Nick Allegretti Jersey

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 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.

Darwin Thompson Jersey

He stands at just five-foot-eight-inches tall, but make no mistake, Kansas City Chiefs’ rookie tailback Darwin Thompson will not be overlooked.

Picked with the final selection of the sixth round in the 2019 NFL Draft last weekend, Thompson has had to prove himself at every turn – from junior college to his one season at Utah State in 2018 – and even back in high school.

“My junior year of high school, the kids told me that I couldn’t be a running back because I was too slow and not big enough. After that year, it just never left me,” said Thompson, who has less than five percent body fat on his 200-pound frame. “Everybody always asks me how I got my trap [muscles]. It was that one year of high school, I just went crazy on the traps and they never left.Think of Darwin Thompson as a compact rock with a football.

Thompson is a different type of running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, a style of runner they haven’t had the past few seasons. Listed at 5-foot-8 and 200 pounds, Thompson could be a multi-dimensional playmaker used in a number of ways: as a conventional between-the-tackles back, a matchup advantage in space on the perimeter, a return man on special teams or another gadget player for coach Andy Reid.

Entering last week’s NFL Draft, the Chiefs wanted to select a running back. General manager Brett Veach waited until the sixth round (214th pick) to select the Utah State product. On the initial assessment, Thompson fits many of Reid’s and Veach’s requirements. He protects the ball — he had zero fumbles last season at Utah State — and can be an additional receiver out of the backfield, which Reid values. For Veach, Thompson is a determined prospect who has always…

The Kansas City Chiefs added to their backfield on Saturday afternoon, picking Utah State tailback Darwin Thompson with the No. 214 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.Much like the first week at any new job, there’s a ton being thrown at the most recent additions to the Kansas City Chiefs’ roster during this weekend’s rookie minicamp.

For running back Darwin Thompson, a highly productive sixth-round pick from Utah State with a skill set well-suited for the Chiefs’ offense, the first hurdle was getting over the nerves of meeting his new boss.

“You talk about star struck,” Thompson said, “when I met coach Andy Reid in my top-30 visit, I’m like, ‘Man, this is a Hall of Fame coach. He’s on his way.’ Just be in his system to see what he’s done with others at the running back position, I’m very blessed, it’s the perfect situation.”

Thompson is only 5-feet-8, but he’s shifty and elusive in space, which already garnered attention of his teammates.Seventh-round pick Nick Allegretti, an interior offensive lineman from Illinois, believes Thompson could become a fan favorite.

Enter Darwin Thompson from Utah State. In his only season with the Aggies, Thompson rushed for 1,044 yards and 14 touchdowns. Those numbers don’t necessarily jump out at you, because it’s how he gained those yards and touchdowns that impresses even the most accurate analysts.

He has an uncanny set of attributes that give him more of that “special weapon” type of player. He can play all over the field, running, catching, and returning.

His contact balance is praised by everyone who’s watched him. He’s tough as nails. He squats 500 lbs with ease, never goes down easy, and can make semi trucks miss him in a narrow tunnel. The kid can play.

Rashad Fenton Jersey

The Kansas City Chiefs selected defensive back Rashad Fenton with the No. 201 overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday afternoon, making the South Carolina product Kansas City’s first pick of the day.

Fenton tallied a team-leading three interceptions in 2018 to go along with 34 tackles, six pass breakups and 2.5 tackles-for-loss.

It was a strong finish to an impressive career for Fenton, who appeared in 48 games (30 starts) over the course of his four-year career in Columbia, recording 122 tackles, 24 passes defensed, five picks and a forced fumble.

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Rashad Fenton needs work at cornerback. Expecting year-one contributions out of him is expecting too much. From the way that he’s been talked about inside of Arrowhead, they know it as well.

He needs more strength to play with bigger NFL wide receivers. He needs a better feel for the route with his back to the ball. He needs to be able to shed blockers better to contribute in the run game the way that Steve Spagnuolo likes his cornerbacks to contribute.

However, he comes built in with the requisite technique, ball skills and feel for distribution from zone coverage that Spagnuolo will like. His versatility with Quarters, 2-read, Match 3, and man coverages is a major plus with the mixing and matching Spagnuolo will do in the secondary.

When watching the drills at the combine, Fenton was one of three players I felt performed well in every one of the cornerback drills — alongside Byron Murphy and Chiefs undrafted free agent Mark Fields. Their technique and fluidity from both sides and through multiple techniques jumped out compared to a mostly clunky group in the drills.

