Every prospect hopes to hear his name called during the NFL draft, but with just 250-something picks and thousands of NFL hopefuls, it’s simply not possible. That doesn’t mean the dream stops there, however. Once the draft is completed, all 32 teams begin the race to sign the nation’s most popular un-drafted players.
We see dozens and dozens of these un-drafted free agents make an NFL roster on a yearly basis. These players will crawl, fight and scratch to make their dreams come true.
One said prospect is Mason Kinsey, a wide receiver that played his college football at Berry. Kinsey signed with the Titans at the conclusion of the seventh round.
Kinsey recently spoke with MCM about how he formed a relationship with the Titans, what he brings to the table, and what his goals and aspirations are over these next few months as he tries to secure a spot on the Titans roster.
JM: Not a lot of guys that played D-III get this opportunity. You must be so excited, and I’m sure there’s a part of you that feels inspired to uplift the underdog around the nation.
MK: Yeah, no doubt. This is something that a lot of people work for but only a few actually get a chance to make it happen. Coming from a smaller school does make it a lot harder but I’m blessed to have an opportunity here with the Titans.
JM: How did this opportunity with the Titans come about for you? Did you have any discussions with them prior to the draft?
MK: We had stayed in contact with the Titans, I know my agent had some great communication with them. I knew it was gonna be a good spot for me if they didn’t draft a receiver. The communication stayed open between us and once they didn’t draft a receiver, I knew there was gonna be an opportunity there for me. My agent called me around the sixth round and told me that the Titans already had an offer for me ready to go at the conclusion of the draft. They didn’t draft a receiver in the seventh round. My agent and I thought it was the best decision for me based on their depth chart. It’s close to home and close to Berry where my brother is currently enrolled at. It all worked out in the end.
Get familiar with Mason Kinsey. Kinsey just signed with the Titans as an UDFA. Kinsey spent his career at Division III Berry College and leads the program in most career receiving categories with 203 receptions for 3,343 yards and 50 touchdowns in 43 games. https://t.co/eByhTYnvkm— 2nd & Victory (@2ndandVictory) April 27, 2020
JM: Have you spoken with anybody from the organization directly?
MK: Yeah, I spoke to the wide receiver coach Rob Moore after the draft. We’re just excited to go to work. More than anything, I just want to get in the building and start learning their offense.
JM: I imagine you had some other offers on the table.
MK: Yeah, I had spoken with a couple of other teams. We just felt like the Titans made the most sense. Money wasn’t really the issue. I maybe could have made an extra $10,000 somewhere else but if you make the final roster, you’ll make up that difference and then some. It was really just about what I thought the best fit was and to myself and my agent, that was the Titans. I just wanted to go somewhere that would give me a shot to make the team.
JM: We appreciate the insight into your decision making process. For our readers who are maybe still getting familiar with you, what can you tell me about your skill-set as a WR?
MK: I’m very gritty and competitive in everything that I do. I don’t really care where you come from or what your name is, I’m gonna give it everything I have. I try to model my game after Steve Smith. I feel like he’s a forgotten name when we discuss the all-time great receivers. He was a dog out there and that’s what I bring to the table as a receiver. I’m always competing with everything I have.
JM: Do you have a favorite route to run?
MK: I wouldn’t necessarily say that I have a favorite. It’s fun to run an option route. There’s so much you can do with an option route. You can read the defense and pick your spot to get open.
JM: If I were to ask you what’s the best thing you do as a football player, I would imagine that you would say catching the football. What’s the second best thing that you do?
MK: I pride myself on being the hardest worker in the room. I can do a lot of things. I feel like I’m versatile. I can play both inside and outside. I can play some special teams as well. I’m able to do a lot of things to help the team win football games. That’s one way for me to make the roster and play in this league for a long time.
D3 to NFL: @MasonKinsey87 has become the first @BerryVikings player to sign with an NFL team. His road hasn't been easy, but he's gotten help from @hchsraiders_FB hometown hero @Tkunodos https://t.co/c8eKCweKpz pic.twitter.com/wj6gZL5oeH— Cody Chaffins (@Cody_Fox5) April 27, 2020
JM: What sort of experience do you have on special teams?
MK: I returned both kicks and punts at Berry. I didn’t play on the kick-off team as a gunner during our games but I did that quite a bit in practice. I asked my coaches to allow me to practice that so I could get a good feel for it. I went to the East-West Shrine Game and returned punts, I played gunner on kick-offs and I was on the punt block team down there. I asked the special teams coach at the all-star game to put me on everything. I ended up doing four out of the five during the East-West Shrine Game.
JM: That’s great. What was your overall experience like at the East-West Shrine Game?
MK: It gave me an opportunity to answer the small school competition questions. That was big for me. Coming from a D-III school, they wanted to see how I could compete against higher level of competition. I went down there and proved that I could play alongside some of the best players in college football. I showed that I belonged there. I think I woke a lot of people up to my talent.
JM: I’ve really appreciated your time, Mason. In closing, what are your goals and aspirations as we start to inch closer to training camp?
MK: I get this question a lot. My goal is to make the final roster and to stay there for the entire season. It doesn’t matter if I have to kick the ball or become the long snapper, I’m gonna do whatever it takes. It doesn’t necessarily matter to me. You’re always gonna get the best out of me. I’m gonna compete at a high level. I just wanna be a Tennessee Titan come September 2nd.