Kahale Warring’s profile is all about athleticism meeting opportunities, resulting in potential. As the only player in this Dynasty Profile Series that has not yet played a down of professional football, this disclaimer seems necessary. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah had Warring listed as his #67 player overall from the 2018 draft class. He cited him as a “ridiculous height, weight, speed combination” and a developmental prospect with tremendous upside.
Warring has only played competitive football for five years. He began as a senior in high school—after accomplished water polo, basketball, and swimming careers—and earned a chance to play at San Diego State, where he stayed for four years, including his redshirt year. While he posted limited statistics over his career, the context is important. He led the Aztecs in receptions his senior year (31) in an offense that threw the ball just 312 times, and he accounted for 15.3% of the team’s receiving yardage. The PFF receiving grade he received for his 2018 college tape ranked him 19th overall in the draft class.
After landing in Houston as a third-round pick, Warring’s athleticism paired up with his draft capital compares favorably with some of the best TEs currently in the league. At 6’5” 252 lbs. he clocked a 4.67 40-yard dash. More impressively, he posted 36.5 inches and 122 inches in the vertical and the broad jumps respectively, displaying elite level explosiveness for a TE. Based on reports out of Houston and the numbers alone, Kahale appears to be a much better athlete than any of the other TEs on the roster. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compared Warring to former NFL tight end Todd Heap.
After releasing Ryan Griffin and his 70% snap share before the 2019 season, Houston utilized a platoon of Jordan Akins and Darren Fells at TE. While Fells came on strong early-to-mid season, he ultimately fizzled out. He finished with no more than 27 receiving yards in any game from weeks 9 through 17. Outside of a big game against the Chargers, Akins largely did not impress either. Accordingly, Kahale should have the opportunity to leap-frog both players and become Houston’s primary TE in an offense that jettisoned DeAndre Hopkins and should be bursting with opportunities for targets.
This offseason, Head Coach Bill O’Brien showed enthusiasm for Warring’s potential and appears convinced that he has a bright future with the Texans. Recently, quarterback Deshaun Watson has been continuing offseason work, throwing to some of his receivers, Warring among them. The 2020 season has the makings of a potential breakout campaign for Kahale.
Warring fits the specifications of a fantasy football “sleeper” candidate like a glove. He has the willingness and competitiveness to handle run-blocking duties, and the talent to line up in the slot. Versatility is valuable in the NFL. If Warring wins the primary TE job for the Texans, he should be capable of staying on the field for the majority of the snaps. Having just turned 23 this offseason, any role Kahale carves out this coming season should be maintained, with the potential for growth into more opportunities, provided he stays healthy. He can be acquired late in drafts or for very minimal assets via trade in most dynasty leagues, and may even be available on waivers in a few.
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