The subsequent Travis Kelce? Payments TE Dalton Kincaid desires nothing however Tremendous Bowl wins

Nobody in Dalton Kincaid‘s interior circle noticed the Buffalo Bills coming.

The Packers? The Chargers? The Cowboys? All of them appeared to be in play in the course of the 2023 NFL Draft — a minimum of that is what Kincaid’s agent and faculty coach thought.

“I believe that was utterly surprising that he would go to Buffalo,” stated Freddie Whittingham, the Utah tight ends coach.

However there are few locations that swimsuit Dalton Kincaid higher than the Payments. The Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles would have been good spots for him, in fact. Nonetheless, the Payments needed to be a pleasing shock.

His hobbies definitely line up along with his new teammates. He is a giant golfer — similar to quarterback Josh Allen — and Kincaid loves Settlers of Catan, a board recreation that he noticed in his quarterback’s locker. “That excited me,” Kincaid stated. “So hopefully we’ll get some video games in a while within the coming months.”

Certainly, they’re going to settle.

However, extra importantly, the Payments-Kincaid match is about his championship mentality. Kincaid is, in any case, the identical man who introduced his formidable profession targets on the NFL Mix. He was requested the place he noticed himself in 5 years.

“5 rings can be preferrred,” he stated.

How does he really feel about that aim since becoming a member of the Payments?

“That is the aim every year,” Kincaid advised FOX Sports activities. “You bought to make the playoffs first. That is the aim, main as much as that time. However then I imply, if you happen to’re actually not enjoying for that trophy every year, you are in it for the mistaken causes. It is a workforce aim. It is what everybody form of desires to perform.”

Skip Bayless on Cowboys lacking Dalton Kincaid by one choose

The Payments traded as much as draft Utah TE Dalton Kincaid No. 25 general, proper earlier than the Cowboys’ choose. “I do not assume I’ve ever been extra crushed,” Bayless says.

If there’s one factor that is clear about Kincaid, it is his capacity to merge his private targets with the workforce’s targets. As long as he is not on the golf course, he is not going to speak trash. (However on the golf course, you may hear all about his 350-yard drive. He will not speak as a lot about his in any other case suspect recreation, per Whittingham.) Kincaid will not be going to complain, and he is not going to ask for extra targets or extra snaps. 

He simply desires extra wins. 

“In the end, I would not actually care if I play a recreation and I do not catch a ball and we win. Or I play a recreation and I catch 5 balls and we win,” Kincaid stated. “So for me, it isn’t as a lot these private accolades and the statistics however extra so what the win-loss column says in the course of the yr.”

Do not roll your eyes. I get that gamers spout these clichés. However in keeping with the Utah teaching employees, Kincaid actually lives this fashion.

When Utah was recruiting him as a switch out of the University of San Diego — the place he had 44 receptions, 835 yards and eight touchdowns in 2019 — the teaching employees grew involved he may ditch the Utes as a consequence of their deep group of tight ends. Cole Fotheringham and Brant Kuithe would begin the 2020 season atop their depth chart — over Kincaid. That did not trouble him.

“Hey, let’s simply go 13-personnel, coach,” Kincaid joked with Whittingham. (13 personnel is a not often used formation by which three tight ends are on the sphere.)

With the switch portal rising in prominence and gamers searching for methods to raise their manufacturing and enhance their draft standing, most prospects need guarantees. They wish to know they’re going to play. They need a path to manufacturing. Kincaid was completely different.

“I used to be actually impressed at his confidence and his willingness to compete and to not fear about if, ‘Hey, am I going to be the man if I switch there?'” Whittingham stated. “I am not going to ensure something.”

It wasn’t simple entering into 2020, when COVID-19 shortened his season. His stats climbed in 2021: 36 catches, 510 yards and eight touchdowns in 13 video games. Then in 2022, he put up the numbers and movie that drew NFL scouts’ consideration. Kincaid had 70 catches for 890 yards and eight touchdowns. And most notably, he put up 16 receptions for 234 yards and a landing in opposition to USC in a 43-42 additional time win.

