Friday, January 13, 2023

Chief’s new 6ft 5 signing sends message to KC fans

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The Kansas City Chiefs made a roster change during their postseason departure, adding former Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Phil Hoskins to the practice squad.

Announcement of Acquisition was the 6-foot-5 lineman himself, post a message for Chiefs Kingdom on Twitter. “I look forward to this opportunity with the Chiefs,” Hoskins wrote. “Let’s get it #ChiefsKingdom.”

According to Charles Goldman and Chiefs Wire NFL reporter Aaron Wilson, running back/returner Jerrion Ealy was the appropriate cut in this swap. This detail was later confirmed in the NFL’s official transaction log.

Hoskins was a seventh-round draft pick with the Panthers in 2021, but with just one season as a starter in Kentucky, he was a little hopeless. While there, he registered four sacks and 7.5 tackles for a loss, as well as two forced turnovers in 25 appearances.

NFL network draft expert Lance Zierlein noted his potential during a scouting report in 2021, calling him a “end of the list or practice team candidate” — which turned out to be correct.

He argued, “Despite only a single season as a starter in Kentucky, Haskins is an interesting study as a potential player whose playing style doesn’t necessarily match his characteristics. His 83 3/8 inch wingspan (34 3/8 inch arms) will wow teams and he has a good overall size to match. However, his playing style is based more on his speed than his length, as he’s much more consistently looking for gaps than controlling the action with his hands. He’s agile and very active both in the running game and as a rusher, and his spin counter is a legitimate weapon to attack the pocket. If he can get his hands and feet to work in skillful harmony, he might have life as a rotational 3 technique in a one gapped front.”

Later, in Carolina, he only played in eight games with one sack and one tackle for one loss (six tackles total). This production was based on 72 defensive snaps and two special team snaps.

Hoskins is the latest in general manager Brett Veach’s steady effort to increase defensive tackle depth throughout the 2022 season. He will join Danny Shelton and Daniel Wise on the current KC practice team.

It’s been a rough journey in the league for undrafted rookie Jerrion Ealy. After being cut at the end of training camp, the running back-turned-wide-receiver-hybrid was added to the practice team prior to Week 1.

Then, in October, he was suspended for six games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing drugs. This led to his second release in late December – after Ealy returned from the reserve list he had been placed on during his suspension – followed by an immediate offer to re-sign in early January.

The Ole Miss product was profiled as a potential all-rounder for KC. With the way they used him in training camp, he could even be seen as a direct understudy to a passer like Jerick McKinnon.

He was also known for his ability as a kick returner from college. Some analysts even considered Ealy an insider’s tip because of those ace-up-the-hole skills and Kansas City’s obvious need in the department. In the end, running back Isiah Pacheco proved to be an above-average kick returner, but Veach has stuck with the UDFA practice team just in case.

It wouldn’t be the least bit shocking if the Chiefs were to re-sign Ealy again on a reserve/futures contract at a later date.

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