The Kansas City Chiefs' selection of Tony Moeaki in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft paid immediate dividends, as the former Iowa standout caught 47 passes for 556 yards and three touchdowns in his rookie season.
More was expected from Moeaki in 2011, but he missed the entire season with a serious knee injury and the trio of Leonard Pope, Jake O'Connell and Anthony Becht produced just 34 receptions for 325 yards and a single touchdown.
Even with Moeaki expected to return this season, the Chiefs noticed the proliferation of two tight end offenses around the league and aggressively pursued adding a veteran during free agency. The team wooed John Carlson, who signed a five-year, $25-million contract with the Minnesota Vikings, before signing Kevin Boss to a three-year deal worth $8.5 million.
Boss thinks, according to a Sunday report in the Kansas City Star, that the success that New England Patriots tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez have had is "something we can do here", however, that level of production (169 receptions, 2,237 yards and 24 touchdowns for the Pats duo) is unlikely from Boss and Moeaki.
Even if you took Boss' best numbers from his five seasons in the NFL and added it to Moeaki's numbers from his rookie season, you get about half the receptions and yardage totals and less than 40 percent of the touchdowns. That said, not being able to duplicate that other worldly production does not mean Boss and Moeaki won't significantly upgrade the Chiefs' offense.
"The tight end is critical in any offense, especially ours, not only in the run game but also in the pass game," quarterback Matt Cassel told the newspaper. "Weâre trying to create mismatches with those guys. Weâve got great competition going on right now and it will also be fun to get Tony back."