Chiefs TE Jody Fortson emerged as an elite run blocker in 2022

Kansas City Chiefs TE Jody Fortson could turn out to have a big role on offense in 2023 and not just as a pass-catcher.

Fortson ended up playing 21% of the Chiefs’ offensive snaps in 2022, the most to this point in his career. He took a big step forward in one specific aspect of his game — where he was rarely utilized the season prior. In 2021, Fortson appeared on the field for just 15 run-blocking snaps in Kansas City. He saw more than quadruple the run-blocking snaps the following season.

Among tight ends with 80 or more run-blocking snaps in 2022, Fortson managed the eighth-highest run-blocking grade in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. Over 60% of his run-blocking snaps came on zone running schemes, while just under 20% of his snaps came on gap/power schemes.

Now, Fortson dislocated his elbow in Week 15 and spent some time on injured reserve before he was activated for the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LVII. It was a little surprising when Blake Bell was benched in favor of Fortson for the AFC title game and Super Bowl LVII, but it makes a bit more sense when you consider how much he’s improved as a run blocker and how important running the ball effectively was in each of those games.

Given that the Chiefs played one of the highest rates of 12- and 13-personnel looks in 2022, it’s reasonable to expect that Fortson could find himself on the field even more in 2023.

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Story originally appeared on Chiefs Wire