There is plenty to like about Chiefs UDFA DE Jeffrey Fitzgerald.
He was a force on the Kansas State defense in his only year on the field for the Wildcats, played two years previously at another BCS program — Virginia — and has off-the-charts athleticism. But if you listen to Fitzgerald talk about his biggest strengths, it sounds like a rundown of what Chiefs coach Todd Haley looks for in a player.
“I feel like just the mental aspect of things. I am very situationally aware of things like down and distance situations. Once I get into the film room and know how the other team operates and their tendencies, I feel like it gives me an advantage so I can anticipate what’s about to happen.
“Also, I feel like I can run very well and do a good job of continuously getting after the passer.”
Judging by the actions of last year’s training camp, Fitzgerald better be able to run well if he is going to stand out during the first week. Even with the Chiefs in better shape and likely looking at slightly less running, Fitzgerald would do himself a huge favor if he’s the first defensive lineman across the line every day.
There has never been any doubts about the physical skills he brings to the table, but there are the lingering doubts about issues that caused him to transfer from Virginia to K-State. Those worries are something that Fitzgerald can put to bed by following through on his words and excelling in the film room.