Kansas City Chiefs: Which undrafted free agents will make the roster?

Kansas City Chiefs: Which undrafted free agents will make the roster?

by May 13, 2019 1 comment

The Chiefs signed many undrafted free agents after the draft, but which of them have the potential to make the roster this season?

When most teams sign undrafted free agents, they do it with the idea that they will fill up the roster for training camp. Many don’t have the potential to be long-term NFL players, but at least can help in the offseason.

Still, there is always at least one guy every year that surprises everyone, when no one expected anything out of them. Suddenly, coaches see the true potential of that player and keep him on the roster.

With Kansas City signing 17 UDFAs, which are most likely to make the roster?

Signed UDFAs: Dino Boyd, Jalen Burrell, Jamal Custis, Felton Davis, Mark Fields, Jack Fox, Darius Harris, Gary Johnson, Jamire Jordan, Andre Lindsey, T.J. Linta, John Lovett, Dakari Monroe, Kyle Shurmur, Cody Thompson, Tim Ward, and James Williams.

Jamal Custis

Jamal Custis is a big body wide receiver from Syracuse. Standing at 6-foot-4 and 214 pounds, he brings a lot of size at receiver. He also has 33 and 7/8 inch arms and runs a 4.5 40-yard dash. Custis is athletic and presents a good profile as he aspires to be an NFL receiver.

Custis wasn’t great in college, but in his senior year, he had a second-team All-ACC bid. He put up decent stats, having 901 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Custis did not have the most productive college accolades, but at least put up a good final season.

Custis has had his issues for sure. While he has good vertical speed, his quickness isn’t amazing, and he struggles to beat press man coverage. Custis needs to put on some weight and continue improving. However, he makes a lot of sense for the Chiefs to keep on the practice squad, or even the roster, to see if he can continue to get better over time.

James Williams

James Williams is a running back from Washington State. With a smaller frame, Williams did not have great athletic testing. He was only able to run a 4.58 40-yard dash and a 7.01 three-cone drill. Those aren’t terrible numbers, but considering he is only 197 pounds, teams were hoping he would be faster.

Williams is really good in the passing game. These past two years, he has had 1,042 yards receiving, which is 95 more yards than his rushing totals. If Williams is to make this team, it will be because of his receiving skills.

Williams is a long shot, but considering how thin Kansas City’s running back room is, if he can impress in rookie minicamp and training camp, maybe Williams can get a shot of competing for a practice squad bid.

Darius Harris

Darius Harris is a linebacker from Middle Tennessee State, who was highly productive in college. At 6-foot-2 and 238 pounds, he fits the prototype for linebackers that new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo craves. Spagnuolo loves linebackers who are smaller but can cover the whole field well. Harris fits that body type which is perfect for the Chiefs.

Harris was productive in college, totaling 278 tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss, and 11.5 sacks over four years. He also earned First Team All-Conference-USA honors last year. Harris was great in college, which made NFL teams start to love the guy.

Right now, Harris has an undisclosed shoulder injury, which has kept him out of rookie minicamp. That hasn’t stopped general manager Brett Veach from giving him praise, saying, “He can be a guy that doesn’t just make the roster, but starts one day.” Clearly, the Chiefs feel Harris has potential and will not want him to get away.

Gary Johnson

Kansas City was not finished drafting linebackers by signing Gary Johnson from Texas. Johnson is very athletic, running a 4.43 40-yard-dash, while also having a 121-inch broad jump. Anytime you watch Johnson, his athleticism shows up on tape very quickly.

Johnson was very productive at Texas, putting up 90 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks in his senior season. Big 12 coaches took notice, and made him second-team All-Big 12 Conference. Johnson made real impressions on coaches with his very high energy and motor to play.

Johnson has legitimate concerns. He only is 6-feet tall, and 226 pounds. If he wants to succeed in the future, he desperately needs to put on weight. Steve Spagnuolo prefers his linebackers to be around 235 to 240 pounds. Johnson also needs to learn to tackle better, but the athletic profile is there to be a potential future player for the Chiefs. Clearly, the Chiefs see serious potential in Johnson, and if he develops, he could be the ultimate steal.

Conclusion

Kansas City had a very good undrafted free agency class. They found potentially four guys that could be future commodities for this team. With extensions looming for Patrick Mahomes, Chris Jones, Kendall Fuller, and possibly Tyreek Hill, they need to find guys in the undrafted free agency market. If they can do that well, they can keep their depth, and be a great team for a long time into the future.

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