Of the six free agents the Kansas City Chiefs signed on Tuesday, Oklahoma State running back Dantrell Savage is perhaps the most intriguing.
Weighing at under 190 pounds and standing a generous 5'8", Dantrell Savage put up decent numbers in the difficult and competitive Big 12 Conference.
Savage closed out his 2007 season by rushing for over 100 yards in his final nine games, including a 212 yard stomping of Nebraska in Lincoln. He ranked 17th nationally in rushing in 2007 with an average of 116 yards per game.
His closest comparison in the NFL is Darren Sproles of the San Diego Chargers. Sproles is a couple inches shorter than Savage but they both possess fantastic athletic ability and quickness. Forty time be damned. Watch Savage slice through the middle of the Husker defense.
Savage was expected by many draft experts to be at least a late second day pick. Surely, they thought, someone would take a chance on a speedy Big 12 starting running back.
So, why wasn't Dantrell Savage scooped up immediately following the draft like so many others were?
There are a couple of possibilities for this. First, with the folding of NFL Europe, there are about 250 fewer free agent spots to fill. That means that, on average, each NFL team has about eight fewer free agents spots to give out than last year.
Also, Savage had a few nagging injuries in his two years at Oklahoma State, which may not have been the deal-breaker for many NFL teams but certainly didn't help Savage's draft stock either.
Finally, and I'm sure Savage has heard this his entire life - he's a short back. And it's not that being short makes him less talented as a runner. It's that, in the NFL, being short and small makes you much less durable, especially if you're a running back.
These reasons are more excuses if you will because it's sort of like the free market here - teams will grab the most talented players that will work on their team and if you come out of draft weekend without a team, that pretty much speaks for itself.
Savage will be looking to play a similar role for the Chiefs that Jamaal Charles did in college and will look to play in the NFL - a quick third-down back with kick return potential.
With Charles already in place as the team's #3/2 running back, it's tough to imagine Dantrell Savage making the roster. Even if you look at his other ability as kick returner, the Chiefs are currently filled to the brim at that position as well with Kevin Robinson, BJ Sams and even Jamaal Charles.