The Kansas City Chiefs enter the 2023 NFL Draft with ten selections, including the last pick of the first round. However, due to the Miami Dolphins tampering charges, that pick this year is number 31. This gives the Chiefs a slight edge if they want to trade up for an electric playmaker. While mock drafters have been slotting the Chiefs to take a wide receiver, or two, selecting tight end Michael Mayer could change the Chiefs offense.
How Rookie Michael Mayer Could Benefit the Kansas City Chiefs Offense
Michael Mayer’s Production
Michael Mayer spent a highly productive career at Notre Dame, running routes like a proper wide receiver. He caught 67 passes for 809 yards and nine touchdowns during his recent junior season. This does mean he is entering the NFL draft a year early, but it is likely the right decision. He is an NFL-ready tight end who was absorbing more passes and statistics every season. His improvement and fundamentals make for an impressive package that is well-worth a first-round selection.
Much akin to past tight ends who have been physical pass catchers, Mayer was a basketball player. He has an incredible catch radius and is a conceptually solid blocker for a rookie tight end. Mayer is going to be spotted in the NFL climbing and drawing passes over defenders. Any team would be lucky to have him in the first-round. Still, the Chiefs will have Travis Kelce for several more years; however, this is precisely why the Chiefs should invest in Mayer in the top of the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Need for a Tight End
Travis Kelce is an absolute key to the Chiefs offense. In retrospect, Travis Kelce may have done more to revolution the tight end position than any other player in the past two decades. His domination in the Mahomes-Reid offense has re-defined how tight ends fit in an offense, creating a sizeable market for top tight ends. The Chiefs will not replace Kelce before he retires; he is a personality and legend in Kansas City. However, to maintain a competitive offense for the next decade, Kelce instructing Michael Mayer would change the Chiefs offense for the better.
The Chiefs having a double-tight end threat could open further passes for some of the quicker receivers like Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore. A second legitimate tight end threat also allows Kelce to slot into the Y position, creating double-tight formations that linebackers cannot match too. The Chiefs also should see more red-zone productivity, meeting or exceeding the highly productive 2022 season. In the Redzone, the Chiefs completed 59.3 percent of passes for 34 touchdowns. Converting more passes under this already competitive offense should benefit the Chiefs efficiency, giving them more time ahead and less time working from behind.
Drafting Michael Mayer for the Future and Present
Moreover, much like a good quarterback can help improve a young quarterback, Kelce could help Michael Mayer improve his route-running and acceleration. Mayer’s most immediate need to become a top NFL tight end is his route running and off-the-line skills. A veteran such as Kelce can help him improve his output and running skills.
Lastly, there is plenty the Chiefs can do with Mayer to help relieve Kelce’s workload. Mayer is a better blocker than most rookie tight ends. This should immediately benefit the offense and get Kelce outside of the more physical situations which could slow him down. Out of the current NFL leadership, Travis Kelce is the tight end who can help Michael Mayer become a star-tight end in the NFL. Absorbing Mayer into the Kansas City Chiefs offense will immediately benefit both this future star tight end and the Chiefs current roster of all-stars.
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