Breaking News:Travis Kelce’s new protege has never heard a Taylor Swift song, but he’s excited to learn from the Chiefs star

FORT WORTH, Texas — There may not be a better NFL landing spot for a rookie tight end than the back-to-back Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs given the opportunity to team up with three-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes and nine-time Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce.

Rookie tight end Jared Wiley, Kansas City’s first of two fourth-round picks (131st overall) in the 2024 NFL Draft out of TCU, is fired up to join the defending Super Bowl champions. He is the first tight end the Chiefs have drafted since taking backup Noah Gray in the fifth round (162nd overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft. Gray enters the final season of his rookie deal in 2024.

About a million things were going through my mind honestly,” Wiley said Tuesday when asked what he was thinking when the Chiefs drafted him. “What a place to be though. Kansas City is the powerhouse of the NFL. One of the top powerhouses in all the sports right now. To be able to go there and just learn their culture and be able to be in that winning environment, I think it’s going to be really fun for me.”

One of the top things on the rookie Horned Frog’s NFL to-do list is simple: take notes on everything Kelce does that has allowed him to lead tight ends all time in receiving yards per game (71.2), 1,000-yard seasons (seven) and 100-yard receiving games (37).

It’s going be really fun. I can’t wait to just be a sponge and just be able to absorb as much information as I possibly can,” Wiley said. “Travis has done a really good job at doing what he does, and he’s done it for a really long time. Everybody talks about the plays that he makes and all that, but I don’t see a lot of people talking about the fact that he’s in like Year 12, Year 13 [2024 will be his 12th NFL season]. That’s a long time in the NFL. I’m really happy to learn the productivity that he has put into his career, but I’m also excited to learn about just how he does his day to day stuff, how he takes care of his body and his mind where he is able to play this game for so long.”

Kelce, who turns 35 on Oct. 5, guaranteed he will remain with the Chiefs for the next two seasons after reworking his contract to become the NFL’s highest-paid tight end (two years, $34.25 million — $17.125 average per year), which led to Wiley breathing a sigh of relief knowing he’ll have the opportunity to learn under Kelce for at least the next two seasons.

Him signing that extension, there’s probably nobody that was more excited than me,” Wiley said. “Just being able to have a little bit more time with him to just learn under him and see what he does every day. That’s, in my opinion, the best tight end really to ever play the game, honestly. I know that it might take a couple of years for me to even start kind of scratching the surface to be on that level. So the fact that I now can just kind of sit back and just be like ‘Ok how can I find my way on the field in Year One?’ Ok, Year One’s done. Ok. Now, how can I start transitioning my game to something else?’ That was a really big deal for me.”

His two seasons at TCU in 2022 and 2023 were an especially big deal for Wiley, a player who fought to receive opportunities in the passing game his first three years of college football at the University of Texas. He became a key contributor to the Horned Frogs’ 2022 national runner-up season and a featured target in 2023.

There’s a lot I’m taking away [from my time at TCU],” Wiley said. “I got my confidence as a player back. On the field stuff, my confidence skyrocketed whenever I was there. I shout out the coaches for that. They did a good job helping me just kind of figuring out that aspect of the game out again. Then, everything else just kind of came with it. My reps went up, my catches went up and any other stat that I had went up. So I’m just super grateful to be able to play somewhere like TCU. … They’re definitely the reason I’m here right now.”