The Kansas City Chiefs may not be finished adding TEs.
The team attended Baylor’s Pro Day and showed some interest in a little known TE prospect by the name of Les Brown.
Why is Brown virtually unknown?
Because he didn’t play college football.
Brown has a really interesting story. He’s been an athlete all his life but actually played basketball in college, not football, for the Westminster Griffins. For the last two years he’s been working in the accounting department at Gay Global Capital.
Brown decided he wanted to make a go of it in the NFL and so he attended Baylor’s Pro Day, where his brother Braden plays offensive tackle.
Despite not having any recent football experience, Brown wowed scouts, including representatives from the Chiefs, with his athletic talents. The 6’4″, 238-pound Brown ran a 4.44 in the 40 (on a sprained ankle) and added a 39-inch vertical jump and 10’3″ broad jump. He also did a nice job catching the ball, according to Sports Illustrated.
As you’ll see in our exclusive interview below, it has been decided that Brown is an unrestricted free agent, meaning that any team that wishes to sign him may now do so. More after the interview.
Les, you are a very interesting prospect that until recently, most fans and probably even draft experts, haven’t heard of. You didn’t play football in college but instead chose to go with basketball. I’ve read that you did play football in high school.
What position did you play?
I was an all-state wide receiver in high school and also played defensive back and special teams. My junior year, I led the state in TD receptions during the regular season. As a senior, I helped lead my team to the 4A State Championship Game.
What prompted you to try to get the attention of NFL scouts this year?
Athletics has played an invaluable role throughout my life and the lives of my family members.
My younger brother Braden, the starting offensive right tackle for BYU, really encouraged me to pursue football once my basketball career ended. He believes that I have the talent and work ethic to ball out on Sundays and I tend to agree! His support and encouragement has been amazing.
I’ve been blessed with athletic talent and want to use those talents while I’m young and can contribute to the on-field success of a team.
Have you found out yet from the NFL whether you’ll have to enter the draft or if you can be immediately declared a free agent?
My agent has confirmed that I am considered an undrafted rookie, which according to Article 6 Section 11 of the CBA authorizes me to negotiate and sign with any team immediately.
I’m hungry for this opportunity and ready to move forward and show a team what I can contribute.
Talk a little bit about the workout and what it was like to work in front of all those NFL scouts, especially given your lack of experience.
I would first like to thank head coach Bronco Mendenhall and strength coach Jay Omer for allowing me to participate in their BYU Pro Day. Without their approval, I would not be in the position that I am in now so I really appreciate their consideration.
I really enjoyed working out for the scouts—especially getting their feedback and instruction.
Even though Pro Day is a high adrenaline, high pressure venue, I was at ease because I knew I had prepared well; all I had to do was repeat what I had done in training hundreds of times.
My dad always taught me that top performers reach their highest achievements on the biggest stages—for me, Pro Day was a big stage.
Can you talk a little bit about your interaction with the scouts from the Chiefs in particular? Did they have any specific questions for you?
The Chiefs scout was a nice guy and I really enjoyed talking with him at the Pro Day.
He took a personal interest in getting to know me and my background. He also had me take a test.
I am grateful that my interaction with him has led to this opportunity.
It can be difficult for even late-round draft picks to make an NFL roster, let alone undrafted free agents or guys off the street. Guys often find themselves bouncing around from team to team and from the roster to the practice squad and back again. Whether you are drafted or get a camp invite after the draft, how are you preparing for the uphill climb it will be making it in the NFL?
I know I can help a team achieve the highest level of success, and I will persist in my efforts until I find the right mutual fit.
I have a strong resolve, I am disciplined, and I am hungry. I will do whatever it takes to reach my goal of contributing on Sundays.
I trained very hard to showcase my abilities on Pro Day and I will continue to train in order to be ready when my opportunity to make a team presents itself.
Which NFL team did you pull for growing up?
Growing up in Utah, we didn’t have a local pro team, so I had to adopt an out-of-state team.
I really looked up to my Uncle Preston, and he was a rabid Vikings fan, so I joined him in rooting for Minnesota.
I know you have to be diplomatic here and say you’d be happy to play anywhere but is there a particular team/organization that you could see yourself fitting in with?
You’re right, I’ll be happy to play anywhere!
As a basketball player, I realize my background is non-traditional, so I need to find a team willing to give me a shot—a team that recognizes me as an athletic, coachable player, who is willing to earn the respect of coaches and players alike.
You ran a 4.44/40 for the scouts which is very impressive for a guy your size. I also understand you had a bit of a sprained ankle. How did you sprain the ankle and how did you stay in such great shape despite being out of athletics for a while?
My right ankle was pretty tender because I was only 12 days removed from a grade 3 sprain, but the adrenaline and emotion surrounding the Pro Day along with my relentless desire to achieve helped me power through it.
I hurt it at the NFL Regional Combine in Cleveland, OH on March 17th.
I owe a huge thank you and shout out to Chad Ikei at Ikei Performance for allowing me to train with him for the three months leading up to Pro Day. Chad is the best trainer around and my training with him really helped me to be at the top of my game.
Antonio Gates was able to make the transition from basketball player to All-Pro TE. Is he a guy you look to for inspiration as you make a go at this?
Antonio Gates is an incredible player, and I’ve always admired his ability.
Likewise, I’ve been inspired by many other TEs with basketball backgrounds, including Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez.
The TE position in the NFL is really evolving. The big guys are getting more action than ever before and with teams moving to multiple TE sets, the position is very valuable to an offense. What do you think you’ll be able to bring to an offense? Do you see yourself as more of a pass catching threat, a blocker or an all around threat?
With my speed, I have the ability to get down field, stretch the defense and make plays as a pass catching threat.
But my size, frame and mentality will also allow me to play a role in blocking schemes so I can be an all-around threat.
I think that is what a lot of teams will want in a TE because it creates flexibility from a personnel standpoint if the TE can put a hand on the ground, as well as flex out in space.
Lastly, is there anything you’d like to add about why an NFL team should take a chance on you and bring you to camp? What can you add to their organization?
I consider myself a winner, and I’ll bring that attitude to work every day.
I’ll be the first one in and the last one out.
I’ll do the work—whatever it takes to be a great teammate and coachable contributor.
My “path” to the NFL is far from conventional but my journey to this point is what defines me as the person and athlete that I am today. I am hungry and determined to be an impact player on Sundays.
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Chiefs signed Brown to a contract after the NFL Draft. Sure, the team has Tony Moeaki and Kevin Boss but past those two, there really isn’t much depth at TE. With the way the league is moving now, with teams using multiple TE sets, a player like Brown could be a nice project for the Chiefs to perhaps add to their practice squad.
As noted above, Brown wouldn’t be the first basketball player to make the transition to NFL TE. Antonio Gates, one of the league’s best at his position when healthy, did exactly the same thing.
What do you think, Addicts? Will Brown be worth a camp invitation?
Special thanks to Les for taking the time to speak with us and to Evan Brennan for setting everything up.