Kansas City Chiefs Undrafted Free Agents: Need-to-Know Info for Every Signee
The 2014 draft is over; a general manager's job is not.
If you learned anything about Kansas City Chiefs GM John Dorsey last weekend, it's that the man obviously spent an inordinate amount of time playing Guess Who? with his children.
The Chiefs' first-rounder, edge-rusher Dee Ford, threw a wrench into the mix, as nobody—especially the Philadelphia Eagles, per WPVI's Jeff Skversky—envisioned that possibility seeing the light of day.
When the Eagles traded back from 22 to 26 last night they targeted Dee Ford a pass rusher from Auburn, but Andy Reid & KC took Ford at 23— Jeff Skversky (@JeffSkversky) May 9, 2014
The selection of third-round cornerback Phillip Gaines triggered the same brand of head-scratching befuddlement.
On Day 3, the team finally attended to its obvious needs, reality's roller coaster ride began to even out and Chiefs fans stopped questioning life as they know it.
However, if you know anything about the Chiefs' eagle-eyed talent evaluator, then you shouldn't be surprised to learn that the team has signed a small army of undrafted free agents.
Throughout the draft process, no club with six picks will be able to mask every void on its roster.
And considering that the 2014 iteration saw a record-breaking 98 underclassmen declare—making it arguably the most talent-rich draft in the sport's history—a number of names who, in any other year, would've been selected, found themselves roaming on the undrafted outskirts.
Make no mistake, though, these aren't the Little Giants. A handful of them were expected to be drafted, but for one reason or another, the chips didn't fall as expected.
For them, short-term goals are long shots. But without the opportunity, the holy garment known as your Priest Holmes jersey would've never seen its first stitch.
Albert Wilson, WR, Georgia State
Height: 5'9", Weight: 200 lbs
Albert Wilson is a player who can, within a year or so, potentially crack the 53-man roster. This offseason, he’ll compete with Weston Dressler for the backup position at slot receiver.
He needs to polish a few aspects of his game; he needs to be sharper when planting on comebacks, and cornerbacks occasionally reroute him with jams. Furthermore, his hands are inconsistent.
However, he flaunts 4.43 40-yard-dash speed, and he’s a threatening return man on special teams.
Wilson's wheels touched down at KCI on Sunday:
Just landed in Kansas City !!! pic.twitter.com/5xF9v6Dohr— Albert Wilson (@MrKeepEmFroze) May 11, 2014
James Baker, RB, Idaho
Height: 6'0", Weight: 237 lbs
James Baker has a legitimate shot at making the Chiefs roster this season.
He’s not going to juke defenders out of their shoes, and he needs to improve his pass protection.
But that being said, he’s 6’0”, 237 pounds and runs a 4.55 40 time. That’s not torching the field, but it’s identical to Steven Jackson’s time prior to entering the draft—he’s faster than one would assume. As a receiver, Baker also totes secure hands.
On tape, he bulldozes mostly anyone who had the courage (or stupidity) to attack him above the waist, and he also bounced off of knee tackles from time to time.
Baker also regularly aligned behind the quarterback, accruing experience in the pistol, which also earns him points when projecting him into Kansas City’s offense.
In terms of skill sets, he and Cyrus Gray are polar opposites, and they’re be pitted against each other this offseason.
Baker relayed the move to The Spokesman-Review's Josh Wright :
Former Idaho running back James Baker told me he's headed to the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent.— Josh Wright (@SR_JoshWright) May 10, 2014
David Van Dyke, S, Tennessee State
Height: 6'0", Weight: 185 lbs
Footage of David Van Dyke is scarce, to say the least. And considering that Blaine Gabbert has a highlight film, they should never serve as a reference when gauging expectations.
From the little film (NSFW) there is, Van Dyke is a deep safety who appears to have slightly above-average closing speed, and he seems to be an impressive form tackler, squaring his shoulders with textbook technique.
However, his outlook will be a mystery until preseason rolls around.
Tennessee State's twitter account confirmed the news:
Ben Gottschalk, OT/G, SMU
Height: 6'5", Weight: 293
This offseason, Ben Gottschalk's ceiling is likely the practice squad. Depending on his development, he may be able to work his way onto a regular-season roster in the future.
He's a technically sound prospect who has experience at both guard and tackle, but defenders overpower him from time to time, and his grade of athleticism doesn't distinguish him.
