The Chiefs added two more offensive players in Cincinnati tight end Travis Kelce and Arkansas running back Knile Davis as the NFL Draft continued Friday night. But the bigger news was the offensive player they retained.
The Chiefs’ effort to send discontented left tackle Branden Albert to the Miami Dolphins in return for a second-round draft pick failed, and the day ended with Albert still on the roster. Unless the Chiefs lower their asking price for Albert or accept a future draft pick, Albert is destined to remain in Kansas City.
“He’s a good football player and can help our team out,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.
Albert, the Chiefs’ franchise player, recently signed a one-year contract worth $9.83 million but has not participated in the team’s offseason conditioning program. He was absent for last week’s mini-camp.
Reid said the Chiefs would welcome Albert back if he opted to return.
“It’s part of the game and players go through this,” Reid said. “Branden Albert is a good kid. We’ll see how things work out as we continue on.”
Reid indicated the Chiefs may continue to try to trade Albert or at least listen to any offers they might receive. But Reid wasn’t optimistic the Chiefs would be able to deal him to Miami or elsewhere.
“I don’t think it’s any secret,” he said. “It’s been written about and reported about to where everybody knows there was communication between us and the Dolphins. That gave everybody in the league an opportunity to present themselves and that didn’t take place.”
The Chiefs didn’t have a second-round pick Friday after it was sent in March to San Francisco as part of a trade for quarterback Alex Smith. The Chiefs used the first pick in the third round, 63rd overall, on Kelce.
The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Kelce joins Tony Moeaki and free-agent addition Anthony Fasano at tight end. Moeaki didn’t practice in last week’s minicamp after having arthroscopic knee surgery at the end of last season. Reid has said Moeaki will be ready for the start of training camp in July.
“He’s going to go in there and compete and we’ll see how it all works out,” Reid said of Kelce. “He gives you another offensive threat, somebody that the defense will have to honmor with his speed and athletic ability.
“He doesn’t have to play on the line. You can move him out as a wide receiver and he’s a legitimate receiver in that spot.”
Kelce played three seasons at Cincinnati, missing all of 2010 because of a failed drug test. He was used mostly as a blocker until his senior season, when he caught 45 passes for 722 yards and eight touchdowns last year.
He said he tested positive for marijuana at Cincinnati, leading to his suspension.
“It happened in the past,” Kelce said. “It’s in the past. I’m very remorseful and I’m very prideful of who I am now and that the Chiefs organization is going to get who I am today. I’m not going back down the road I went down.
“It was a one-time thing. I haven’t touched it since. I’m a guy that’s a clean-cut guy. I’m going to give the organization everything I can.”
Kelce’s brother Jason is a center for the Philadelphia Eagles, who until this season were coached by Reid.
Regarding Kelce’s drug suspension, Reid said, “I believe he’s put that behind him. He’ll be the first to tell you it was an immature move he made.’’
Later in the third round, the Chiefs drafted Davis with the 96th overall pick. A 5-11 and 227 pounds, Davis gives the Chiefs a power back to serve as a complement to Jamaal Charles. Davis ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine but has had fumbling and injury issues.
“He can give you the power game of a big back,’’ Reid said. “He can also give you the finesse game with his quickness and his speed. He’s very similar to Charles in that when he touches the football, he can go the distance.
“If you take the fumbling out of his game that you saw this year, you see a running back that you would put up there with any of the top running backs in the nation.’’
Davis fumbled 13 times in his three seasons at Arkansas. But Reid said, “We think we can help him with that.’’
Davis missed all of the 2011 season because of a broken ankle. He missed two games last season because of a sore hamstring.
He had a big season in 2010, rushing for 1,322 yards and 13 touchdowns. But in his other two seasons with the Razorbacks, he rushed for a total of just 546 yards and six touchdowns.
The Chiefs are scheduled to make five picks Saturday, the final day of the draft: No. 99 (fourth round), No. 134 (fifth), Nos. 170 and 204 (sixth) and No. 207 (seventh).