6. Travis Kelce, the next generation of tight end
Travis Kelce is 32 years old, so saying he demonstrates the future of the tight end position may seem inaccurate.
In truth, Kelce has been the future, embodying a trend that started all the way back in 2010 when the New England Patriots drafted Rob Gronkowski.
Sure, there were Hall of Fame tight ends before Gronk, but the goofy longtime Patriot broke the mold at the position. He was unstoppable, and he became an essential part of six Super Bowl performances, hoisting the Lombardi in four of them (and denting it in one).
But Gronk’s retired now, allowing more light to shine on his clear successor, Travis Kelce.
Again, Kelce has flourished in the house Gronkowski built since 2013. And Kelce, too, has been integral to making the Chiefs offense hum. How many times has Kelce facilitated drives downfield, strode open on a crossing route, came down with the touchdown?
Better yet: how many times has Kelce dragged defenders, their attempts to stop him coming up short?
Sadly, Gronk’s knees were taken out when teams realized they couldn’t even triple-cover the guy, but watching Gronk drag players down the field in his prime is a fantastic re-watch. For those who want to see that kind of greatness today, there was the Chiefs versus the Cardinals, 44-21.