Each summer during training camp, an unexpected player always seems to make a serious case for his place on a team’s 55-man roster. For the Kansas City Chiefs, one of those hidden gems over the past two years has been wide receiver Jody Fortson.
The former undrafted Valdosta State product originally entered the league in 2019 as a hybrid receiver-tight end prospect. However, the team has elected to keep him at wideout, where he has thrived for two straight offseasons but narrowly missed his chance at an active roster spot due to the depth at the position. Now it appears the 25-year-old Fortson is making a position switch in order to improve his chances of sticking in 2021.
On April 7, professional wide receiver coach David “D-Rob” Robinson tweeted some photos from Fortson’s recent workout with the caption, “In the lab with Jody Fortson Kansas City Chiefs TE year 3 on deck they gotta feel us now!!!”
Per his official website, Robinson has also trained fellow Chiefs wideouts Mecole Hardman and Chad Williams, in addition to 43 other draft picks including stars such as Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, Emmanuel Sanders, Calvin Ridley, Chris Godwin and Adrian Peterson.
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Fortson Shows Progress in New Hype Video
Robinson’s reference to Fortson as a tight end was a minor detail, but a notable one nonetheless. An astute fan also followed up to ask the coach whether the switch was a new development, to which Robinson responded, “You missed the switch it just happened.”
It’s not immediately clear whether the decision was issued by the Chiefs’ coaching staff, Fortson himself or someone within his camp.
Still, the 6-foot-6, 230-pounder, who has spent the past two seasons on the practice squad, is putting in the work to ensure the switch is mutually beneficial. Some of Fortson’s efforts can be seen in a recent hype video posted by his agency, Premier Global Sports, on April 8.
Chiefs Have Shown Infatuation With Developmental TEs
Following the departure of Sammy Watkins to the Baltimore Ravens, there is an increased opportunity for playmakers in Fortson’s position to contribute in the passing game this season.
Even with All-Pro Travis Kelce holding down the TE1 spot for the foreseeable future, Andy Reid and staff have shown an infatuation with developmental No. 2 types since arriving in 2013. Among that group of players has been the since-departed Ricky Seals-Jones and Demetrius Harris, both of whom compare favorably to Fortson’s size and athleticism profile. For now, Fortson’s immediate competition will be veteran Blake Bell, Nick Keizer, Evan Baylis and Sean Culkin.
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!