Griffeth's chance may be gone

Tight end may not seem like a need, but why would the San Diego Chargers bring in two as undrafted free agents? Kelly Griffeth and Cody McCarty were brought in and realistically they have a shot at making the team – even if it is as a member of the practice squad.

"I just felt like they were the best team for me," Fort Hays State product Kelly Griffeth said. "They have two true tight ends, but I feel that maybe I can come in and compete for the blocking tight end."

At 6-foot-5 and 284-pounds, Griffeth would almost seem to be an ideal candidate to move to offensive tackle.

The Chargers have always been big on converted players – those who have experience at one spot and have played a year or two at another. Griffeth is a converted defensive tackle.

He actually began his college career as a tight end before moving to the defensive line. It wasn't until his senior season that he was put back at the tight end position. He caught 22 passes for 336 yards and played a significant role as a blocker.

Griffeth believes the time he spent on defense has aided him on the other side of the ball.

"I played defense for three years," he said. "I played D-end, the person a tight end usually blocks, or an outside linebacker. I know the way they form up, the checks that they do. I think that really helps me out, playing tight end, knowing where they're gonna be and stuff like that. I think that knowing the defensive line really helps me out.

"I say that my blocking is my forte just because I'm bigger in size. I'm not as fast as some of the receiving tight ends. That's sort of how I market myself, more as a blocking tight end than as a receiving tight end. But I don't have any problems with my hands. I was second on the team in receiving, so I don't think there's any downside with my receiving. But blocking, that's what I think a lot of teams in the NFL are looking for: a big, blocking tight end. It's just what I want to be."

His strength, 21 reps on the bench press at the Combines, had the Chargers checking on him through day two of the NFL Draft.

With his raw ability, the thinking was they could mold him into a more complete tight end that could seal the edge in the running game.

Griffeth tore an ACL in 2002 and reported that his health was in tip-top shape. But Griffeth failed his physical and may not be with the team when coaching sessions begin.

Sean Brewer, a tight end out of San Jose State that was brought in for a tryout, would seem the likely player to step in to fight Cody McCarty.

Lightning Quicks:

Word is linebacker Justin Burks out of Arizona State also failed his physical.


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