KC claimed Schiltz off waivers from Tennessee, who had the former ESU tight end on its practice squad for most of the 2013 season.
For the Chiefs, it’s a move that makes sense because they just lost Sean McGrath to retirement, and there have been questions about the position. Anthony Fasano returns, but after that there is really no name-brand, dependable option, Demetrius Harris is big at 6-7, but he’s probably more raw at the position than Schiltz. Travis Kelce appears to be Fasano’s main backup, so Schiltz has a fair amount of competition for that third TE spot.
For Schiltz, it’s a second chance to latch on to an NFL team. Schiltz became a go-to guy as Emporia State’s offense became more wide open his junior and senior season, catching 44 balls for over 500 yards and four scores as the Hornets won the Kanza Bowl. Schiltz’s size won’t overwhelm anybody — 6-foot-3, 245 pounds — but he could always get space in third-down situations and his body positioning was always solid if coverage was tight. He also developed into a good blocker as his career progressed.
Schiltz became an integral part of Emporia State’s offense, and with the Chiefs’ tight end position in flux, he has a chance to become a third-down specialist and then expand his role from there. Tight ends didn’t catch a lot of balls from QB Alex Smith last year (less than 60 catches combined out of almost 550 passes thrown), but the role the Chiefs’ short passing game had in the team’s overall offense was well-documented, even as the team got more accustomed to Andy Reid’s offense and used a more vertical approach in the back half of the season.
Schiltz seems to be a good fit. Now he has to distinguish himself in a relatively crowded field.