Terez Paylor of The Kansas City Star notes that Gottschalk has been invited to the Chiefs camp.
Charcandrick West, RB, Abilene West
Height: 5'10", Weight: 204 lbs
If you're a Chiefs fan who appreciates hard running, trust me when I suggest that you fast-forward the above video to the two-minute mark.
Look, is Charcandrick West going to rip off a signature Marshawn Lynch run-for-the-ages in every game? Hardly. But regardless of how inferior the competition is, the amount of tackles he breaks isn't supposed to happen.
On tape, he doesn't appear to have exceptional top-end speed, though, which is common for smaller, bulky rushers (e.g. Ray Rice). So, the 40 times are probably more indicative of top-tier acceleration.
Regardless, West's hands and pass protection will ultimately define his odds in surviving the 53-man cut, but his rushing capabilities speak for themselves.
West confirmed the signing:
Thank you lord. All praise to him pic.twitter.com/9zOG1vymUH— Charcandrick West (@Charcandrick26) May 11, 2014
Darryl Surgent, WR, Louisiana Lafayette
Height: 6'0", Weight: 185 lbs
Tom Martin, sports anchor for KATC TV-3, stated that Darryl Surgent is coming to Kansas City.
Former #RaginCajuns WR Darryl Surgent appears to have signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.— Tom Martin (@TomMartinKATC) May 11, 2014
Tape is all but impossible to find, so it's impossible to assess the ins and outs of his game.
While his hands are a ringing endorsements, nothing else stands out, and his speed appears to border on average.
Cairo Santos, K, Tulane
Height: 5'8", Weight: 160 lbs
Solely based upon his stats, I wouldn't expect Cairo Santos to supplant Ryan Succop any time soon.
Obviously, his season perfect (aside from extra points) 2012 season jumps out, but his body of work is pedestrian.
In all likelihood, that one standout season drew the attention of John Dorsey. And considering that Succop, while nearly automatic from 45 yards in, is inconsistent when attempting longer kicks, there's a high probability that Santos has a cannon for a leg. But again, that's purely speculation.
If nothing else, his presence will push Succop the extra mile during training camp.
A number of Brazilian media members claimed that the kicker has signed on (per Google translate) with the Chiefs.
BREAKING NEWS O K Cairo Santos (Tulane) acerta contrato com o Kansas City Chiefs e se torna o segundo brasileiro na NFL!— oQuarterback (@oQuarterback) May 11, 2014
Daniel Sorensen, S, BYU
Height: 5'8", Weight: 160 lbs
Daniel Sorenson has few redeeming traits. He not only understands his position, he understands those of his teammates. Plus, he's a versatile special teams player.
But his closing speed is average at best, and he doesn't change direction with any semblance of fluidity, which makes for a nightmarish matchup against speedy downfield receivers.
Sorenson can also fall prone to misjudging angles while in pursuit.
Basically, he's the second coming of Kendrick Lewis. And like Lewis, Sorenson may be able to clench a roster spot on a team that primarily plays Cover 2. But in the NFL, his skill set simply doesn't align with Cover 1.
Cole Pensick, C, Nebraska
Height: 6'2", Weight: 275 lbs
Despite playing for collegiate powerhouse, scouring the internet for any worthwhile information on him only results in scraps, and college film on him is seemingly nonexistent.
Just judging by his measurements, he'll be forced to camp out in the weight room and pack on a considerable amount of pounds.
Having said that, backup Eric Kush struggled to find his feet last season, so there's definitely opportunity to be had.
KLKN's Ian Hest reported the move:
Joey Demartino, RB, Utah State
Height: 5'11", Weight: 210 lbs
Again, aside from a few highlights from practices (with frustrating angles), virtually no film exists of Joey Demartino.
He clocked in with a 4.43 40 time at his pro day, which is above average, but there's little else analyze.
Bodie DeSilva of SDPreps.com relayed the news:
RB Joey Demartino (Mt. Carmel HS/Utah State) has signed on with the Chiefs as a UDFA...— Bodie DeSilva (@SDPreps) May 11, 2014
Kacy Rodgers, S, Miami
Height: 6'2", Weight: 208
Kacy Rodgers is a cornerback-turned-safety convert who has a year-plus of experience at the position. Excluding stats, little other information is available.
