The Chiefs signed 11 new players who will come to camp and try to make the team. Usually guys like this are vying for special teams slots and backup roles. Most will be cut but every once and a while, an undrafted free agent will make the team and become a star.
Let’s take a look at the recruits with some help from our partners at CBS Sports.com.
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 242 | College: San Jose State
Read & React: Has developing instincts as a linebacker. Struggled early in 2008 with the move from defensive end to outside linebacker. Improved throughout his junior season. Quick to accelerate after making a read. Run defense: Improved in 2009, but remains a significantly raw prospect. Overruns the play and isn’t quick enough to break down and tackle on the cutback. Good straight-line speed and agility to avoid blocks. Improving with his hands to disengage when met by blockers but needs to gain strength in his upper body. Pass defense: Good athleticism to eventually excel in this area. Good initial quickness and shows lateral agility and natural change-of-direction skills in space. Remains too high in his backpedal and needs to get better depth in his pass drops. Tackling: A bit stiff when changing direction, especially when having to tackle smaller, shiftier ballcarriers in space. Improved as the season went on and he became more comfortable with his role. Lunged and led too often with his shoulder early rather than breaking down and wrapping securely. A work in progress and flashes some pop as a hitter. Pass Rush/Blitz: Good burst off the snap as a pass rusher with his hand on the ground. Good bend to get under the offensive tackle’s pads and can close in a hurry off the edge. Intangibles: Rangy build with room for an additional 10-15 pounds of muscle mass without a significant loss of quickness. Made significant improvement from August to December of last year, with the athletic upside to warrant a close look in 2009. NFL Comparison: Shawn Crable, Patriots
More after the jump:
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 248 | College: Kentucky
2008 Stats: Played in all 13 games, starting eight … Caught 12 passes for 204 yards and an excellent 17.0 yards per catch … Top game was four catches for 82 yards in the win over Middle Tennessee … Had a career-long 37-yard catch vs. Arkansas.
Tyler Eastman, OT
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 323 | College: Maine
Life might get a little nerve-racking for Tyler Eastman in the days leading up to the NFL draft April 22. Tyler Eastman did not become a starter at the University of Maine until his junior year. But the 310-pound lineman has aspirations of playing in the NFL. Eastman, a standout offensive lineman for the University of Maine, hopes that day marks the beginning of a career at the next level. “I didn’t start until my junior year. Most of the guys who come out of our league and go to the NFL are four-year starters,” said Eastman, who grew up in Old Town. “But just in those two years, I feel like I’ve grown so much at my position.” Eastman and his teammates drew NFL scouts from Cleveland, Atlanta, Detroit and Kansas City to Orono last Friday for the team’s annual pro day. Another scout came from the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL. Defensive back Brandon McLaughlin, running back Jhamal Fluellen, defensive lineman Jordan Stevens, receiver Landis Williams and quarterback/receiver Mike Brusko also participated. Eastman, who has dropped from 323 pounds to 310, completed 23 reps on the bench press and improved his vertical leap by 3 inches to 29. Offensive line coach Frank Giufre explained what that really means. “I wish he looked this good when he was playing for me,” said Giufre. “He looks fantastic. He’s increased his overall fitness level. He’s lost some body fat and replaced it with lean mass. “I hounded him to get down. I wish he looked that good here.” – Jenn Menendez, The Press Herald
Rich Gunnell, WR
Height: 5-11 | Weight: 198 | College: Boston College
Led the receiving corps with 49 catches and four touchdowns … second on the team with 551 yards, a 11.2 per catch average, and a 42.4 per game clip … accumulated 727 all-purpose yards which was second on the team … had seven catches for 114 yards in the ACC Championship Game against Virginia Tech, including a 16-yard touchdown reception … registered three catches for 78 yards and a touchdown against Maryland … had four receptions for 52 yards at Wake Forest, including a 36-yard catch on third down in the final drive that led to the game-winning score … recorded five receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown at Florida State … had four receptions for 34 yards against Notre Dame … caught three passes for 24 yards against Clemson … recorded five receptions for 37 yards at North Carolina … returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown vs. Virginia Tech and had two catches for 15 yards … recorded a career-high 11 catches for 123 yards at NC State, including a 12-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter … had five catches in the first four games … recipient of The Quick Family Scholarship.
Jeremy Horne, WR
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 200 | College: Massachusetts
Third team All-CAA. Starting receiver who came into the season with most significant playing time on the roster … Syracuse transfer also returns kickoffs … Second on UMass with 50 catches and 895 receiving yards with eight receiving touchdowns … Ranks third in CAA and 33rd in the NCAA in receiving yards per game at 76.4 … Tied for Eighth in CAA and 77th in NCAA in catches per game (4.2) … 895 receiving yards is ninth-best single-season in history … Tied for 12th- most catches at UMass in a season with 50 … Four games with 100-plus receiving yards … 22 kickoff return for 302 yards (13.7 average) … Two catches for 35 yards at #13 New Hampshire (11/15) … Fourth 100-yard game with 141 yards on nine catches including a career-long 58-yard touchdown catch vs. Maine (11/8). Also returned three kickoffs for 61 yards … Four catches for 86 yards and a 10-yard kickoff return at Rhode Island (11/1) … On his 22nd birthday, had career-best 182 receiving yards (fourth-best in UMass history) on five catches, three of which went for touchdowns (16, 21, 54 yards) vs. Bryant (10/25) … Three catches for 40 yards vs. #9 Richmond (10/18) … Two catches for 28 yards along with three kickoff returns for 30 yards at Northeastern (10/11) … Second-career 100-yard receiving game with eight catches for 114 yards vs. #16 Delaware (10/4). Caught 40-yard TD for the first score of the game on opening drive … Top receiving yardage total with 58 on two catches at #11 FBS Texas Tech (9/20). Also had two kick returns for 47 yards … Returned career-best six kickoffs for 90 yards at #7 James Madison (9/13). Limited to one catch for two yards in loss … Career day with 10 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns at Holy Cross (9/6). Scored TDs on 26 and 19 yard receptions. Had career-long 47 yard reception … Opened season with team-highs of four catches for 37 yards vs. Albany (8/30). Snagged a 17-yard touchdown to ice the win in the fourth quarter. Had a 28-yard kickoff