Lottery Tickets is a breakdown series of the lesser known players who have a chance to make the Chiefs Week 1 roster. Leading up to training camp, we’ll be profiling the intriguing undrafted free agents and reserve/future contract players that show the ability to potentially stick in the NFL.
Why is this series called Lottery Tickets? The players we discuss are high-upside players that haven’t significantly affected the Chiefs bottom line, but the returns could be substantial.
Every time I think of Chiefs UDFA John Lovett I think of this gif of Jon Lovitz. pic.twitter.com/SxpmZBGKEU— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) June 21, 2019
If for nothing else, I need Princeton undrafted quarterback-turned-tight end John Lovett to make this roster so I can be reminded of this incredible gif of legendary comedian Jon Lovitz from the 1998 classic “The Wedding Singer.”
No, the Chiefs don’t have someone of SNL fame lining up at the Y position, but if you type in “John Lovett” in the search bar on YouTube, the second predictive search that comes up is “John Lovett Wedding Singer.”
That’s right. Somehow, the incorrect spelling attempts of people trying to find Lovitz singing “Ladies Night” by Kool and the Gang ranked higher when I searched on Youtube than “John Lovett Princeton.” The Chiefs rookie has a chance to help change the order on the search engine.
You can go to the Chiefs site and find what appears to be Lovett lining up with the first-team offense at minicamp due to the absence of veteran tight ends like Travis Kelce and Deon Yelder due to injuries. Digging into Lovett’s story, you see a guy who played all over the field early in career.
Lining up at quarterback, running back and receiver, Lovett registered 51 catches, 553 receiving yards, two receiving touchdowns, 697 yards rushing, 29 (!!!) rushing touchdowns, 676 passing yards and 13 passing touchdowns in his first two seasons. He loved football so much that he was willing to line up wherever to get the chance to play.
In his final season at Princeton, Lovett was the full-time quarterback and threw for 1,833 yards and 18 touchdowns in the air while chipping in 894 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns on his way to winning Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year.
His love of football can’t be questioned. He broke his wrist during the season and still only missed one game. After offseason surgery to fix this issue, Lovett had to display his skill set with one hand at his pro day. The results were impressive.
Princeton QB (turned FB/TE) John Lovett broke his wrist during the season, missed only one game and then went and caught passes with one hand at his pro day. #LotteryTickets pic.twitter.com/m3VRgi1NJp— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) June 21, 2019
Though he has a background outside of as a passer, Lovett looked natural running routes and catching passes in his showcase to the NFL even though he was recovering from surgery. You can see why the Chiefs were intrigued by him—he shows football character, toughness and some ability.
Lovett is a player you have to kind of piece together with the limited clips out there. I couldn’t find any in-game reps or Lovett lining up at any position but quarterback. Regardless, his tape as a runner shows qualities you want in a football player.
I couldn't find any reps of Lovett as a FB/TE from early in his career but you can see some of his movement skills lining up at QB. There's contact balance, agility, and ability to change direction. #LotteryTickets pic.twitter.com/LTLu3HRAW2— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) June 21, 2019
The bottom line
Lovett clearly has a passion for football.
He’s willing to line up wherever to earn an opportunity. He’s smart, tough and athletic. The qualities he possesses could make him an intriguing project as a fullback or tight end. Lovett will have to show ability to be a four-corps special teams player and continue to develop and grow on offense.
If he can show the ability to handle the workload that Andy Reid’s playbook requires and earns the trust of the offensive staff and special teams coordinator Dave Toub, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lovett got a long look through training camp.
After seeing his commitment to the game, the toughness and athleticism, he’s a guy I’d like to see make the team. If he sticks this year, you could see the Chiefs perhaps move on from a player like Anthony Sherman in 2020.