in 2010 has been a dominant receiving and blockading power when healthy for his two groups. 

Kelce, a necessary athlete as a converted quarterback, has developed into a courageous blocker over time. He also has been an ironman at a mentally and physically demanding space, a fixed, healthy segment of Kansas City’s offense since changing into a starter in his 2d season.

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Kelce is ready five months youthful than Gronkowski. He did now not delivery producing at a excessive stage till 2014, or when Gronkowski was into his fifth season. Kelce wears No. 87 relish Gronkowski, but that is now not any longer the ideally suited manner in which Kelce emulates him.

“I know we’re about the the same age. He got into the league two years sooner than me. Once I moved to tight discontinue, he was the staple. He was up-and-coming and made his imprint in the NFL as a younger participant,” Kelce acknowledged all the contrivance in which by Ravishing Bowl 55’s first day of media availability on Monday. “His dominance fueled me so that you just can possess that unprecedented influence in a football game. Seeing the set up I will translate bits and pieces of his game and translate it into having success in my game — I’ve been doing that for years.”

Kelce has paid attention to the miniature issues, all the kind down to how Gronkowski changes tempo when working routes to bag originate. Thanks to that, Kelce has developed into a queer receiving weapon for the Chiefs, further raised by Andy Reid’s play-calling and Patrick Mahomes’ passing.

Thru the final few seasons of his Patriots tenure, his one-twelve months retirement and 2020 return with the Buccaneers, Gronkowski has paid shut attention to Kelce’s possess imprint of dominance.

“I indubitably do no longer possess anything but main admire for Travis Kelce. He has helped change into the tight discontinue space and he has helped assign the tight discontinue space on the scheme,” Gronkowski acknowledged. “I’ve never indubitably viewed this with any assorted participant, but Kelce will get better each season I’ve viewed him play in the NFL. Ever since he’s been on the Chiefs, he has stepped forward his game. That’s mad admire, correct there.”

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Though Kelce and Gronkowski seek every assorted as inviting equals, or no longer it is time to see the numbers to seek who will discontinue up closest to Gonzalez, who will remain tight discontinue’s Tom Brady-relish GOAT thanks to his prolific longevity. 

As documented here, Kelce, by posting tight discontinue recordsdata for receptions (105) and receiving yards (1,416) in 2020, now has the space’s greatest person season over Gronkowski, who situation the tight discontinue file for total TDs (18) in 2011.

Let’s then evaluation Kelce’s profession to Gronkowski’s profession. In 111 out of the ordinary-season games for the Chiefs, Kelce has caught 612 of 860 targets (71.2 percent) for 7,881 yards (12.9 yards per pick, 71.0 yards per game) with 49 total TDs. In 131 out of the ordinary-season games for the Patriots and Buccaneers, Gronkowski has caught 566 of 871 targets (65 percent) for 8,484 yards (15 yards per pick, 64.8 yards per game) with 87 total TDs.

In 11 playoff games sooner than Ravishing Bowl 55, Kelce has caught 73 of 94 targets (79.3 percent) for 859 yards (11.8 yards per pick, 78.1 yards per game) with 9 total TDs. In 19 playoff games, Gronkowski has caught 83 of 137 targets (60.6 percent) for 1,206 yards (14.5 yards per pick, 63.5 yards per game) with 12 total TDs.

Kelce has the threshold in pick rate and yardage per game, while Gronkowski holds the attend with his scoring rate and yards per pick. As correct as Gronkowski has been in the playoffs, Kelce is the one who has better raised his stage of influence when the games depend extra.

MORE: Travis Kelce, no longer Decide Gronkowski, now owns greatest season by a correct discontinue in NFL history

Kelce has been rested twice over the final seven seasons, enjoying in 110 of 112 out of the ordinary-season games. Sooner than taking 2019 off and sooner than staying healthy for all 16 games with the Buccaneers, Gronkowski missed 26 out of the ordinary-season games in his old seven seasons. Sturdiness and availability are in Kelce’s nook, something that also was a key trait for Gonzalez.

Gronkowski, except he plays a pair of extra seasons in Tampa Bay, will pick neither Gonzalez (111) nor Gates (117), who’re Nos. 8 and No. 7 on the checklist for all-time receiving touchdowns all the contrivance in which by positions. He’s No. 15, while for now, Kelce is tied for 150th.

Amongst these many tight ends between Kelce and Gronkowski in TDs are Jimmy Graham (82), Fred Biletnikoff (76), Jason Witten (74), Vernon Davis (63), Shannon Sharpe (62) and Greg Olsen (60). However Kelce, if he stays with Mahomes for four seasons — he’s below contract by 2025 — ought to aloof add 40-50 rankings to his out of the ordinary-season total, and a correct chunk to his playoff TD total, too. That will possibly well enable Kelce to bag to round’s Gronkowski’s most up-to-the-minute quantity and likewise flirt with 100 TDs.

Neither Gonzalez nor Gates got a Ravishing Bowl ring. Gronkowski is tied with any other Corridor of Famer, Sharpe, with three. Both he’ll ruin that tie as a member of the Buccaneers, or Kelce will bag a 2d ring with the Chiefs to bag one at the support of every.

Gronkowski’s resume is sturdy ought to aloof he drag away once more sooner than enjoying in the 2021 season, but the info Kelce is pacing better in key classes and TDs don’t seem to be essentially the most definitive stat, he has time on his aspect to string collectively diverse extra prolific efforts because the heart piece of the NFL’s greatest offense. Enjoy Gronkowski did with the Patriots, Kelce will bag to compete for Ravishing Bowls in practically every season thanks to Mahomes.

At one level, there was a indubitably intensive gap between Gronkowski and Kelce as receiving tight ends, but the latter has caught up in a inch with the exponential enchancment Gronkowski identified. Calling Kelce “Small one Gronk” thanks to pressured comparisons with enjoying sort and persona is sluggish. As an quite a lot of, or no longer it is time to focal level on the exclaim that Kelce has the the same extra or less skills, football intelligence and work ethic Gronkowski does — resources which possess him heading in the correct path to surpass Gronkowski.

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