Travis Kelce, Two Other Chiefs Land on 'Top 30 Players Over 30' List

In a recent ranking of the best players who will be 30 or older to start the season, three of KC's top contributors made the cut.
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) runs the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during overtime of Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) runs the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during overtime of Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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In recent years, the Kansas City Chiefs have shifted to the philosophy of building through the NFL Draft and getting younger at multiple key positions. With that said, the back-to-back Super Bowl champions still rely on some veteran talents to help lead the franchise on an annual basis.

Three of those players are receiving some offseason flowers for their standing amongst their peers around the league.

In a recent article for Pro Football Focus, John Kosko ranked the top 30 NFL players who will be age 30 or older by the time the upcoming season begins. For Kansas City, the trio of defensive tackle Chris Jones (30 in July), tight end Travis Kelce (34) and left guard Joe Thuney (31) made the cut. Jones and Kelce were slotted inside the top 10, whereas Thuney closed out the entire group at the 30th overall spot.

High praise for Chiefs' veteran standouts entering 2024

Jones (No. 3): "Jones brings consistent dominance and makes game-changing plays while possessing a rare blend of size, speed and strength for a defensive tackle," Kosko wrote. "He can play all defensive line positions, and his two-year 92.2 PFF grade shows his elite level of play.

Kelce (No. 7): "The best tight end in the NFL for several years, Kelce saw his overall grade in 2023 (83.2) dip to the point of it being the second-lowest-graded season of his career (74.7, 2015)," Kosko wrote. "Still, Kelce’s connection with Patrick Mahomes remains one of the best in the NFL."

Thuney (No. 30): "Displaying consistently great play from the guard position, Thuney has been vital in protecting quarterback Patrick Mahomes for the Chiefs' past two Super Bowl runs," Kosko wrote. "Pass protection is his calling card, as his 88.8 PFF pass-blocking grade over the past two years tops all guards and ranks third among all positions."

Jones's inclusion here is warranted, for sure, even though he's one of the youngest players on the list. The All-Pro interior defensive lineman is a force against the pass and is the unquestioned centerpiece of Kansas City's defense. The organization made that clear when it locked him up on a five-year contract earlier this offseason. Jones trailed only Miami Dolphins wideout Tyreek Hill and San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams on the PFF ranking.

Despite seeing his stats take a dip from 2022 to 2023, context for Kelce is important. First and foremost, he suffered an injury right as the season was beginning and he got more banged up throughout the year. 2024 could see him rebound due to better health and surrounding talent, although the future Hall of Fame pass catcher trails one tight end on this list anyway. George Kittle, another 49ers star, occupies the No. 4 spot.

Thuney is one of the more low-key veterans playing at such a high level, albeit he's more than deserving of the mention. He's as steady as ever for Kansas City and should finish out his big-money contract with the team. A pectoral injury does provide a bit of uncertainty as the offseason continues, but the two-time Pro Bowler figures to be ready for the start of the regular season.

Read More: Lamar Jackson 'Not Really Worried' About Playing Chiefs Week 1


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Jordan Foote

JORDAN FOOTE

Jordan Foote is the deputy editor of Arrowhead Report on SI.com, covering the Kansas City Chiefs. He also hosts the One Royal Way podcast on Kansas City Sports Network. Jordan is a Baker University alumnus, earning his degree in Mass Media. Follow him on X @footenoted.