The Chiefs will host 18 area prospects during the club’s local pro day Tuesday afternoon. College players representing the Big XII, Pac 10, Mountain West, Missouri Valley, MIAA and Heart of America Conferences combine to form this year’s field.
Each prospect will undergo measurements, physical testing, run through position-specific drills and take a Wonderlic Exam prior to a coach/player meal that concludes the day. On-field drills will be conducted by the Chiefs coaching staff with GM Scott Pioli, Director of College Scouting Phil Emery and other members of the Kansas City’s personnel department in observance.
NFL rules allow each of the 32 clubs to make use of their own facility to work out players who either: (i) attended college in the same “metropolitan area” as the club’s facility or (ii) whose hometown is in the same metropolitan area as the club’s facility.
By NFL definition, the “Metropolitan area” includes only contiguous suburbs. Mileage circumference (e.g. 50, 100 or 150 miles) is not used to make the determination of what consists of the “Metropolitan area.” A player’s hometown is defined as the location of the high school he attended, or the legal residence of his parents.
Though the list of locals doesn’t always produce NFL talent, the event always gives former area prep and collegiate stars an opportunity to try out for their hometown team.
Last year, of the 17 area players who worked out for the Chiefs, only Kansas S Darrell Stuckey Kansas (Washington High School) was drafted. Stuckey was a fourth-round pick of the Chargers and appeared in one game last season.
Two other participants from last year’s local pro day went on to surfaced in training camps or on practice squad rosters last season.
Former Colorado State T Cole Pemberton, a Shawnee Mission East graduate, signed a rookie free agent deal with the Texans, spent 2010 on Houston’s practice squad and re-signed with the team in January.
Also, former University of Missouri defensive tackle Jaron Baston, of Blue Springs High School, signed with the Broncos after going undrafted. He would spend time with the Lions prior to the start of the 2010 regular season as well.
This year’s participant list includes…
LB J.R. Bryant (6’3, 240)
William Jewell (Wayne County, GA)
Briefly a member of Oklahoma’s football program, Bryan transferred to William Jewell last season. He recently explained the reasoning behind his transfer to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, citing a misunderstanding with the OU coaching staff. Bryant ran a 4.55 40-yard dash in front of NFL scouts at Missouri’s Pro day and also posted a 38 ½ inch vertical jump.
TE Demarco Cosby (6’2, 230)
Central Missouri (Lincoln Prep)
Cosby was a first-team All-MIAA performer at tight end for the Mules in 2010. In 14 starts, Cosby hauled in 71 passes for 970 yards and 10 TDs. Over the past two seasons, Cosby has been the most productive tight end across all NCAA levels with 110 receptions for 1,483 yards and 15 TDs.
OL Erik Dahl (6’3, 299)
Missouri State (Shawnee Mission Northwest)
A two-time NJCAA All- American at Butler County Community College, Dahl started 22 consecutive games at center after transferring to Missouri State. He was a Missouri Valley All-Academic selection in 2010.
LB Jake Duren (6-1, 225)
Mid-America Nazarene (Littleton, CO)
The former University of Colorado and University of Northern Colorado linebacker finally found a home in Olathe, KS. He thrived in his new environment, earning first-team NAIA All-American honors at Mid-America Nazarene University. Former Chiefs QB Jonathan Quinn, who is now the head coach at MANU, believes that Duren will get a shot in the NFL despite off-field issues that forced him into the NAIA ranks.
Duren was a unanimous first-team all-HAAC defensive selection last season.
LB Stephen Franklin (6-0, 235)
Southern Illinois (North Kansas City)
Franklin played in front of NFL scouts at the inaugural Eastham Energy College Football All-Star Game this January. A team captain, he led Southern Illinois with 76 tackles in 2010 and was a second-team all-Missouri Valley selection. Franklin played in every SIU football game (50) since joining the program as a true freshman in 2007.
