KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Defensive back Saalim Hakim fits what the Chiefs covet in players, specifically versatility.
“I play receiver, corner, kick returner, I play it all,” Hakim told ChiefsDigest.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal on Oct. 29. “I don’t play just one position, but I’ve been learning a lot about cornerback.”
The Chiefs must have liked what they saw out of Hakim based on the team elevating him to the active roster Monday and waiving wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr.
The 5-11, 188-pound Hakim, who played wide receiver in college, signed with the Chiefs practice squad on Oct. 13 and used the past weeks to learn how to play a new position.
The transition to defense has apparently gone smoothly based on his experiences.
“It’s easier for me because I played receiver,” Hakim said. “I know what a lot of receivers are doing. I’m just still working at it and listening to the coaches, what they coach me and teach me.”
And if he ever runs into trouble, Hakim always lean on good advice from his older brother, Az-Zahir, who spent nine seasons in the NFL.
“He just tells me to go out there and give it my best,” Hakim said, “just listen to what the position coach tells you.”
Hakim played collegiately at Palomar and spent the 2011 season in the UFL with the Las Vegas Locomotives. He entered the NFL in 2012 and spent time with the Dallas Cowboys, St. Louis Rams, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets and Detroit Lions.
Hammond became expendable after his playing time drastically decreased in 2015.
The 6-1, 184-pound Hammond appeared in all 16 games with three starts in 2014, recording four catches for 45 yards, but was a healthy inactive in five of the Chiefs’ eight games this season. While Hammond was active for Weeks 4, 5 and 7, he recorded no catches.
Hammond joined the Chiefs in 2013 as an undrafted free agent out of Florida and spent that season on the Chiefs practice squad.