“I gotta assume if we had lined up on that two-point conversion and had not scored and misplaced the sport, he would not have been speaking about nevertheless many receptions he had for 250 yards or no matter it was. He would have been devastated,” Whittingham stated.

That USC recreation is not really Kincaid’s favourite efficiency from his faculty profession. Simply 5 video games after his breakout recreation, the Utes beat USC once more within the Pac-12 championship. Kincaid had simply 4 catches for 40 yards, however he received his second Pac-12 championship in as a few years. 

And he did it whereas preventing via compression plate fractures in his again. 

He suffered the damage within the Colorado recreation the earlier week, however X-rays got here again damaging. The workforce did not uncover the fractures till it took an MRI after the Pac-12 championship. The damage ended his season early and saved him out of the Rose Bowl. But it surely’s clear he was happy with his yr. He stepped up in a method the workforce hadn’t initially anticipated.

On the outset of the season, the Utes had constructed their offense round Kuithe and Kincaid. However Kuithe suffered a torn ACL midseason. At that time, Whittingham knew the workforce’s resolution. He put a Professional Soccer Focus stat sheet on offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig’s desk. It confirmed Kincaid’s goal ratio, receptions per goal and yards per reception after goal — amongst different issues.

“I believe we have the man,” Whittingham advised his OC. “The primary within the development man.”

That is likely to be what the Payments have sometime. When Buffalo drafted him, an AFC place coach texted me to say: “He will be their model of [Travis] Kelce.” 

It will not occur in a single day. Kincaid will — very similar to he did at first at Utah — share snaps with place mates, largely notably with tight finish Dawson Knox. After which there are the opposite Payments playmakers like Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis and James Cook.

However down the road? You may see the place Kincaid’s profession is headed.

“He was our Kelce,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham stated. “Yeah, that is precisely what it was. Kelce is so good at simply maneuvering and simply being artful along with his routes. Dalton’s the identical method. He is bought that very same capacity to arrange defenders and get them off-balance and simply has a knack for getting open.”

The Payments definitely need assistance for Diggs and Allen within the passing recreation. They want somebody who can open up the short recreation and the center of the sphere. It is enjoyable to look at Allen throw bombs, but it surely’s not at all times environment friendly. Kincaid can assist there, doubtlessly unlocking a brand new component for Buffalo’s already potent offense.

Kincaid refuses to get forward of himself. He would not appear to wish to talk about how he may enhance the Payments offense. He simply emphasizes his intent to construct a rapport with Allen.

“He got here up and launched himself to me the primary day,” Kincaid stated of his QB. “Clearly, I already knew who he was. It is fairly cool now that that man’s certainly one of my teammates. So I believe loads of it is actually simply form of constructing chemistry. One in all most vital issues you are able to do is simply being on the identical web page with the quarterback, and that comes with actually attending to know him and making a relationship.”

Kincaid added: “It is crucial, with a quarterback, form of how they demand and management that offense, and also you positively really feel that presence [from Allen].”

The tight finish’s largest contributions in Buffalo will come within the passing recreation, with Kincaid serving as the kind of playmaker who can play all around the offense — in-line, from the slot and from the perimeter. However each the Whittinghams needed to make one factor clear: He’s a prepared blocker. And that is part of his recreation that Kincaid has improved and can proceed to enhance. 

The Payments drafted him, nevertheless, for his arms, athleticism and uncommon understanding of tips on how to get open in opposition to each man and zone coverages.

“He is simply a type of uncommon gamers that comes via your program and makes such a huge impact,” Kyle Whittingham stated. “It is only a full participant. It is exhausting to seek out something in any respect damaging to say. 

“He is the entire package deal.”

Previous to becoming a member of FOX Sports activities because the AFC East reporter, Henry McKenna spent seven years overlaying the Patriots for USA TODAY Sports activities Media Group and Boston Globe Media. Observe him on Twitter at @henrycmckenna.

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