LB Andrew Gachkar (6-2, 229)
Missouri (Blue Valley West)
Gatchkar was a first-team all-Big 12 selection as a senior in 2010. He led the Tigers in tackles (81), interceptions (2), forced fumbles (2), fumble recoveries (2) and blocked kicks (2). Though he didn’t receive a combine invite, Gatchkar worked out for scouts at Missouri’s pro day last month. His 4.58 40-time would have ranked among the top-five times posted by linebackers at the combine.
TE Beau Gadwood (6-3, 260)
Fort Hays State (Shawnee Mission Northwest)
Gadwood earned honorable mention all-MIAA accolades for the second consecutive season after finishing the year with 38 receptions for 523 yards and a touchdown. He spent one year at Butler County Community College prior to joining the Tigers.
QB Mike Garrison (6-4, 215)
Fort Hays State (Shawnee Mission Northwest)
A transfer from Butler County Community College, Garrison enjoyed a productive senior season at Fort Hays State. He completed 250-of-420 pass attempts for 3,513 yards with 25 TDs and 12 INTs to finish second in the MIAA.
DB William Griffin (6-1, 205)
Mid-America Nazarene (Grandview)
Griffin played three seasons at MANU, tallying 86 tackles and 11 INTs. He picked off five passes for the Pioneers last season, returning one for a touchdown. Griffin earned first-team all-HAAC honors in 2010.
OL Derek Hall (6-5, 303)
After beginning his collegiate career as a defensive lineman, Hall started at right tackle for Stanford as a senior. He’s been generating some late-round buzz of late despite only spending one season as a starter. Hall was named honorable mention all-Pac 10 by conference coaches.
LB Willie Horn (6-1, 225)
Northwest Missouri State (Blue Springs South)
Horn started all 14 games for the Bearcats and finished second on the team with 104 tackles. He was a first-team all-MIAA selection.
DB Ryan Jones (5-11, 195)
Northwest Missouri State (Liberty)
Jones worked out at the University of Missouri Pro Day in March. He is a Division II All-America selection after recording 56 tackles and intercepting six passes (two for TDs) last season. Most draft analysts are giving Jones a late-round grade. He reportedly visited with the Bears last week.
WR David Leonard (6-4, 203)
Wyoming (Shawnee Mission West)
Leonard led the Cowboys in receiving as a junior and senior. His best season came in 2009 when he posted the fourth best single-season receiving total in Wyoming history with 77 receptions. Leonard was also an effecting punt returner throughout his collegiate career.
RB Jake Lynch (6-0, 225)
William Jewell (Belton)
Lynch was a two-year letterman at Emporia State prior to transferring to William Jewell in 2009. At Jewell, Lynch earned second-team all-conference honors in 2010 and was a third-team selection in 2009. He led the Cardinals with 470 rushing yards on 102 carries last season.
DB Marcus Martin (6-1, 210)
Northwest Missouri State (Holden)
Martin logged 67 tackles, 5.0 tackles for loss and a forced fumble in six starts for Northwest Missouri State last season.
OL Ian Vistine (6-6, 295)
Washburn (Blue Springs)
Vistine was a three-year starter for the Ichabods, playing both guard positions. With Vistine serving as an 11-game starter in 2009, Washburn gave up just 11 sacks all season and set a school record with a 4.9 yards per carry rushing average.
DB Justin Welch (5-11, 190)
Northwest Missouri State (Belton)
Welch started all 14 games for the Bearcats and finished his senior season with 37 tackles, an interception and nine pass break-ups to earn second-team all-MIAA honors. His father, Mike Welch, is a long-time member of the Chiefs IT department.
P Jared Witter (6-2, 212)
Pittsburg State (Shawnee Mission West)
Witter handled punting duties at Pitt State the last four seasons. He also served as the Gorillas place kicker as a freshman, sophomore and junior. Witter was the only member of his team to earn first-team all-MIAA recognition last season and ranking eighth nationally with a 43.3-yard punting average. He was also included as an honorable mention All-American on the Don Hanson’s NCAA Division II All-America Team.