At 6 feet 4 and 213 pounds, former SMU defensive back Shak Randolph looked every bit the part of an NFL player, and he was hard to miss during the Kansas City Chiefs three-day rookie minicamp.
Randolph was recently signed as an undrafted college free agent, and he was one of 67 players on the field over the weekend. He joined the nine members of the 2016 draft class, the other six undrafted free agents and 39 tryout players.
Using his length and athleticism, Randolph was one of the stars of Monday's practice, intercepting a pass in the end zone and breaking up another during 11-on-11 drills.
Randolph didn't shy away from letting cornerbacks coach Al Harris know that he was out there making plays, but he did refute any suspicion that he intentionally rolled his intercepted ball to general manager John Dorsey, who was standing on the sideline right where the ball ended up after the pick.
"I was just trying to roll it off the field for the next play," he laughed.
Besides all the necessary physical tools, Randolph also graduated from SMU with a degree in psychology in only three years. It's the same alma mater as Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt, who spoke with Randolph at the rookie dinner last Friday night.
"We had a good talk about where the SMU program is going," Randolph recalled of his conversation with Hunt. "I feel like its back on the rise now. And coach [Chad] Morris is doing a great job of turning things around there. I'm telling you all now to be on the lookout for them."
While Hunt didn't promise Randolph a spot on his team because he shares the same alma mater as both him and his dad, Lamar, who founded the Chiefs, Randolph laughingly said Hunt's message was simple.
"He told me to have fun with it and that it's an opportunity of a lifetime, so make the most of it."
The Kansas City Chiefs rookie class of 2016 start the weekend with dinner at the practice facility. Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt welcomes them with the help of coaches, Chiefs Alumni and Ambassadors.
As a senior last year, Randolph finished with 39 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss, splitting time between linebacker, safety and cornerback.
At the minicamp, Randolph only lined up at safety and was able to show his range.
"That's definitely one of my best attributes," he explained. "The fact that I can cover a lot of ground. I've had a lot of experience playing outside linebacker, playing corner, playing safety. When you're back there, it all ties in together, so it's really easy seeing the big picture of things."
While he didn't line up at cornerback over the weekend, Randolph said his physical attributes could give him an edge if he's asked to step out there in this defensive scheme, which asks a lot of their safeties.
"When you get the press, I have long arms," he explained. "So it's easy to get your hands on people, and you really eliminate the fade route, easy. They throw it up, I'm 6 feet 4 and can jump.
"It eliminates a lot of things."
As an undrafted free agent, Randolph had the opportunity to decide where he wanted to play, and he explained why he chose the Chiefs.
"It was just the coaching," he said. "Coach Al [Harris] and coach ET [Emmitt Thomas]. I've learned more in three days than I can recall my whole high school and college career. They're feeding me so much information. When you're a guy like me, just hungry and willing to learn, it just goes a long way.
"They can tell you the little ins and outs of things. Little technique things that can help you out rather than just saying, "Okay, you've got the deep third.' They're telling me what to look for—what the offense is looking for, and when you have a person with that degree of experience, it makes things easier on you."
In addition to learning from former Pro Bowlers and Hall of Famers, the fact that he was simply able to put on an NFL jersey and step on the field was special to Randolph.
"It's a dream come true," he explained. "I took a picture of my jersey and sent it to my dad, and I know he's proud. My mom's proud. When you're a young kid, it's something that you dream about. I remember when I was in elementary school and the teacher asked what do you want to be? I wanted to be an NFL player.
"It's just cool to live out your dream."