Trevis Kelce mentoring rookie Noah Gray to make an impact in Chiefs offense

Jacob Lang
St. Joseph News-Press
Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce says he is ready to mentor rookie Noah Gray, who was drafted out of Duke.

The Kansas City Chiefs are less than three weeks away from returning to St. Joseph for training camp later this month. 

When the Chiefs retake the field at Missouri Western, they'll be equipped with an understudy for All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce. 

Rookie tight end Noah Gray impressed in offseason workouts, and the Chiefs look poised to earn a role in the high-flying KC offense. 

Gray was drafted in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Duke. He was a four-year contributor in the Blue Devils' offense, becoming the school's all-time leading receiver at tight end and earning a Second Team All-ACC honor. 

Since joining the Chiefs, Kelce said Gray has shown a lot of energy and impressed Kelce with his football intelligence. 

"He's absorbing all the information that the coaches are giving him, that he's hearing from other players, and he's having a lot of success out there on the field," Kelce said. "He's going to definitely help us this year." 

Gray has also caught the attention of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, who said Gray has worked hard so far. 

"He sure is willing to do whatever we've asked and you get a sense that he's quarterback-friendly, so that always helps if you're a receiver," Reid said. "If quarterbacks like throwing the ball to you, that's a plus, and he's presented himself that way so far." 

A two-time bowl game champion with Duke, Gray has been a part of a successful team before. That experience, partnered with the mentorship of Kelce, has set Gray up to make an impact with the Chiefs.

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) stiff-arms Miami Dolphins free safety Brandon Jones (29) during a game last season. Kelce looks to teach rookie tight end Noah Gray the finer points of the Chiefs' offense.

"He has a good understanding of what defenses are being presented in front of him, and that's half the battle, knowing what the other side of the ball is doing so you have an idea of what you should be doing," Kelce said. "He's hit the ground running ever since we started." 

With Gray having the ability to step in and make an impact, that opens up the opportunity for the Chiefs to run multiple tight end sets. Kelce said those can keep defenses off balance, and they'll be prepared to run those plays. 

"It's just trying to take advantage of those mismatches and just be accountable for the team," Kelce said. "Anything that Coach Reid can imagine, we want to be able to give him that option to call." 

Coming off a Super Bowl loss, Kelce said the mindset for the team hasn't changed. With a new group in waiting, Kelce said the Chiefs are ready for another shot at the title. 

"I think right now everybody is more motivated now than we were before we won a Super Bowl," Kelce said. "We're going to go into this season and try to win every single football game, whether home or away, and with that mentality, the sky is the limit." 

Training camp kicks off at Missouri Western on July 28.