Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

If the Kansas City Chiefs are going to take that next step, some of their young stars need to make an impact in 2016.

On Thursday, the youngsters received another opportunity to show off their talents before the veterans arrive on the practice field this weekend. The 2016 draft class has already yielded some interesting options for Head Coach Andy Reid and his coaching staff. In fact, a few of them could open up as starters come September.

WR Tryeek Hill – His past has been well documented, chronicled and scrutinized. However, if his future is any indication that off the field madness is behind the young speedster, he could wind up becoming the star of the 2016 draft class.

Granted that’s a lot to put on a young man who was careless off the field, but it’s likely the court of public opinion might be swayed by his extreme talents on the field. He’s probably the fastest football player the Chiefs have put on the field since the inception of their long standing franchise. Add that undeniable fact with above average abilities in route running, something his fellow receivers should be paying attention to at this stage of camp, and his soft hands makes Hill the one man on offense to watch in the month of August and beyond.

OL Parker Ehinger – It’s no secret I’ve been critical of the Chiefs offensive line the last two seasons. However, on paper, this could be the best we’ve seen under Head Coach, Andy Reid. KC’s line should be solid this season especially at right and left tackle, center and at least one guard slot. However, they still need some versatile beef up front.

Parker Ehinger had a solid career at Cincinnati playing both guard and tackle for the Bearcats. For the Chiefs, they hope to groom him as a starting NFL guard. What makes this draft pick so intriguing is that Ehinger has the ability to move in open space and cover a lot of territory. If the Chiefs are going to focus this season as a running team, in my view, Ehinger would be a solid opening day addition on KC’s revamped offensive line.

CB KeiVarea Russell – When you draft a trio of cornerbacks you better hope at least one of them turns out to be a starter. Russell was among that group and he’s already shown enough ability to believe he could eventually become a long term solution at cornerback for the Chiefs.

Still, I’m nowhere close to anointing him as the replacement for Sean Smith, that likely falls on Philip Gaines for the moment, but Russell has the right mix of talent, skill and smarts to be a solid NFL cornerback.

Add that with the fact during rookie camp he’s been covering Tyreek Hill and holding his own, that leads one to believe he could become a big time defensive contributor in 2016 for the Chiefs. Still lets see how he does against Jeremy Maclin before I anoint him a potential starting candidate.


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