The Kansas City Chiefs tradition is to allow area scouts to speak on the players selected during Day 3 of the 2019 NFL draft. You get to hear from the guys who really put in the ground work that helped the team make the decision on these players.

Area Scout David Hinson spoke on South Carolina CB Rashad Fenton after Day 3 and the driving factors behind the selection. They like his athletic ability, toughness and ball skills. However, the most important factor in the Chiefs decision with Fenton was his coverage versatility.

“What’s great about Fenton is if you watch South Carolina, they play a few different styles,” Hinson explained. “They do a little more shuffle and bail technique, but you will see him in the off man and zone type stuff where (Steve Spagnuolo) likes to do a little bit of everything. And that’s what (Steve Spagnuolo) is great for, he mixes things up, so you don’t really know what you are getting, and Fenton is a smart football player that has played all the different techniques.”

This was about grabbing a type of player that could do all the different things asked of a corner in a Steve Spagnuolo. It’s not all press man heavy technique in Bob Sutton’s rigid scheme anymore. The Chiefs need defensive backs who can function in a variety of different coverage’s.

“Sometimes in college, you get guys who played just strictly man, strictly playing press the majority of the time,” Hinson said. “But when you see a team in college that plays a versatile of quarters and cover 2 and cover 3 and works on some different things, usually those corners are a little bit more prepared for the next level and you can work with them to do some zone stuff. Because that is really the tougher things for them at the next level. Everybody is playing some version of man, but how many coverages of zone did you play and then your awareness and your instincts, those are the things coaches are looking for.”

Of course with all Day 3 selections, special teams also factored heavily into the equation for this pick.

Khalen Saunders Jersey

With the 84th pick overall in the NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs selected defensive tackle and former Western Illinois starter, Khalen Saunders. The 6-foot, 324-pound senior was the Chiefs final pick in the third round of the draft on Friday night.

Sanders became the first player from Western to be drafted since 2009 when Jason Williams was drafted as the sixth pick of the third round to the Dallas Cowboys.

During his time as a Leatherneck, Saunders played in 47 games completing 204 tackles, 72 of those coming in his senior year. He also recorded 18 sacks over the course of four seasons and added 13 TFL’s for 57 yards lost his final season, which ranked him fifth in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. He recorded a career high 11 tackles against the reigning MVFC Champions back on Oct. 13. Though he ended his career as a Leatherneck in a frustrating 15-13 loss on Senior Day, he has so much more to look forward to now.

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Saunders raised eyebrows in the NFL Combine with a 5.01 40-yard dash, one of the fastest times for a defensive tackle. He also took on 27 reps in the bench press and had a 30.5-inch vertical jump.

He put up a phenomenal performance in the combine, raising many eyebrows and attracting a lot of attention. But it was what was going on off the field that really put him in the limelight.

It was a video of him doing a backflip that went viral that really changed his life forever. Sure, he had some good stats and a stellar combine performance, but it was that video that got him trending in the right direction. There were multiple videos of him back flipping, but it wasn’t until ESPN’s Adam Schefter shared it that it really gained popularity.

Not only will Saunders be playing in the NFL, but also he’ll be playing for his home state team. That’s right; Saunders is a St. Louis native and a graduate from Parkway Central High School. With the departure of the St. Louis Rams most Missourians transitioned into becoming Chiefs fans, including Saunders’ parents. That’s because STL is only about a three and a half hour drive to Arrowhead Stadium, so surely his family will be in attendance for most of the home games.

Speaking of Saunders’ family, he recently had a new addition when he welcomed his daughter into the world. One day after practice, Khalen was notified that his fiancé was going into labor. He wasn’t able to make it in person because he was down in Mobile, Ala. competing in the Senior Bowl. Oh yeah, he was also the first Leatherneck to even get an invite to that game as well.

Between viral backflips, becoming a father and getting drafted into the NFL, Saunders has had one crazy year, a year he’ll never forget. Come October, I’m excited to see the number of students walking around campus with a red Kansas City Chiefs No. 99 jersey. The whole school will be rooting for him no doubt, as Saunders looks to take his talent to the next level and continue making a name for himself.

Once told he was too short to play major college football, Khalen Saunders now stands alongside others in one of the NFL draft’s deepest defensive line classes — perhaps not quite shoulder to shoulder, but finally on level ground.

“Before the Senior Bowl, it was more that skepticism, ‘He’s from Western Illinois, he was just more athletic than everybody, he needs more technique,'” Saunders said. “At the end of the combine, I proved to everybody that it’s not a fluke.

