Weston Dressler didn’t get much of a look from NFL teams when he was coming out of college at the University of North Dakota in 2008. That’s just the way it was then for players of his size, which according to the Kansas City Chiefs is 5-foot-7 and 179 pounds.
A few things have changed since then. The success of players his size, perhaps thanks to changes in the game itself, made Dressler and others like him more attractive to NFL teams.
So after six productive seasons with Saskatchewan of the Canadian Football League, Dressler will finally get that chance in the NFL, with the Chiefs. They signed him before the Super Bowl in the hope he can be as productive as a slot receiver in the NFL as he was in the CFL.
While it was bitter for Dressler six years ago to hear he wasn’t good enough to play in the NFL, perhaps it was the best thing for him. He isn’t hearing it now, at least not from the Chiefs.
“The game has definitely evolved throughout the last few years,’’ Dressler said Monday. “It’s definitely become a little bit more of a pass-happy league than maybe a few years ago so that would create more opportunities for a guy like [me] throughout the game, for sure.
“I really felt like it coming out of college; it was a big goal of mine to get an opportunity in the NFL. That obviously didn’t happen for me at that time. Once I moved on to the CFL, I continued to kind of improve on my skills and learned what it kind of meant to play professional football at a high level. I’ve always been very confident in my ability to play the game at a high level.’’
For now, at least, Dressler is the Chiefs’ only offseason acquisition at receiver. Perhaps knowing they would soon be losing Dexter McCluster to free agency, the Chiefs signed Dressler to give them another player with the similar size and skills of McCluster.
The Chiefs over the weekend tried to sign another wide receiver, Pittsburgh’s Emmanuel Sanders, who would have taken some opportunity for playing time away from Dressler. The Chiefs thought they had a deal in place with Sanders but he instead would up signing with the Denver Broncos.
Whether it’s through free agency or the draft or perhaps both, the Chiefs are likely to have more bodies at wide receiver by the time they begin offseason practice in May. That could eventually push Dressler out of a job. His chances for making it are better now than they were six years ago.
“Just in talking with some of the guys in the Chiefs’ organization, they believe I have the skills and the abilities to play in the NFL,’’ he said. “I've believed that for years now.’’