New Chiefs OL Tyler Eastman was understandably disappointed when he wasn’t drafted, but he told the Bangor Daily News how those feelings quickly disappeared.
“About 30 minutes after the draft ended, I got a phone call and I was a member of the [Kansas City] Chiefs,” said Eastman, who reports to Kansas City on Thursday for a two-day rookie minicamp.
Eastman had flown to Atlanta two weeks ago to work out for the Falcons and had been contacted by a handful of other teams. Atlanta and St. Louis both called him during the draft, but neither wound up choosing him.
Instead, he’ll get a shot with Kansas City, which last year signed free-agent linebacker Jovan Belcher, Eastman’s teammate for three seasons at UMaine.
“I sent him an e-mail [Tuesday] morning. I’m hoping he’ll send something back and have some advice for me,” Eastman said.
“It’s one of those unique stories about a kid that lives right down the street, came to our [summer] camp and went through a high school career where not many people noticed him,” UMaine head coach Jack Cosgrove said last season.
Eastman trained hard during the offseason, working out with UMaine assistant track coach and former Bears football standout David Cusano. He dropped 13 pounds early this year.
If he’s already been dropping weight he’ll fit right in with Todd Haley’s strict conditioning standards. He’ll do a lot for himself if he leads the way for linemen in the test at the start of training camp.
Obviously it’s early to try and handicap the favorites to make the roster from the current crop of UDFAs, but Eastman should have as good a chance as anyone. Kansas City did not draft a tackle and Eastman is a late bloomer that should improve immensely under the supervision of pro coaches.