Chiefs Sign ‘Freak’ 14-Touchdown RB With Guaranteed Deal After Draft

The Kansas City Chiefs added several talented players through the 2024 NFL draft but didn’t select one running back. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach, however, quickly addressed the roster hole.

Kansas City signed former UCLA running back Carson Steele with a “deal that includes $15,000 guaranteed,” per KPRC 2’s Aaron Wilson

Starting his collegiate career at Ball State, Steele went off his sophomore year. During the 2022 season, he registered 289 carries for 1,556 yards and 14 touchdowns. NFL analyst Bruce Feldman placed Steele on his annual “Freak List” for the second time ahead of the 2023 season.

What’s good Kansas City !!!! 🔴⚪️

— Carson Steele (@carsonsteele30) April 29, 2024

“The Bruins were elated to get him in the transfer portal,” Feldman wrote. “Steele, at 6-1, 233, has wowed his new teammates with his strength. He bench-pressed 450 pounds and squatted 685. His wheels have been impressive too, clocking 20.96 MPH and vertical-jumping 35 inches. Steele, with his long flowing locks, looks like a fit in Hollywood. He also owns a pet alligator named Crocky-J.”

QUADS for days. Haven’t seen something like this since @saquon Carson Steele says his used to be about 1/2 inch smaller but maybe tied now😂🥹🏋️
650+ lb squat max too. @carsonsteele30 leads @UCLAFootball in all purpose yds

— Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) October 27, 2023

His exotic choice of pets aside, The Athletic’s Dane Brugler wrote of Steele, “Built like a linebacker with his well-developed, sculpted frame.” His “tape shows an agile ball carrier who can follow blocks and glide through the crease.”

I think Carson Steele is a NFL RB.

— Jeff Bell (@4WhomJBellTolls) August 31, 2023

With the Bruins in 2023, the 21-year-old recorded 167 rushes for 847 yards and 6 touchdowns. “A one-year starter at UCLA, Steele was a natural fit in former head coach Chip Kelly’s diverse run scheme,” Brugler wrote. “After two productive seasons at Ball State, including leading the MAC in rushing in 2022, he wanted to challenge himself at the Power 5 level — and led the Bruins in rushing in 2023.

“Overall, Steele won’t wow with his ability to create with speed or lateral quickness, but he runs with vision and urgency and has pass-catching value. His chances of earning an NFL roster spot likely will hinge on his development in pass protection and special-teams coverage.”

The Chiefs Also Signed UDFA RB Emani Bailey

Emani Bailey is signing an UDFA deal with the Kansas City Chiefs!

— PlayerProfiler (@rotounderworld) April 27, 2024

In addition to Steele, the Chiefs signed undrafted free agent running back Emani Bailey out of TCU. Last season, Bailey recorded 223 rushes for 1,209 yards and 8 touchdowns, along with 25 receptions for 184 yards and a score.

Emani’s deal “includes (a) $10,000 signing bonus, $200,000 base salary portion guaranteed, $210,000 total guaranteed,” Wilson reported.

Brugler ranked Bailey as the 23rd-best running back prospect. “With his quick-scan reads and short-area burst, Bailey can pick, slide and make defenders miss with sudden gear change,” he wrote of the 5-foot-8 rusher. “Though he runs determined, he isn’t threatening on downhill runs and needs to become a more diverse receiver and pass blocker to earn the trust of NFL coaches on passing downs.

“Overall, Bailey might not have ideal size or run power, but he easily strings moves together to create yardage in space and is dangerous when he works in concert with his blockers.”

Chiefs News: GM Brett Veach Said There’s a Position Battle at RB3

GettyFormer TCU running back Emani Bailey on November 18, 2023.

While it’s an uphill battle for any undrafted player to make the 53-man roster, Steele and Emani have a real shot. Veach addressed the team’s running back situation on Monday, April 29. Isiah Pacheco is the Chiefs No. 1 back, with Clyde Edwards-Helaire slotted at RB2.

“I think that RB position will be a battle,” Veach said, per AtoZ Sports Charles Goldman. “It usually comes down to special teams and pass protector as a No. 3 RB… It’s just a matter of who can put together a solid training camp and earn the position.”

Arrowhead Pride’s Pete Sweeney posted, “It’s going to be a ‘Royal Rumble’ type battle for RB3 with Keontay Ingram, Deneric Prince, Emani Bailey and Carson Steele, among others.” The Chiefs also have La’Mical Perine and rugby star Louis Rees-Zammit.

Goldman predicts Pacheco, Edwards-Helaire, Rees-Zammit, and Bailey make the 53-man roster, while Steele earns a spot on the practice squad. “I tend to think guys who have been playing football their whole life will have an advantage over Louis Rees-Zammit, but with the new kickoff return rules, I’m not ready to rule out his chances of making the team,” he wrote.

“Emani Bailey fits the prototype change-of-pace, pass-catching back the team currently lacks. He’s surprisingly effective in pass protection, too.”

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