The Kansas City Chiefs used their 63rd pick to upgrade their passing game with tight end Travis Kelce, while Jacksonville took another defensive back at No. 64, drafting cornerback Dwayne Gratz, and the Detroit Lions got more help for Matthew Stafford as they added right guard Larry Warford at No. 65.
Kelce burst into the national consciousness after his senior season with the Bearcats in 2012. He caught 45 passes for 722 yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 16.0 yards per catch, and capping the campaign off with five catches for 123 yards and a score against the Duke Blue Devils in the Belk Bowl. His senior season blasted away his totals between 2009-11, when Kelce had 14 catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns at Cincinnati. His was, however, suspended by Cincinnati for the entire 2010 season for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
The Chiefs needed a target in the passing game for Alex Smith, and Kelce will give him a good target. He has some off-field concerns, but can make an impact on an offense in need of help.
In a prospect profile from NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler, Kelce's receiving and route-running abilities were listed as strengths:
Balanced athlete with better wheels than expected, accelerating quickly to top speed. Deceiving quickness after the catch with loose hips and a fluid and flexible frame. Smooth and patient in his routes to release and gain separation. Catches the ball with his hands and does a nice job working back to the ball. Strong hands at the point of attack as a blocker and plays with a mean streak to eliminate defenders.
A first team All-Big East member, Kelce has good size and athletic ability for an NFL tight end. He's also well-rounded as far as blocking and pass-catching go, giving him a more than one dimension to bring to the NFL. That he could probably line up as a bruising run-blocker one play and a downfield threat the next make Kelce a multifaceted, intriguing player at the next level.
Dwayne Gratz stepped into the national consciousness in the 2011 Orange Bowl when he returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown. It was the lone UConn highlight as Oklahoma pasted them, but it made people take notice of Gratz, who backed it up with 53 tackles, three interceptions and four pass breakups the following season as a junior. As a senior in 2012, Gratz had another 53 tackles and three interceptions, while upping his pass breakup total to 11.
After adding Jonathan Cyprien it was possible they went for a quarterback, but instead they appealed to Gus Bradley's defensive sensibilities by giving him another strong player. He has great size, and can assist stopping tight ends.
Larry Warford was expected to be a mid-second round pick, but the Lions got value waiting until the top of the third. He can play right guard immediately and become a road grader for the backs. It remains to be seen if he'll have the speed to handle blocking for Reggie Bush in 2013.
Here's what Dan Kadar had to say about Warford:
Detroit didn't loose much by waiting to draft an interior lineman. The Kentucky product won more than his fair share of battles on the line in the SEC. Warford is a drive blocker with quick feet that help him ride pass rushers off course. He lacks a little in the pure power department, but projects as a day-one start for the Lions.