Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Reid Impressed With Demetrius Harris

The Kansas City Chiefs have a fairly deep roster but there are a number of players participating at OTAs that are hoping to be surprise additions to the final 53-man roster.

One of those players is Demetrius Harris.

Like San Diego Chargers TE, Antonio Gates, Harris didn’t play football in college. He played basketball.

The Chiefs offered Harris a contract as an undrafted free agent.

Back on May 9th, Harris’ agent, Matthew Pope, told the Kansas City Star that the rookie knew he was facing an uphill battle to make the team.

“It’s going to be a bit of a transition process for him but everyone understands that,’’ said Pope. “He’s not going to come in and start right away. We all know that. He’s a long-term project. We’re thinking big picture here.

Less than a month later, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid singled out Harris as a player that has impressed him thus far at OTA practices.

“I’ll tell you what, I’ll give you one – [Demetrius] Harris has done a nice job,” said Reid. “He came in as a basketball player and has just gotten better and better every day. You see him out here making plays. I’m sure you guys noticed that. I’m proud of him for the way he’s worked, that’s not an easy transition.”

When asked what his expectations are for Harris, Reid said he just wants to see the rookie continue to learn and use his athleticism.

“To learn, just learn. We saw the athleticism,” said Reid. “John Dorsey, that was his guy and he saw the ability there. He had been a real good high school receiver so you bring him in and give him a shot. That’s what those are all about – those tryout positions. He came in and stayed in and made the most of it so far.”

At 6-foot-7, 230-pounds, Harris certainly has the tools to make it as an NFL tight end. He’ll have to battle with veterans Anthony Fasano and Tony Moeaki, as well as draft pick Travis Kelce, if he wants to make the team.

It could come down to how many TEs the Chiefs decide to carry. KC could always try to stash Harris on the practice squad but if they do so, they make him vulnerable to being stolen by another NFL team.

What do you think, Addicts? Can Harris surpass Tony Moeaki to make the team? Will the Chiefs consider carrying four TEs? Or will Harris end up on the practice squad?

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  • chiefdeorty

    You never know he could end up being great. There is Gates and Graham in NO. We could have one of those guys but making the roster could be hard with the numbers thing. And like the writer said on the practice squad he could be stolen, you never know if there was another team who had interest in him before he signed with us. Then if he shows something in preseason well who knows? I just don’t like other teams getting anything from us.

    • berttheclock

      Graham? Now, where did I ever hear that name? Oh yeah, he was the guy still on board when Pioli selected Moeaki at 93 leaving Graham to fall to NO at 95.

  • Doug McD

    It really depends on what kind of depth they have on the practice squad at other positions. If they have more depth at other positions they might carry fewer at that position on the 53 man team. With the thought of being able to call someone up that could fill the hole easier. The more skilled positions are in a higher tier. I say he makes the team and we carry 4 TE’s. Reid will have a small role for him this first year and it will grow depending on his talent shown on the field. Being this new he could be more prone to getting hurt, then the hole could be filled with any position.

  • P Heitman

    If you carry four tight ends, at what position do you sacrifice depth? That’s the question.

    • berttheclock

      Green Bay carried 5 TEs due to their concern of their top TE becoming a FA. Last season, AR only carried one. Several teams have gone with 3. The real question mark is how well, if at all, Moeaki will be at St Joe.

  • berttheclock

    Interesting scenario. As players on NFL taxi squads are FAs, they can be signed by other teams. However, the Chiefs could pay him the minimum roster salary to entice him to remain with the Chiefs.
    But, consider this time frame. Steve Maneri was cut on March 18th and signed a two year deal with Chicago on March 21. According to Jeff Eisenberg of “The Dagger” and Yahoo Sports, Harris was contacted by a Chiefs scout sometime in the latter part of March. He was given a tryout on April 5th and added to the roster in very early May. It looks as though John Dorsey had him very much in mind when he cut Maneri, who did not play that badly last season. Considering this apparent early interest by Dorsey, look for Harris to end up being a “Keeper”.

  • berttheclock

    One other similarity between Harris and Gates is that they both played high school football, but, not at the college level. Harris was an All-State player in Arkansas and had an offer to go to Arkansas State, but, he chose to play basketball in Wisconsin. Gates played football at Central HS in Detroit with his close buddy, Dwight Smith, who ended up intercepting two of Gannon’s passes in the Super Bowl. Gate was told he could play both football and basketball at Michigan State, but, the new football HC, Nick Saban, told him to only play football. He ended up transferring to Eastern Michigan and, then, Kent State, where he could concentrate on just basketball.

  • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

    Nice call Paddy. He is one my undrafted rookie sleepers to make this team. He is quite the story.