Saunders’ popularity grew off the field. The WIU football team holds a talent show before each season, and players vote on the master of ceremonies. Saunders was picked every year. “The Khalen Saunders show,” Elliott said, “like an hour of straight comedy.” Saunders also entertained on the piano, another skill he taught himself, playing John Legend’s “Ordinary People” and Alicia Keys songs.

WIU’s coaches play noon basketball at a campus gym, and one day last summer, Saunders dropped by. He ran the point and brought the moves.

“He would jump up and pump it to one side and take it to the other side, the old Michael Jordan up and under,” defensive line coach John Haneline said. “I would call him ‘The Fat Kyrie.’ The D-line room, we’ve got ‘The Fat Kyrie.’ He was on our team.”

Since January, Khalen Saunders’ life has had “a whirlwind type of vibe.” Every month has brought significant events. Another arrives next week, when a guy who used to be overlooked can stand up as an NFL player.

“A lot of times people, especially in this generation, are focused on other people to validate their success,” Saunders said. “Believe in yourself. Take opportunities.

Juan Thornhill Jersey

The 2019 NFL Draft is over, and two Virginia Cavaliers heard their names called. First up came Juan Thornhill, picked up at No. 63 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs. The defensive back was surrounded by family and friends when he got the news he’d be going with KC’s first second-round pick.

That excitement was present when his phone rang to alert him that he’d be going to Kansas City, as it appeared the Chiefs’ front office and head coach Andy Reid had trouble hearing Thornhill over the cheering.

Cornerback Tim Harris was the second Wahoo to go in the draft with San Francisco taking the tough Cavalier in the sixth round. His emotion was evident as he chatted with GM John Lynch and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.

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The Kansas City Chiefs added to their secondary on Friday night, selecting University of Virginia defensive back Juan Thornhill with the No. 63 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Thornhill was a three-year starter for the Cavaliers, tallying 208 tackles, 39 passes defensed, 12.0 tackles-for-loss, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble from 2016-18.

He entered his senior season on the Nagurski and Bednarik watch lists – which each identify the top defensive players in college football – and finished his career at Virginia as an AP All-ACC selection in 2018.

After the end of a 33-year streak of having at least one player drafted in the NFL Draft, Virginia Football is attempting to put together another streak. Two UVA players were drafted last year, and there’s at least one going this year.

Thornhill’s performance at the NFL Combine catapulted him into the national NFL Draft discussion. He ran a 4.42 40, which tied for 9th fastest among DBs. His vertical jump of 44” was the best of all players at the combine. And his 11’9” broad jump was not only tied for the best of the combine, it was tied for the second best of all time. Juan didn’t perform any other drills at the combine, but he had a 4.2 second 20-yard shuttle and a 6.86 second three cone drill at the UVA Pro Day. (Juan injured his hamstring running the 40 and didn’t do any more drills after that.)

Obviously, those workout results are very good. The speed and explosiveness are off the charts, but the change-of-direction numbers aren’t nearly as good. Because of that, Thornhill is seen as a safety in the NFL, rather than a CB. Though most NFL teams run a lot of Cover-2 zones, CBs still need to have man cover skills and his are only average. However, average cover skills for a CB are pretty good for a safety. Thornhill’s ability to cover ground in the deep secondary as well as play up against the run and defend TEs over the middle makes him an ideal NFL safety.

That player is, of course, defensive back Juan Thornhill. He is listed at DB because he’s played both CB and S in his UVA career, but also because he could truly play both in the NFL.

Juan finished his career with 13 interceptions, 39 passes defensed, and 208 tackles. That’s impressive, especially since he didn’t play much as a freshman. He also had 12 tackles for a loss, a forced fumble, and blocked a PAT. The 13 INTs are tied for 6th all-time at Virginia. Thornhill’s senior year was fantastic as he led the team with 98 tackles and was sixth with 4.5 TFLs. He also grabbed six INTs, which tied for 3rd in the nation (and in the ACC).

As a DB, Thornhill’s strength is obvious in pass coverage. But he’s a willing and able run defender as well.

This is perfect coverage of an option play. Thornhill steps into the QB’s path, forcing the pitch. Then he’s able to get to the RB and make the tackle for loss. This is the kind of play you expect from an OLB, not a DB. Yes, Ryan Finley isn’t the quickest of QBs, but he is an NFL caliber QB and this is the type of play Thornhill might encounter in the NFL.

