In my post draft thoughts, I noticed a common theme among all the Kansas City Chiefs draft picks. One they were a confident bunch, with a hard nosed work ethic, that fits perfectly within the construction of the roster Head Coach, Andy Reid, and General Manager, John Dorsey, intended to build when they arrived a couple of years ago.
On Saturday, some forty players hit the practice field hoping to gain that first step to becoming an NFL player. Sure, only about a dozen of these rookie and first year players will get a chance to make the Chiefs final roster. However, for the top draft picks, they all appear ready to take that next step.
Probably the biggest wild card of the Chiefs top draft picks is Missouri Center, Mitch Morse. Though his best position might be guard, he took the majority of the snaps at center. It’s the biggest area of need, and the final missing link, to the Chiefs reconstructed offensive line this season. If it’s going to come together, Morse has to be the man in the middle.
“From what I saw, I thought Mitch did pretty well. Most of his work was at center, but he had a chance to play some guard. And he seems to be handling things pretty well,” Head Coach Andy Reid pointed out after practice on Saturday.
For Reid to say ‘pretty well’ probably indicates that comment means a little more than just some early mini-camp fodder to us seasoned reporters. If the Chiefs offensive line is going to form a bond of steel, Morse has to climb into the center spot to open the season and play like an All Pro.
“I had to wait until I got here to know that it was at center or right guard or wherever they need me,” Morse said. “There’s a learning curve, but you’ve got to make that curve up as fast as possible, and that’s what I am hoping to do right now.”
In the secondary, both Marcus Peters and Steven Nelson began what could be a five year partnership at cornerback when they both hit the practice field on Saturday. They came to the Chiefs with incredible talent and the confidence to play the toughest position on defense.
“No, not even. It’s football at the end of the day. It’s nice to be here with the organization finally and just ready to play ball,” Marcus Peters told the media.
It’s exactly that type of attitude that delivered Peters to the Chiefs. With some off the field concerns, the Chiefs never veered much distance off the path to draft the former Washington standout, because he has that one identifying item you need to play cornerback – confidence.
Though not as heralded as Peters, the same can be said for Nelson’s swagger. I’ve stated this before; I think the Chiefs landed two NFL ready cornerbacks from this draft. To me, Nelson, despite his size, can become a money player for the Chiefs defense.
“It’s a lot to learn. I’m actually getting the hang of it. I’m putting in the time and effort to make sure I get it,” Nelson commented.
Granted these are post practice items of interest but you have to remember none of the top players the Chiefs drafted seemed overwhelmed with what’s ahead of them this season.
That same tenure hits third round draft pick, Chris Conley, who has a chance to become a starter at wide receiver for the Chiefs. In fact, of all the draft picks the Chiefs made in rounds one through three, he might be the most NFL ready out of all of them.
“Right now, my job is to learn the offense and that’s what I’ve been told. Conceptually, I’ve been told to learn the offense conceptually, learn the concepts, learn the offense, be able to help and contribute,” the Georgia receiver stated.
I know it’s far too early to use the reality marker in judging the Chiefs top picks. Yet if we are to trust the scouting efforts of Dorsey’s team and the players they secured in the draft, perhaps some of the missing elements this roster has suffered in the past are finally behind the Chiefs.
If that’s the case, and you factor in the competitive edge, Peters, Mores, Conley and Nelson appear to have within themselves at this early stages of their NFL existence, the possibilities on both sides of the ball appear endless for this team heading into the 2015 season.
Photo Credits: Chris Conley (Dale Zanine USA Today Sports) Mitch Morse (Ken Klement USA Today Sports)