Chiefs Host All-American WR, 1 Other for Tryouts: Report

Getty Rhode Island wide receiver Aaron Parker.

The Kansas City Chiefs not only held their first mandatory minicamp practice on Tuesday, June 14, but they also hosted a couple of pass-catchers for a tryout.

The players brought in for a tryout were wide receivers Damon Hazelton and Aaron Parker, according to Pete Sweeney of Arrowhead Pride, with the latter looking “a little better” during the tryout.

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Hazelton finished his collegiate career at Missouri after playing two seasons at Virginia Tech. During his lone season at Missouri in 2020, he caught 30 passes for 397 yards and 1 touchdown in 8 games played, according to Sports Reference. He entered the NFL undrafted in 2021, and played for the Houston Texans and Green Bay Packers last summer, but didn’t perform well enough to make either team’s 53-man roster.

In October, Hazelton — who stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs 215 lbs — signed with Houston’s practice squad, and would stay with the team until May 31, which is when the Texans waived him, per Pro Football Reference.

Parker played his college ball at Rhode Island and had a decorated career during his time in the FCS. In 44 career games, he recorded 216 catches for 3,450 yards and 30 touchdowns, per ESPN. He was named second-team Associated Press FCS All-American during his senior season, which took place in the fall of 2019.

Parker entered the NFL undrafted and played for the Dallas Cowboys over the summer of 2021. He was waived during roster cutdowns ahead of the regular season and was added to the Carolina Panthers practice squad on September 2, according to Pro Football Reference. Parker remained with the Panthers until he was waived by the organization on May 12.

Chiefs Re-Sign RB Jerick McKinnon

In other Chiefs-related news: Veteran running back Jerick McKinnon has decided to run it back with the Chiefs.

McKinnon has signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on June 13.

After a strong 2017 campaign in Minnesota in which McKinnon accumulated 991 yards from scrimmage as a change-of-pace back, he signed a four-year, $30 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers in March of 2018, per Pro Football Reference.

Several injuries forced McKinnon to be sidelined from September of 2018 until 2020, which is when he played his final season with the 49ers. That season, he registered 572 yards from scrimmage and six total touchdowns.

The Chiefs first united with McKinnon in 2021, when Kansas City signed him to a one-year deal on May 1. He wouldn’t see much action during the first month of the 2022 regular season but saw an increased role when Clyde Edwards-Helaire landed on injured reserve in October. He finished the regular season with 169 yards from scrimmage and 1 receiving touchdown in 13 games played.

McKinnon Led Chiefs Backfield During Playoff Run

McKinnon’s role further increased during the playoffs, when he accumulated 150 rushing yards on 34 rushing attempts (4.4 yards per carry) and caught 14 passes on 17 targets for 165 receiving yards in three games for Kansas City.

His best game during the playoff run was during the Wild Card Round against the Pittsburgh Steelers when McKinnon caught six passes on six targets for 81 yards and 1 receiving touchdown and added another 61 rushing yards on 12 rushing attempts.

McKinnon, 30, re-joins a Kansas City backfield in 2022 that includes Edwards-Helaire, Ronald Jones II, Derrick Gore, Isiah Pacheco, and Tayon Fleet-Davis.

The presence of CEH and Gore on the roster, bundled with the additions of Jones, Pacheco, and Fleet-Davis this offseason makes McKinnon’s role for the Chiefs offense moving forward murky. That’s mainly because he will have to compete for a spot on the roster this summer before he can even try to earn a role offensively come the regular season.

However, in the event that he does manage to make Kansas City’s 53-man roster, McKinnon will likely slot into a role similar to what he had early in the 2021 season: a receiving back with a very limited workload.


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