  • thabear04

    I say put Moeaki on the PUP list and let Harris take that 3rd spot as our TE. Because if he really great and we put him on the practice squad he is up for grabs.

    • Darkwolf1414

      Everyone believes this kid to be a project. As I understand it, the new CBA only allows teams to take a player from another team’s practice squad if the new team adds him to their active roster. There are TE starved teams out there but do you take the gamble?

      • KCMikeG

        He is a total project. Yes take the chance. Or carry 4 TE’s.

        • Carlos Nevarez

          Let Me ask you this: if you could have A Gronkowski on your team NEXT year bur you had to burn a roster spot this year, would you do it?

          • KCMikeG

            I have no problem with us carrying 4 TE’s this year to protect him. Don’t get me wrong as I really like Kelce’s potential but Gronk comparisons are very premature.

          • Darkwolf1414

            I would have no problem with the Chiefs carrying 4 TEs either. It’s an important position in the West Coast Offense.

  • Danny W

    Can the man play special teams? If so this may keep him on the roster long enough to see if he can develop. If Tony Moe goes down long term (he will) maybe this kid can take his spot as the third tight end on the roster.

    • ladner morse

      Yea Danny… I think the Chiefs would do well to save on Moe’s contract numbers which are somewhere around 1.4 mil.

  • e_racer

    These questions do not have to be answered until the end of training camp. The Chiefs actually have 5 players that could make the team. Fasano, and Kelce are next to sure things to make the squad. Moeaki probably makes it if he can get healthy, and stay that way. Harris, and Brock may fight it out for the final position (if the Chiefs carry 4 TEs). Currently, I believe Harris has a very good shot at winning a spot on the 53 man squad. He probably isn’t strong enough to be a dependable blocker, but all reports indicate he is an athletically blessed receiver.

    Is this team stocked so deeply with receivers, that they have to risk Demetrius Harris to sneak him onto the practice squad? After Dwayne Bowe, the wide receivers drop off in talent. The Chiefs will probably give Baldwin another shot to show he belongs in the NFL. They will keep McCluster, and Avery. I would rather add a pass catching TE, than to keep another WR, who won’t help the team. I think Harris has a really good chance to make this team, but we’ll know a lot more in August.

  • Billie Cabral

    Trade Moeaki!

    • Chief Hokie

      For what? Best we could probably get is a fifth. Not worth it.

      • KCMikeG

        True. No one is going to trade us anything worthwhile so why not keep him if he is healthy? IF he is healthy he would be the best receiver in the group and a great blocker too. Kelce has lots of potential and Harris is very athletic but not having played FB will make him a developmental player at best this year. Fasano is a nice addition with strong blocking skills and decent receiving. Brock sounds like a camp body at best as he has been cut by 5 teams over 4 years and has caught a whole 2 passes back in 2011. Moeaki will be our #1 TE and will return to his 2010 form this year. Go MO!

  • ladner morse

    “If” … Harris continues to progress and,
    “If” … Kelce truly looks like he can contribute in year one and,
    “If” … Fasano really looks like he can “be the man” then,

    I’d say try to get a 4th round pick for Moeaki but, I don’t think teams will be lining up to give that much for a frequently injured TE. Then again… you never know … with all the multi-TE sets being thrown into the ring these days someone may take a flyer.

    Some players can’t stay off of the IR list and it looks like that’s Moeaki’s lot in life.

    • chiefridgy

      I say Moeaki has one more shot…. this is his last year to prove it.

  • Michael Shaw

    If they think the guy is like Gates, then I say let him and Kelce battle it out for the #3 TE slot and the loser, likely Kelce, gets put on the practice squad. Easy choice!

  • Jim Harper

    It would not be out of line to carry 4 TE’s considering how active I think they will be in this offense and with Moeaki’s propensity for injury it would just be smart to carry 4. Secondly this appears to be Dorsey’s boy and he obviously believes in him, so why shouldn’t we?

  • chiefridgy

    Go Chiefs!

  • Bosco Cletus

    It always made me want to puke over the years when Gonzalez would break a record they would say he was just keeping it warm for Gates, then they figured out that he couldn’t stay healthy for more than 3 games.

  • Carlos Nevarez

    I think it sounds like Harris has the higher ceiling. If anything I’d like them to keep Harris as the no. 3 TE option and practice squad T.Moeaki. It doesn’t matter how good you are if you cant get on the field and when you do you drop the ball…..

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Harris is destined for the practice squad. He’d have to play so out of his mind for the next 3 months and I just don’t see that happening with the learning curve. In my unprofessional opinion, his route running stinks. I don’t think he’ll be able to hold Moeaki and/or Kelce off. Maybe in another year though.

  • Trent Taylor

    Tony the Tub guy is on the way out…