The training camp is pretty prolific so far. Loads of rookies and free agents are looking good.
Another player made an impression last week: his name is Jody Fortson. He is no stranger to big plays in camp since he was one of the stars of last year’s camp while working with the wide receivers.
This year, though, with some extra muscle and weight, he is now working with the tight end group.
Fortson made a nice leaping catch down the right sideline during team drills. On the play, Patrick Mahomes scrambled to his right before seeing Fortson behind two defenders and delivered the pass while on the run.
Fortson was originally added to the Chiefs roster prior to the 2018 preseason. While his stats at Valdosta State College were not incredible then, at 6’6″ and 230 lbs, Fortson has incredible size and athleticism that gives him a large catch radius.
Saturday’s practice was by far his best practice. He earned repetitions with the first-team offense ahead of veteran TE Blake Bell. While the rookie Noah Gray seems to be the No. 1 tight end behind Travis Kelce, Fortson could be in line to earn the No. 3 spot next season.
Training with pads will define who will need to stand out as a blocker and gain a spot in the final 53-man roster.
“What I need to work on? Just everything,” Gray said. “Jody (Fortson) has been phenomenal, when Trav (Kelce) gets back he’s been a great teacher and mentor, and really all the other tight ends like Nick (Keizer), all those other guys, Evan (Baylis) and Blake (Bell), they’re just really a blessing to be teammates and be a part of. So, really a credit to those guys for helping me progress along this journey.”
Fortson has once again been one of the faces of the training camp, and could be a surprise in the receiver group. He has remained on the practice squad for a couple years, so he obviously has strong qualities, otherwise the Chiefs front office would not keep him that long.
Obviously, with the very busy receiver locker room, he did not have a chance to show his skills just yet. One reason is he is not the fastest one of the bunch, however his size could be an obvious advantage against defensive backs. He’s got potential as a possession receiver and he’ll always have that going for him.
With the Chiefs looking for new receivers, it’s quite possible Fortson could play his cards much better than previous years. He’s been with the organization for a few years now, and he needs to prove he earned himself a shot this season. Let’s note also that Fortson has already lined up as a tight end and was pretty efficient in that role. He has the size for it and sure there is space behind Kelce in the tight end locker room.
Fortson’s roster status will be interesting to follow.