When you also consider the player’s age (just 23), the all-star game in which he played (the East-West Shrine Game) and the general lack of hype around him — he was graded as a priority free agent by NFL.com and ESPN — the chance that Kansas City Chiefs seventh-round pick Nick Allegretti of Illinois would be the subject of very much hype would seem very slim.
But in post-draft media sessions, Chiefs area scouts, head coach Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach all expressed confidence in Allegretti; it became clear the team was completely in on the pick.
During Chiefs rookie minicamp over the weekend, the buzz around this relatively unknown player continued to build. Reid’s remarks about his toughness, on-field personality and play on the field have been nothing but positive; expectations of Chiefs fans are rising over this day three pick.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is working the team’s 2019 seventh-round pick, interior offensive lineman Nick Allegretti, at center during rookie minicamp.
Allegretti, 23, stands at 6 feet 4 and 320 pounds, and as Reid described Saturday, is “dirty tough.”
“I love playing football,” Allegretti said when asked about Reid’s compliment. “I think there is a way you’re supposed to play football, a way you’re supposed to play O-line—physical. You want to put people on the ground, and that’s just how I was coached, how I was brought up, so I think that’s what he sees and that’s what he’ll continue to see.”
After being picked by the Chiefs, Allegretti explained that he is a “different guy” in that he likes things like puzzles and Rubik’s cubes and is a coin collector. Allegretti said he did a puzzle in an attempt to distract himself on day three of the NFL Draft, and Reid mentioned Allegretti scored high on the pre-draft Wonderlic test.
Nick Allegretti doesn’t remember anyone in Kansas City ever saying it.
Not general manager Brett Veach, not head coach Andy Reid, not offensive line coach Andy Heck.
Nobody he talked to during the brief phone call on the final afternoon of the 2019 NFL Draft ever told him explicitly that he was being selected by the Chiefs.
So when he hung up the phone Saturday afternoon, he wasn’t actually sure what was happening.
“Brett Veach, the first thing he said was, ‘Pretty cool you’re blocking for Patrick Mahomes, huh?,’” Allegretti said, chuckling. “He didn’t say, ‘We’re about to draft you.’ All he said was that.”
Allegretti thought it might be Veach’s way of pitching the Illinois offensive lineman to join Kansas City as an undrafted free agent.The Kansas City Chiefs used their last pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to bolster their offensive line, selecting offensive guard Nick Allegretti with the No. 216 overall pick.
“It was a great idea,” Allegretti said. “We didn’t realize how good of an idea it was until we were three hours in and I hadn’t been worried at all.”
One of the hardest parts, Allegretti said, was forming the area in the middle of the map: the Chiefs’ self-described kingdom.
“They have a lot of agricultural states, so they covered a lot of the area,” he said. “That made it hard because then there were just red pieces. You had to figure out where the red went and there was no part of the Chiefs logo even left on it.”
The Kansas City Chiefs got a well-rounded, versatile lineman with a nasty edge in the 7th round in the form of Illinois guard/center Nick Allegretti.
Kansas City Chiefs scout Terry Delp made it clear he’s not too fond of watching offensive linemen. That makes sense, given that most of us aren’t watching the center or the right guard as we’re watching the Chiefs on Sunday. The game can be thrilling, to be sure, but most of us might not describe hand usage and leverage wins as “thrilling.”
Allegretti, a versatile offensive lineman out of the University of Illinois, was selected by the Chiefs in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft. After the draft, the Chiefs sent Delp out to meet with reporters to comment on a prospect he’d scouted. “I don’t usually get excited watching linemen, cause he just gets after people. He will throw people around. He’s got a nasty edge. He’s strong. Really patient under control. Smart player. He’s fun to watch and he’s an offensive lineman.”
Typically a late round flyer is just that, but the Chiefs have had a nice level of success in particular with late-round linemen. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is currently the team’s starting right guard and he began as a sixth round product. Last offseason, the Chiefs waved goodbye to their sixth man, so to speak, in Zach Fulton, who departed for a $28 million deal from the Houston Texans. He also was a sixth round pick. Andrew Wylie was a journeyman pickup signed to a futures contract last offseason. He ended the year as the Chiefs rookie of the year.