Being that the Chiefs didn't draft a safety, there will likely be a vacancy, though.
The official Twitter account for the Miami Hurricanes football team confirmed the deal:
Vyncent Jones, C, Utah
Height: 6'3", Weight: 305 lbs
This is a center who will give Eric Kush insomnia. Vyncent Jones doubles as the world's biggest pancake.
He lines up every snap with ill intentions and drives through the whistle, and he also shows notable awareness.
Jones' most noteworthy drawbacks are his hand size (9") and his lateral quickness, but if nothing else, he's likely to give Kush a run for his money.
Amy Donaldson, writer for the Deseret News, added that he Jones will also try out for the Pittsburgh Steelers:
Ben Johnson, OLB, Tennessee-Martin
Height: 6'3", Weight: 225 lbs
The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson reported that the Chiefs will host linebacker Ben Johnson:
LB Ben Johnson to the Kansas City Chiefs, according to a source— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) May 11, 2014
In projecting prospects to the NFL, there's one thing worse than college highlights to form your opinion around: (VHS-worthy) high school tape.
The only thing to gather from the above video is that Ben Johnson is a seemingly hard-hitting inside linebacker.
Pinpointing anything else would be unfair.
Kansas City needs to upgrade its depth at inside linebacker, and if any roster changes occur at the position, the UDFA will likely need to be a special teams ace.
Jon Jennings, QB, Saginaw Valley
Height: 6'2", Weight: 195 lbs
Jon Jennings will be headed to Chiefs camp, according to MLive's Michael Niziolek:
Jennings is a dual-threat quarterback—who may be converted to a different position—with a decent arm, and unsurprisingly, there isn't any full-length game tape on him.
The fact that he elected to sign with the Chiefs is somewhat baffling, considering with the addition of Aaron Murray, the team's already chock-full with quarterback talent.
Kona Schwenke, DT, Notre Dame
Height: 6'4", Weight: 303
Notre Dame's Director of Football Media Relations, Michael Bertsch, stated that Kona Schwenke has signed with the team.
Schwenke is a prime of example of how numbers can lie. When looking at his stats, you come away thinking the guy is subpar at best.
When you look at his tape, your opinion U-turns.
Schwenke was one of the unsung heros of Notre Dame's high-profile defensive front.
His surprisingly quick hands and variety of effective pass-rushing moves (club, swim, bull rush) make him a dark horse to at least breach the practice squad.
Stetson Burnett, G, Tulsa
Height: 6'4", Weight: 303
There are people in witness protection who have more online information readily available than Stetson Burnett. Rivals.com seems fairly high on him, though, as he performed impressively against the Big 12:
Stetson Burnett, a 6'5", 314-pound offensive lineman from Lawton, Okla., played both guard and tackle while paving the way for the Hurricane rushing attack this season. Despite missing two games with an injury, Burnett played 663 snaps and graded over 85-percent in all 10 games this year. He had high grades against Big 12 opponents Iowa State and Oklahoma with 97 and 95-percent grades, respectively.
The selection of Zach Fulton greatly helps Kansas City's need at guard, but he'll likely need a few years of experience before he becomes a trustworthy pass-blocker.
Enlisting more competition at the position can only help the cause.
The Lawton Constitution's Blake Colston broke the news.
MacArthur and U of Tulsa grad Stetson Burnett has signed a free agent deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.— Blake Colston (@CBlakeColston) May 11, 2014
Kenneth Carter, DT, Auburn
Height: 6'4", Weight: 280
Kenneth Carter was part-time starter and rotational defensive tackle at Auburn (projects as a 3-4 defensive end).
However, he never recaptured the magic of his 2011 season.
According to sports agent Alfredo Tuck, Carter will try to do so at Chiefs camp.
@RavensInsider Kenneth Carter DE AUBURN received a camp invite to the KC Chiefs. Joins teammate and 1st Rd pick of the Chief's Dee Ford— Alfredo Tuck (@tuck_alfredo) May 11, 2014
Will Latu, OT/G, Abilene Christian
Height: 6'5", Weight: 315 lbs
Knights247.com writer Justin Miller claimed that Will Latu will be brining his talents to Kansas City.
