Chiefs found gem in Jovan Belcher

Once in a while a prospect falls through the cracks and goes undrafted.

That doesn’t mean the end of his career. Over the years, numerous undrafted free agents have crafted fine careers for themselves.

Kansas City’s Jovan Belcher appears to be one of those players.

Belcher has emerged from a lackluster 2009 Kansas City rookie class and has become a starter. Not bad for a kid from Maine who barely got any notice from the league before the Chiefs took a chance on him.

Kansas City general manger Scott Pioli deserves credit for taking a flyer on Belcher. Belcher started three games as a rookie and led the team with 17 tackles on special teams. He started 15 games at inside linebacker and was a fine fit for the Chiefs’ 3-4 defense in 2010, when he had 84 tackles.

He looks like a player the Chiefs will be happy to move forward with. Belcher, 23, is 6-foot-2, 228 pounds. Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. believes Belcher could find a home for a long time in Kansas City.

“He’s a heavier guy who is a good banger in the 3-4 defense,” Williamson said. “He seems like a hard-nosed guy who has made the best of opportunity. Guys like this show how important undrafted free agency is and how guys like him can really help teams. The successful teams have guys like this on their teams.”