Kansas City Chiefs training camp is around the corner. The club has announced dates and times for all practices, which will begin on Wednesday, July 28th and conclude on Wednesday, August 18th.
A lot of players will have to show up and prove their skills to win a spot on the roster. Among them, forgotten solid players that could surprise some observers this year. Let’s choose four players to check out.
Evan Baylis, TE
After going undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, Baylis has played for a total of six NFL franchises with the Chiefs being his most recent team so far. The offense is super crowded though, and with Travis Kelce being the obvious number one, the runner-up will have to fight tooth and nail to get a spot.
The Chiefs signed Baylis back in January after a tryout during the postseason. He could really find his place in the special team as a possible blocker for example. Do you think Baylis could beat out Blake Bell and Nick Keiser?
As a professional football player, he has been on the practice squads for each one of the teams he played for, but he appeared in five regular-season games for Arizona last season, contributing mainly on special teams. Who knows? He could be one of the upsets in the Tight end room!
Austin Edwards, DE
The Chiefs have had Edwards on their radar for quite some time. However, Edwards went signed with the Atlanta Falcons as a rookie free agent and made the team’s practice squad for the regular season.
The Chiefs ended up signing Edwards to their practice squad when the Falcons season was over and a new regime came in to replace Dan Quinn. With the Chiefs pass-rusher Frank Clark facing legal issues from his latest gun charge, the team might need to replace him somehow.
Taco Charlton, the former first-round NFL Draft pick who has been on three teams the last four seasons, is the most likely candidate to replace Clark, should he miss time, but Edwards could get some time too depending on his performance at camp.
Maurice Ffrench, WR
An undrafted free agent signee last offseason, Ffrench was a member of the Chiefs’ practice squad last year. He was a versatile star player at the University of Pittsburgh before joining Kansas City, piling up 2,832 all-purpose yards during his career. He got into the end zone as a receiver, a ball-carrier, and a return man. Not bad for one man.
Ffrench’s senior season at the University of Pittsburgh was very impressive, as he led the nation in catches-per-game (8.7) and broke Larry Fitzgerald’s single-season school record with 96 receptions.
He could be a good surprise.
Jerick McKinnon, RB
The former San Francisco 49ers running back is a very solid player and could help the Kansas City Chiefs offense. “The Chiefs, they just got a fantastic teammate,” said 49ers tight end George Kittle. “He is so incredibly fast and very twitchy.”
McKinnon, who signed a one-year, $990,000 contract with the Chiefs on April 30, impressed during his first minicamp with his new team, showcasing the same soft hands and fluid moves he displayed in his first seasons with the NFL.
As the beginning of the season is coming really fast, the roster will start getting more and more defined, and players will fight to get more playtime and avoid a late cut. Should be interesting!