Former Gibbs OL Will Latu joins the Kansas City Chiefs as UDFA.— Justin Miller (@J_MillerSports) May 11, 2014
Latu is an imposing offensive tackle with solid fundamentals and impressive body control/balance.
Like Eric Fisher, he overextends at times, which is a recipe for edge-rushers to swim over him and make a beeline toward the quarterback.
Expect Kansas City to give him a trial run at guard.
Shawn Shupperd, DE, Eastern Kentucky
Height: 6'5", Weight: 246 lbs
Remember Shawn Shupperd's name.
First off, Shupperd clarified that the ink hasn't dried yet—he's working out for the Chiefs before they (potentially) offer him a contract.
@KingofthaHill8 I'm not picked up yet man, i gotta go done there do my thing, show em what I got, then we'll see don't jinx it now! Lol— Shawn Shupperd (@shuppiloop81) May 11, 2014
They'll offer him a contract.
To this point, of the UDFAs (with film) that I've seen, Shupperd is one of two—the other being Charcandrick West—who I would bank on securing a roster spot.
His pass-rushing arsenal includes a variety of moves (including a devastating one-arm bull rush), which are greatly complemented by massive arm length.
Shupperd's combine metrics lists said length as 32.88" inches—the same length as Dee Ford's, coincidentally. However, the linebacker himself says that they're actually 35", and after watching film of him, I tend to give him the benefit of the doubt.
@AaronA79 lol I know right, they measured wrong this year, apparently they shrunk three inches from last year haha, they really are 35— Shawn Shupperd (@shuppiloop81) May 9, 2014
He looks like a natural as an edge-rusher, but Shupperd's game is far from one-dimensional.
Eastern Kentucky's standout secures the edge in the run game, forcing rushers to cut back inside (or be tackled). He shows enough speed to track down and thwart wideouts on bubble screens, and he's a revered special teams player.
John Dorsey did his homework, and judging by the tape, it looks like might've just unearthed a gem.
Brandon Denmark, LB, Florida A&M
Height: 6'4", Weight: 230 lbs
Brandon Denmark is a tweener. Florida A&M (he transferred from Illinois) alternated him between outside linebacker and slot corner (the latter wasn't the best of ideas).
There are times when he flashes explosiveness off the line, and he has the tangibles to be a decent edge-rusher.
Having said that, he lacks upper-body strength—unless he has leverage, tackles lock him up fairly easily—and near-nonexistent pass-rushing moves. Denmark also has a tendency to play upright.
No matter where he lands, he'll need to at least 15 to 20 pounds onto his frame.
Denmark's odds of joining a practice squad would likely be better for a team like Philadelphia, considering its famed use of the wide-nine technique accentuates the linebacker's pros while minimizing his cons.
WCTV's Jason Kahn reported that Denmark received a camp invite:
#FAMU LB Brandon Denmark invited to rookie camp with the Kansas City Chiefs.— Jason Kahn (@JasonKahnWCTV) May 11, 2014
Tevrin Brandon, CB, Monmouth
Height: 5'10", Weight: 180 lbs
Tevrin Brandon may be a favorite to make the practice squad, but given how stacked Kansas City is at cornerback—Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith, Marcus Cooper, Chris Owens and now Phillip Gaines—it's hard to envision him being included in the top 53 (this year, at least). That not because his talent isn't worthy of consideration, though—it is.
Brandon employed a healthy amount of bump-and-run at Monmouth, so that automatically appeals to Bob Sutton's defense.
He changes direction and accelerates to top speed in relatively seamless fashion, showcasing first-class closing speed (4.34 40 time).
Speaking of, he recently told NFLDraftDiamonds.com:
What separates me is my overall speed and natural ability to play bump and run. Unlike some CB’s I don’t think any WR will run by me. Also some guys aren’t willing to play special teams. I’m the total opposite and love them from all phases as a gunner to returner.
Brandon exhibits the skills to be a good but not great returner, but his special teams savvy is best exhibited on punts and field goals, as the corner periodically bolts off the edge and blocks the attempts.
He'll likely be pitted against Owens (and perhaps Gaines) as a slot corner.
ChicagoSportsRadio.com's Chris Shanafelt announced the team has signed Brandon:
The Kansas City Chiefs will be signing former UConn/Monmouth CB, Tevrin Brandon.— Chris Shanafelt (@ChrisShanafelt) May 11, 2014
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