Over the last couple of seasons, the Kansas City Chiefs have had some success with undrafted free agents. Jovan Belcher started at inside linebacker last year next to Derrick Johnson, Verran Tucker started twice last season while also starring on special teams and no one has shown just how important special teams are to a roster spot than LB Cory Greenwood.
Will anyone in the current crop of UDFAs stick this time around? Scouts Inc. broke down the undrafted free agents in the AFC West and ranked the top five with the Chiefs taking the top two spots.
1. Kansas City — Oregon DL Brandon Bair: Bair has the long arms, quickness and bulk to transition from defensive tackle to defensive end in Kansas City’s base three-man front. He’s a hard worker who needs to improve his pad level and hand fighting to realize his potential in this scheme.
2. Kansas City — Michigan State TE Charlie Gantt: The Chiefs have also done well to give Gantt a look in training camp. Gantt isn’t a game-changer or a dominant in-line blocker but he has the tools to develop into an effective short-to-intermediate target and wall-off blocker.
As of now, it looks like the Chiefs complete lack of movement in free agency will go a long way towards helping both Blair and Gantt make the squad. If Scott Pioli would have been able to keep Shaun Smith or beat out the Denver Broncos for Ty Warren, Blair’s tough road to the 53 man roster would have been that much more difficult.
As for Gantt, he could have as clear of a path to a roster spot as any of the UDFAs. Tony Moeaki is locked in as the starter with veteran Leonard Pope behind him, having started 14 games during his two seasons in Kansas City. Even if you consider Pope a lock, things are wide open after that. Jake O’Connell played in 15 games last year with two starts, but Gantt seems to bring a lot of the same things to the table.
During his time at Michigan State, Gantt was compared to Eagles TE Brent Celek, who has played in every game since he arrived in Philadelphia in 2007 after failing to get invited to the NFL’s scouting combine.