After a few weeks of offseason conditioning and four practices, I can definitely say I have no idea whether Weston Dressler is the real deal. Not even in the slightest, really.
Dressler is the 28-year old slot receiver who came from Canada, having starred for the Saskatchewan Roughriders the past six years. A star in Canada, Dressler is more of an unknown in Kansas City.
I saw No. 13 on Tuesday at the Chiefs practice facility working on kick returns and later running routes with his receivers and again in 11-on-11 drills. It's clear he has played the game for a few years and isn't a regular rookie back there. He looks slightly more polished than, say, a 22-year old receiver from the ACC (if that's even a conference anymore ... I mean, who knows).
#Chiefs WR coach David Culley told me on Weston Dressler: "He’s very quick. He’s come in and had a nice OTA for us."— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) June 4, 2014
He's not a big guy but he's quick. I haven't been given an opportunity to see him run long distances yet so I can't say whether he looks fast, but he certainly looks quick. It was the same thing with Dexter McCluster -- he may not run a 4.3 40-yard dash but he was quick in and out of cuts.
There are a lot of folks interested in Dressler and his story because of all the success he had in Canada. So I've done some radio shows in Canada and get questions on Twitter from Roughriders fans who are asking me how Dressler is doing at practice.
The answer is that it's way too early to tell how Dressler is doing, where he fits or whether he'll make the team. I'm not just saying that to give you a non-answer. Practices like the ones going on at Arrowhead this summer -- the ones in shorts and helmets but no pads -- were made for players like Dressler to look good. That environment allows players to show off their quickness because there's no bump-and-run and no threat of getting tackled. It's why we freaked out about McCluster every year -- offseason is a time when these guys look good.
More Culley on Dressler: "I’m looking forward to seeing how he does in training camp."— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) June 4, 2014
We need to see Dressler in pads. We need to see how he gets off the line of scrimmage when a defensive back is in his face. We need to see how he recovers when a safety knocks him off his route. We need to see if he gets alligator arms when going across the middle against a 6'3, 265-pound linebacker. We need to see, one of the most importantly, how he catches the ball in traffic. Because there will be a lot of that at his position.
Those questions will be answered during training camp, when the defense can hit back. It's even more important that we see how Dressler handles contact given his size -- just 5'8 and 165 pounds.
Dressler looks pretty much how I thought he would look. But that doesn't mean we're much closer to determining whether he has a legit NFL future or not.