Will Travis Kelce Rewrite All-Time Record Books? Nick Wright Believes So

Kelce earned his third All-Pro honor in 2020


January 25, 2021

Travis Kelce has put together a season well-deserving of his third All-Pro selection.

The Kansas City Chiefs star has 1,643 receiving yards this season, which is the most in a single campaign by a tight end in NFL history, per Chiefs team reporter Matt McMullen.

Kelce went off for 118 yards as the Chiefs won Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills. He has 21 catches for 227 yards and three touchdowns in merely two postseason games this year.

Kelce’s latest string of success means the 31-year-old perennial Pro Bowler has had 100-plus receiving yards or one touchdown in eight of 11 career playoff games, per Pro Football Focus. His five postseason games with more than 100 receiving yards makes him the first tight end to ever do so, per CBS.

The pass-catching numbers truly are incredible, but did FOX Sports 1’s Nick Wright, an unwavering Chiefs fan, take it to another level Monday?

“We’ve got a guy in Travis Kelce, who I believe, when it’s all said and done is going to have every tight end record,” Wright said after the Chiefs advanced to Super Bowl LV. “I think when it’s all said and done, Travis Kelce is going to be considered the greatest tight end, most prolific receiving tight end, ever.”

We were happy to hear Wright backpedal from “greatest tight end” to “most prolific receiving tight end” because expressing the former would be objectively wrong. The fact is that Rob Gronkowski (especially during his prime) and now George Kittle, both of whom currently are in the league, are more all-around tight ends than Kelce.

Then again, Kelce’s numbers as a pass catcher do project someone who could come close to rewriting the record books. Kelce already has more 1,000 yard seasons than Gronkowski (five to four), per PFF, and it seems the former has plenty of time to run up the score in that regard.

But the argument doesn’t end with Gronkowski. Former Chief Tony Gonzalez owns the record for most receiving yards by a tight end (15,127). Antonio Gates is the only tight end in history with more receiving touchdowns (116) than Gonzalez (111), the most ever.

Kelce, who is about to conclude his eighth season, would need to nearly double his yards (7,881) and more than double his touchdowns (48) to hold either of the records that Wright believes he will.

It’s possible, but the title as best all-around tight end certainly belongs to someone else.

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