As the K.C. Chiefs are yet to add a receiver at the time of writing this, it becomes more realistic that they’re banking on in-house candidates to break out in 2021. One under-the-radar contributor who could make his mark and surprise Chiefs Kingdom is former UDFA wide receiver Jody Fortson.
Fortson was originally added to the Chiefs roster prior to the 2018 preseason after helping lead Valdosta State college to a league championship as a senior. In two seasons, Fortson recorded 37 receptions for 477 yards and 7 TDs. While those aren’t exactly eye-popping stats, Fortson had several highlight-reel catches for the Blazers and proved to be a nice red zone threat for them. At 6’6″ and 230 lbs, Fortson has incredible size and athleticism which gives him a large catch radius and jump-ball ability.
Fortson put this on display for the Chiefs in a 2019 preseason game against the Green Bay Packers in which he got exclusive playing time. Fortson had a few catches including one for a touchdown and one in which he gave his best Megatron impression.
In addition to a few nice catches, Fortson also flashed on special teams where he force a fumble on a kick return against Green Bay.
Unfortunately, we haven’t seen a ton of Fortson since then as there was no preseason in 2020 and Fortson has remained on the practice squad for a couple years. For what it’s worth, Fortson actually ran with the first-team receivers in practice a few times prior to the 2020 season, but of course the Chiefs were pretty loaded at receiver, so he didn’t really get a shot during the season.
Obviously, there are reasons for Fortson not getting much chance to play since he’s been here. He’s still limited in his skill set and isn’t the fastest guy in the world as he’s been clocked as having a 4.8 40-time which is pretty slow for a receiver. Luckily for Fortson, he’s got serious size advantage, and even though most defensive backs will be fast enough to keep up with him, they can’t do anything to offset his length and size. He’s got potential as a possession receiver and he’ll always have that going for him.
With the Chiefs looking a little bit thin at receiver at the moment, it’s quite possible this is the year the team unleashes Fortson and gives him a spot on the main roster if he can show out in camp. He’s been with the organization for a few years now, and if there was a time for him to prove himself, it’s now. It’s also worth noting that Fortson has lined up at tight end before and there’s definitely room for competition if the Chiefs wish to utilize him. He has the size for it.
Jody Fortson’s roster status heading into camp will definitely be an interesting storyline to follow this summer.