Above, you can see Thornhill playing centerfield against the deep ball. This play is a Cover-2 from Virginia and he has responsibilities deep on his side of the field. It’s hard to tell from this video, but when the inside WR breaks off his route, Thornhill stays with the deep man. There’s good coverage over the top from the CB, so he stays inside the man and comes up with the pick. This is picture perfect from Thornhill.

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Mecole Hardman Jersey

The Kansas City Chiefs selected Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman with the 56th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

The five-foot-ten, 187-pound Hardman isn’t the biggest of receivers, but where he specializes is in his speed. He ran a blazing a 4.33 40-yard dash, and his deep speed is reflective of that time. With his quick, sudden movements, he is tough for defensive backs to match from an athletic standpoint.

He also has a lot of special teams value, as he is a reliable gunner on punt coverage and averaged over 20 yards per punt return in 2018.

It’s entirely possible Tyreek Hill won’t be returning to the Chiefs following the latest developments in his legal case. Assuming he doesn’t play a down with the team again, Hardman will do a great job of replacing Hill’s speed.

The Kansas City Chiefs traded up to select wide receiver Mecole Hardman with the No. 56 selection of the 2019 NFL Draft on Friday night, making the speedy wideout Kansas City’s first selection this year.

Hardman hauled in 59 catches for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns in his last 29 games for the Bulldogs, averaging 16.1 yards per catch.

He tallied seven catches of 30+ yards – and four of at least 50+ yards – last season alone.

One of the top return-men in the nation, Hardman earned All-America First-Team honors at kick returner in 2018 from the folks at ESPN. He was a Second-Team selection by Sports Illustrated.

He averaged 20.1 yards per punt return in 2018 – falling just shy of NCAA minimum qualification rankings – but would have ranked second in the nation had he qualified.Hardman possesses blazing speed, plain and simple. His 4.33 40-yard dash was the fifth-fastest among all players at the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this year (and third among receivers).

And, as his stats suggest, it’s translated to the football field. Check out this 80-yard grab in the National Championship Game a year ago.Ranked as the No. 2 athlete in the country according to ESPN, Rivals and, Hardman was a star on both sides of the ball for Elbert County High School in Bowman, Ga. He earned a trip to the U.S. Army All-America Bowl as a senior, where he lined up at wide receiver and caught three passes for 36 yards.

The Bulldogs had Hardman at defensive back for his first year on campus, but switched him over to the offense in 2017. It turned out to be a wise decision.

The first-round of the 2019 NFL Draft has come and gone, but the Dallas Cowboys have yet to make a pick. The impatience many of us are dealing with right now will finally come to an end today when the Cowboys make the first of their two Day 2 selections at 58th overall in the second-round.

The Dallas Cowboys are slotted to pick 26th in the second-round today, meaning there’s still a lot that’s going to happen between now and then before they can write a name down on their draft card. Instead of getting into specifics of who the Cowboys could select with the 58th overall pick, I’d rather focus on a player I believe they should draft at some point on Day 2 no matter what…Mecole Hardman.

Drafting Hardman 58th overall is a bit of a reach for most people, but I don’t think so if you take into consideration all of the ways he can help as a rookie. I don’t believe the Cowboys will take him that early, but the 90th overall pick in the third-round is much more realistic. If I was in the draft room, I would absolutely pound the table for Hardman in the third if he still available.

Mecole Hardman, the former Georgia product, is a dynamic playmaker in all three phases of the game. He can play receiver, special teams, and even as an emergency defensive back due to his background as a cornerback. That kind of versatility is invaluable, especially in the NFL where roster spots are priceless.

Hardman was part of a deep skill group with the Bulldogs the past two years. Despite being one of the most dynamic playmakers on the team, he only accumulated 73 touches during that time span. He turned those touches into 13 touchdowns, 16 yards per reception, 7.5 yards per rushing attempt, and averaged over 20 yards per punt return. It’s a small sample size, but the numbers speak for themselves.

Surprisingly enough, Hardman is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential. He is going to be even better in the NFL than he was in college. But don’t take my word for it, have a look for yourself

Mecole Hardman is the most dangerous player in space in the entire 2019 draft class in my opinion. His legitimate 4.33 speed certainly helps, but it’s his flexibility, explosion, and balance that makes him extremely difficult to tackle in space and in close quarters. There are very few defenders, if any, who possess the kind of quickness and athleticism to corral him, which is why he can turn a simple play into a home run anytime he touches the ball.