Friday Minicamp Report - Croyle, Dorsey shine

As the Chiefs' three-day mandatory mini-camp began Friday, the entire 92-man roster was present and accounted for, including veteran safety Greg Wesley. There were plenty of positives including the play of quarterback Brodie Croyle and KC's defensive line.

QB Brodie Croyle - This was his best practice of the week. He was sharp, crisp and threw a beautiful 40-yard bomb into the wind that fell into the hands of wide receiver Jeff Webb. Croyle was also effective with the bootleg, and though he claims to be as slow as molasses, he can get out in the flat.

WR Maurice Price - Another great practice for the second-year wide receiver from Charleston Southern, who continues to impress both myself and his coaches. With his pass-catching abilities and his route running, I'd say Price is climbing up the depth chart. He's in for a true dog fight with Bobby Sippio for the last receiver spot. In fact, he's getting more reps, and even taking them away from rookie Will Franklin, who was clearly ahead of him the last couple of weeks. Depth charts are subjective at this point, but Price keeps getting the ball and scoring points. He's not hurting his chances.

WR Kevin Robinson - He's about as physical a receiver as the Chiefs have on the roster. Today he made several tough endzone catches in drills. His route running is solid and he's shown good hands. Right now he's lock to make the roster and will either handle kickoff or punt returns, or both, come opening day. And if the Chiefs need a fill-in receiver, he won't embarrass himself.

LT Branden Albert - He understands what's happening in front of him. That's rare for a rookie. Today he made the mistake of getting his hands too high on Tamba Hali, who beat him on one play. The following play, after taking instruction from the myriad of offensive coaches who are trying to get him NFL ready, he kept Hali out of the backfield and away from Brodie Croyle. He's learning at a high rate but more importantly, he's listening to his coaches. That's the sign of a young, eager and solid young player.

RT Damion McIntosh - He hit the ground a few times today and had his hands full with defensive Alfonso Boone, but he's so solid fundamentally that the Chiefs are fortunate to have him on the roster. Though rookie tackle Barry Richardson had another solid day of practice, I think KC's offensive line will be just fine with McIntosh at right tackle.

C Rudy Niswanger - The Chiefs have found their starting center, and his name is Rudy. I can hear the chants now. In one-on-one drills today he was a beast, and showed a fiery demeanor. When a defender gave one of the offensive linemen the business, Niswanger stood up for him and knocked the defensive player away from his linemate. It was good to see him act like a leader. He'll be a solid center for the Chiefs this year. He's also played well against Glenn Dorsey.

OT Ken Shackleford - Another guy who has been solid thus far in OTAs. I don't know much about him, but he's fighting for a backup spot with Herb Taylor and Will Svitek. He was strong in one-on-one drills today and seems to be adjusting to what the coaches have been preaching. He has great size and his feet are fluid in pass blocking. I'm not sure he's a great run blocker at this point but he's in the mix. Herm Edwards has made it clear he plans on dressing seven or eight offensive linemen each week so Shackleford needs to continue to grind it out.

LG Tre Stallings - He was the starter today as Brian Waters sat out, and was outstanding. The first time I saw Stallings play when he was drafted a couple of years ago, I said his footwork was as good as any young tackle I've seen. Now that he's moved to guard, it appears the personal sessions with former Chief Will Shields have paid off. Stallings is on pace to be a backup right now.

DT Glenn Dorsey- I'm running out of words to try and convince myself that I'm watching a rookie. Dorsey is just unstoppable at times. He might have the fastest first step on the team, but what I love is the way he shoots the gap and gets into the backfield. Today he busted through the starting offensive line and nearly decapitated running back Jamaal Charles. It was no contest.

DT T.J. Jackson - Right now he's in the mix to make the final roster because every time he's on the field he makes plays. He blew up at least three or four running plays today in 11-on-11 drills. Jackson has come out of nowhere and is quite a surprise. He's not all that tall, so from a physical standpoint he reminds me of former USC defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis.

DE Brian Johnston - Right now he's the third best pass rusher on the team behind Tamba Hali and Glenn Dorsey. He can flat out get to the quarterback. Fans are going to love this guy. Today he was able to manhandle the second string tackles, but was even better against the run than he had been previously. Johnston has a non-stop motor and he's already a favorite among teammates.

LB Napoleon Harris - He acted like a leader today on the field, calling out defenses and making plays. I think he's taken the recent criticism to heart and is channeling it into showing the coaching staff that he's not going to give up his starting spot without a fight. I'm not sold on his pass defense, but he was stingy against the run today.

LB E.J. Kuale - Another relatively unknown player, but he played at LSU so that means he gets a shot with the Chiefs. He's a second-year guy who was impressive today in linebacker drills. He has an instinct to get to the ball and I actually thought he looked good in pass coverage. He's a long shot, but has some talent.

LB Demorrio Williams - He received plenty of playing time today and even though he's smaller than Derrick Johnson or Napoleon Harris, he makes up for it with great speed. Williams is instinctive enough to follow the flow of the play and react. That's important in this defense. Today was his best practice to date, and he'll get every opportunity to steal a starting job.

Nick's Notes:

Glenn Dorsey - I talked with a Chiefs official today who told me that contract talks with Dorsey's representatives are ongoing, but no deal is imminent at the moment. With Darren McFadden, the fourth pick in the draft, signing a $60 million deal with the Raiders on Thursday, it appears the market has been set for the fifth pick. I was told the Chiefs are hopeful a deal can be reached soon.

LB Steve Octavian - He's quickly becoming my favorite undrafted player. He's about as solid as it gets in regards to fundamentals. He's someone to watch and a player who I think can make an impact on defense this year, not just special teams.

CB Brandon Carr - Today he closed in on a receiver from five yards away and nearly intercepted the ball on an out pattern. The throw was on the money, but Carr closed so fast it surprised the quarterback and the receiver. The only one who wasn't surprised was Carr's head coach, who had a grin the size of the Pacific Ocean after the play.

DT Derek Lokey - Not a good day for him. He seems to be falling down the depth chart while T.J. Jackson takes his reps. He'll need to get stronger before training camp starts.

QB Tyler Thigpen - Another solid day for the second year quarterback, who is beginning to get a grasp on the offense. He's been the most improved player of camp thus far. After the first practice I was really questioning what the coaches saw in Thigpen, but he's been sharp since.

LB Donnie Edwards - He didn't practice today because of a sore hamstring. He probably enjoyed the break - not from practice, but from the constant yelling of his linebackers coach, Gunther Cunningham. He's ridden Edwards pretty hard thus far in OTAs.

LG Brian Waters - He was not on the field for any of the drills today. Herm Edwards wants to rest him because he's also fighting an injury.

SS Greg Wesley - He was on the sidelines today in his uniform but only participated in moderate team drills with the secondary. He does not want to be with the Chiefs, but I have to give him props for showing up. How long he stays remains to be seen.

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