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Chiefs ink two more draft picks, sign three players off minicamp tryout and add another free agent

Posted May 16, 2012

Kansas City announced six player signings Wednesday morning

The Chiefs announced a slew of player transactions Wednesday morning, including the signing of two more draft picks and four free agents.

Three of the four free agent signees were tryout players from last weekend’s three-day rookie minicamp.

Of Kansas City’s draft picks, second-round selection Jeff Allen (6-4, 306) and fifth-round pick DeQuan Menzie (5-11, 202) signed four-year rookie contracts.

Six of the team’s eight draft picks are now under contract. Fourth-round pick Devon Wylie and sixth-round pick Cyrus Gray signed their rookie contracts last Friday along with seventh-round selections Jerome Long and Junior Hemingway.

Selected 44th overall, Allen appeared in 49 career games at Illinois playing both tackle positions on the offensive line. He earned All-Big Ten Conference honors in each of his four seasons with the Illini.

Allen played left guard during last weekend’s rookie minicamp.

Menzie, selected 146th overall, played in 33 games (18 starts) in two seasons at Alabama. He tallied 68 tackles (47 solo), 3.0 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks (-10.0 yards), one interception and 15 passes defensed for the Crimson Tide.

A starter at cornerback, Menzie also played the “star” position in Alabama’s sub-package defense. He worked at safety over the weekend and is expected to begin his NFL career at that position.

Menzie will also look to be a factor in the Chiefs sub-package personnel.

“I think the big thing is we want to take a look at him at safety as well to see how he picks up on that and if he can handle that,” Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel said. “Then that will make a big determination about how we use him.”

Kansas City’s remaining unsigned draft picks include first-round pick Dontari Poe and third-round selection Donald Stephenson.

Of the 10 tryout players attending the Chiefs rookie minicamp last weekend, the Chiefs offered contracts to three participants.

Kansas City announced the signings of tryout players DB Dominique Ellis (5-11, 195), TE Martin Rucker (6-5, 251) and LB Leon Williams (6-3, 248) Wednesday morning. Also joining the team as a free agent signee is OL Rich Ranglin (6-3, 315).

Terms of the four free agent deals were undisclosed.

Ellis is proof that a positive first impression can lead to bigger opportunity. The safety out of South Carolina State picked off a high pass intended for WR Brandon Kinnie during minicamp’s opening practice and continued to show progress throughout the weekend.

The NC State transfer was a two-time All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference first-team selection and also earned Sheridan All-American honors. He finished his senior season at South Carolina State with 64 tackles and three interceptions, including a 55-yard touchdown return against Bethune-Cookman.

Rucker and Williams were the most experienced players participating in last weekend’s minicamp, sharing a combined 69 games of NFL experience. Both players originally entered the NFL as fourth-round draft picks of the Cleveland Browns while Crennel served as head coach.

A native of St. Joseph, Rucker was selected 111th overall by Cleveland in the 2008 NFL Draft. He’s played in 12 career games (two starts) with the Browns (2008), Cowboys (2010-11) and Jaguars (2011).

Rucker left the University in Missouri in 2008 as the school’s all-time receptions leader. His 203 catches were the most ever by a Big 12 tight end and he also ranked eighth among receivers in Big 12 history with 2,175 career receiving yards.

“This one is definitely special,” Rucker told KCChiefs.com on Friday following his first practice of minicamp. “Growing up 47 miles north, watching these guys every Sunday, coming to a couple games a year. I played in the stadium as a Tiger, but to strap it on as a Chief would be an awesome moment.”

Selected 110th overall by Cleveland in 2006, Williams joins the Chiefs after stops with the Browns (2006-08) and Cowboys (2010). He has played in 57 NFL games (12 starts) with 154 tackles (113 solo), 5.0 sacks (-24.0 yards), one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and six passes defensed.

In 2007, Williams posted career-highs by playing in all 16 games (nine starts) with 80 tackles (58 solo), 4.0 sacks (-20.0 yards) and three passes defensed.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Williams played in 47 games at the University of Miami (Fla.), where he recorded 131 tackles (78 solo), 2.5 sacks (-27.0 yards), one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and three passes defensed. He was a Dick Butkus Award finalist in 2004.

Ranglin’s previous experience comes from the Arena Football League where he’s played for three different AFL clubs including the Kansas City Command. He was named the AFL’s Offensive Lineman of the Year while playing with the Command in 2011.

A four-year letterman at Central Connecticut State, the alma mater of Chiefs GM Scott Pioli, Ranglin was a preseason All-American selection and earned second-team All-Northeast Conference honors as a senior for the Blue Devils.

The Chiefs roster count is now at 87 players. New NFL rules allow clubs to carry a maximum of 90 players, including unsigned draft picks and players with unsigned tenders.

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