Even though the Hamilton Tiger-Cats didn’t sign receiver Mark Chapman, head coach Junes Jones holds no grudges against the No. 1 overall pick.
Chapman and the Ticats were light years apart in negotiations and the Denver Broncos signed the standout receiver just before training camp.
“He did not sign with us, you go through contract issues and all different kinds of things and he wanted to give it a go in the NFL and there couldn’t be a better place than Denver, Colorado to do that,” Jones told Orange and Blue 760 in Denver.
“Undersized guy that has some quickness and speed, catches the ball, very smart, intelligent player, he has a chance to make the team.”
Chapman led Central Michigan University with 59 receptions and 875 yards while reaching the end zone five times in 13 games during his senior season in 2017. He made 147 receptions for 2,035 yards and 10 touchdowns over four years with the Chippewa’s.
“I think that he is so much like the three amigos, he’s that kind of guy,” Jones said about the Broncos trio of receivers on the team during the 1980s and 1990s.
“The NFL has changed so much to go to the taller bigger, faster – there are so many six-foot-four kids that can run the same as those undersized kids because in the colleges and the high schools the passing has created a whole new group of different types of receivers. Where in 1984 through the 1990’s there wasn’t the Julio Jones, the six-four, six-five guys that could run 4.5 and were 215-220 pounds.”
All 32 teams attended the Central Michigan University pro day where Chapman performed well. Chapman attended New York Giants rookie mini-camp but did not receive a contract offer. However, Chapman was impressive and put that on film for other teams around the NFL to see. Clearly, the Broncos took notice offering a contract in advance of training camp.
“I hope Mark makes it,” Jones said. “He’s a great kid, got a great family, they’ll love him.”
Chapman believes the CFL is awesome but growing up in the United States the NFL was his dream, which is why he didn’t want to rush reporting to the Ticats.
“That was exactly the game plan, speaking with my agent early on in the draft process we always wanted to keep that door open because it’s always been a dream of mine to come and give the NFL a shot. CFL is awesome but this has always been my dream,” Chapman said on Orange and Blue 760 in Denver who has been standing out in camp.
“I was honestly just about to report to Hamilton, the Tiger-Cats they drafted me. I was getting ready and then I get a call from Denver on a Wednesday morning and I was on the flight two hours later – everything happened really fast.”