The tight end position for the Kansas City Chiefs is one that isn’t taken lightly. Fans are forever engraved with memories of Tony Gonzalez, the greatest tight end of all time, so they fully understand, and have seen, the importance of the position.
It seems like John Dorsey understands the same way, as he’s made several moves to add depth and competition at the position.
He signed free agent veteran, Anthony Fasano last season, and, picked up Sean McGrath off the waiver wire. Dorsey also felt the need to spend a draft pick on Travis Kelce, whom they selected in the third round of last years draft. At one point, the Chiefs entered training camp with four tight ends who had the potential to be starters, Tony Moeaki being the fourth.
But perhaps his best signing at the position yet, is former basketball player, Demetrius Harris
The 6-foot-7 power forward hasn’t played an actual game of football since his senior year of high school, but has the right body and athleticism to excel at the tight end position in the NFL.
I think most of us will be keeping a close eye on Harris during training camp so I wanted to make him the focal point in today’s player profile.
First, How Did He Get Here?
Harris spent his college days playing basketball for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he averaged 9.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per-game in his senior season (2012-2013).
His football background isn’t really that flashy. Terez A. Paylor wrote a great article about Harris last week in which he gave the last recorded football stats for Harris.
he hadn’t played football since his senior year at Jacksonville (Ark.) High School, where he caught 47 passes for 738 yards and nine touchdowns as a receiver his senior season and was all state.
Realizing there wasn’t much of a future in basketball, Harris decided to make the conversion back to football and was signed by the Chiefs as an un-drafted free agent.
A Look At His 2013 Stats:
There aren’t any.
Harris made the practice squad his rookie season and that’s where he stayed. Dorsey signed him as a developmental player and having a whole year in Andy Reid‘s system before making the team was the plan.
Reports out of OTA’s indicate that Harris looks like a player that could make the team in 2014, not just the practice squad. The Chiefs do need the depth even though Kelce is set to return. Last year showed how important depth is, especially in Andy Reid’s west-coast style of offense.
Not to mention how much Alex Smith likes to find his tight ends up the seams and across the middle.
Demetrius Harris is an intriguing talent and John Dorsey might have another diamond in the rough on his hands.
Like I mentioned before, Harris has been a hot topic around OTA’s, as most of the defensive backs who try to cover him are having a hard time doing so. He excelled in the redzone during rookie camp and that’s an area where 6-foot-7 pass catching players come in handy.
I’m excited to see more from this guy as typically the basketball conversion works out nicely for tight ends. You have to think that Harris will mostly be used up the seam and in the redzone, much like the Saints do with Jimmy Graham, another former basketball player.
You can list pretty much all the best tight ends from the last 8 years and they all have a background in basketball which makes a lot of sense. Basketball players are used to catching the ball at the highest point, especially post players who gather rebounds. You also have to have quick feet in basketball, which translates well into football when running routes.
Combine all that with the size of a power forward and BOOM! (Madden voice) you have a prototypical tight end in today’s NFL.
If Harris can catch on quickly within the system, Andy Reid will find ways to get the ball in his hands.