Tucked away behind the Eagles’ mistakes in the 2011 draft was the selection of Kelce, a sixth-round pick out of Cincinnati. As a rookie, he caught Mudd’s eye and stole the starting job from Jamaal Jackson on the practice fields at Lehigh. Kelce’s athleticism was exactly what Mudd wanted out of his center, and the rookie showed steady improvement, leading many observers to project a Pro Bowl campaign for him in 2012.
But in the team’s second game against the Ravens, Kelce suffered a torn MCL and ACL in his right knee, ending his season. Now, with Mudd retiring and Andy Reid gone, Kelce is waiting to find out what scheme the Eagles will be running in 2013.
“I’m very confident in everything I do,” Kelce said. “We have power plays in the Eagles playbook too. I can block all those plays. I blocked them in college as well. If they want me to put weight on, because we’re going to be running those plays more often, that might change. But I’m successful at everything I do, and that’s pretty much what I weigh.”
The weight question has come up a few times with Kelce. He weighed in at 280 at the combine last February, but said he played at 285 while at Cincinnati. Kelce added some weight before his rookie season, playing at 295.
“I’m waiting to see who’s hired and then obviously let them dictate what they think that I should weigh, what they think I’ll be able to play my best at,” he said. “So that’ll all be determined once we find a new guy. Like I said, it all comes down to basically playing the same game you’ve been playing since you were a kid, and that never changes.”
Kelce noted that most NFL centers aren’t huge, and he is right. Looking at a list of the 36 centers who played at least 400 snaps last year (courtesy of Pro Football Focus), the average weight falls between 304 and 305 pounds. That holds true whether you’re using listed weights or numbers from their pre-draft measurements.
Kelce said the heaviest he’s ever played at is 305. Scheme change is certainly something to keep an eye on, but given the promise he showed as a rookie, the 25-year-old figures to be a useful piece on offense going forward.