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Chiefs Alternate Reality: Travis Kelce A Bengal?

What if the 2013 NFL Draft had gone differently for the Chiefs? Imagine if Travis Kelce had been drafted in the first round that year. Or worse, if he had never been drafted by the Chiefs at all.

The Chiefs drafted Travis Kelce in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. On April 26, 2013, history was made. But picture this; the words “with the 63rd pick of the 2013 NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select Travis Kelce, tight end, University of Cincinnati” are never read that night. Travis Kelce ends up being drafted somewhere else and never wears a Chiefs uniform.


"One of the best combination blocker/receiver tight ends in this draft." With the 63rd pick in the 2013 #NFLDraft, the @Chiefs select @tkelce.#Bearcats pic.twitter.com/MT6Ct1ZrwC — Cincinnati Bearcats (@GoBEARCATS) April 23, 2019

Kansas City and its fans never see all 704 catches, 9,006 yards, and 60 touchdowns. Crazy to think about right? Let’s look into an alternate universe where Travis Kelce is never a Kansas City Chief.

What If Travis Kelce Is Drafted By The Chiefs Before The Third?

Obviously, if the 2013 draft was redone Kelce would be a unanimous first-round pick. In nine seasons, Kelce is the NFL’s all-time leader in 1,000-yard seasons by a tight end with six. All six of those seasons came in consecutive years. Kelce also leads every tight end in NFL history with the most receiving yards (9,006) through the first ten seasons of a career. The craziest part is that Kelce hasn’t even played ten seasons yet but leads a category that requires ten seasons of football.

Based on all of that, Kelce, in this version of the alternate universe, would easily go in the first round. Funny enough, the Chiefs had the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. They used that pick on former offensive lineman, Eric Fisher. Based on how Travis Kelce has performed, it is safe to say that he would go number one overall if teams could have seen the future.

The Chiefs would use that third-round pick on another needed position like safety or linebacker. Would Kelce’s career have panned out as well if he was drafted higher? Maybe, maybe not, but in this alternate universe he gets drafted number one overall and puts together the same stat line and Hall of Fame career. Without Kelce and Fisher, do the Chiefs still win Super Bowl LIV? So much can change with just a small change in history.

What If Kelce Is Never Drafted By The Chiefs At All? Staying Home:

Another version of this is that Kelce never joins the Chiefs at all. Entering the 2013 draft, Kelce wasn’t even one of the top three tight-end prospects based on most consensus rankings. The first tight end off the board in 2013 was Tyler Eifert out of Notre Dame. Eifert went to the Bengals in round one with the 21st overall pick. What if the Bengals had instead gone with the hometown kid? Kelce played college football at the University of Cincinnati so going to the Bengals made the most sense.

Does being drafted by the Bengals result in the same Hall of Fame career for Kelce? Kelce would’ve been catching passes from Andy Dalton for most of his career but if he had lasted, in theory, he would be paired up with Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase now. This alternate reality makes more sense than Kelce being re-drafted number one overall. However, Kelce being taken in round one before Eifert, Zach Ertz, Gavin Escobar, and Vance McDonald surely would’ve been seen as a reach at the time.

Would the Bengals, after beating Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill in last year’s AFC Championship Game, have won the Super Bowl with Travis Kelce on their roster?

Final Thoughts On Chiefs Legend Travis Kelce Ahead Of Year Ten

The 2013 draft was favorable for offensive lineman and tight ends within the first three rounds. However, Travis Kelce in my opinion has proven to be the best player from the entire 2013 draft class. His ability to string together this many 1,000-yard seasons, help get the Chiefs a Super Bowl title, and countless other accolades have solidified his spot in the Hall of Fame.

The idea of Travis Kelce not being a member of the Chiefs is a tough concept to wrap your head around. Kelce going to the Bengals makes sense but other than that, this would be a messed up reality to live in. Travis Kelce belongs in the red, yellow, and white and he will likely retire as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, tight ends of all time. I bet Kansas City is still thankful for the other teams passing up on Travis Kelce.


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What would the NFL look like today if Travis Kelce wasn’t drafted by the Chiefs? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.

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