Getting drafted was the first thrill for the Chiefs’ 2017 draft class. Saturday brought a different type of excitement.
For most of the 70 or so who participated Saturday in the first of the three-day rookie mini-camp, they pulled on an NFL practice jersey for the first time.
“I’ve been dreaming of putting on an NFL jersey since I was probably in the sixth grade and it’s finally here,” said running back Kareem Hunt, the Chiefs’ third-round draft pick. “Now I have to take advantage of it and make the most of my opportunity.”
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It was also a day to reveal uniform numbers of the draftees _ No.15 for quarterback Patrick Mahomes _ and one already has picked up a nickname. Hunt said second-round pick Tanoh Kpassagnon, was known as “Special K.”
“I just got that today from coaches, so that’s pretty cool,” Passaagnon said.
Besides the six draft selections, a dozen rookie free agents are in camp along with about 50 tryout candidates. The most notable of that group is veteran kicker Garrett Hartley, who won a Super Bowl ring with the Saints.
The two quarterbacks in camp besides Mahomes, the team’s first-round pick, are Joel Stave, the Chiefs’ third quarterback last season, and tryout candidate Matt Johns, who played a Virginia.
Nearly everyone is a rookie, looking to get noticed. Former Kansas kicker Matt Wyman is a tryout candidate, as are Missouri Western center Travis Anderson and punter Dalton Parks who played at Staley High.
“It’s an opportunity,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “That’s what I told them. You’re here. Not everybody does this. You get in here, you get the uniform, we’re going to coach the dog out of you like you’re one of the guys and we roll.
“For three days they’re Kansas City Chiefs and that’s the way we approach it as coaches and I expect them to do the same as players.”
There was some news Saturday as the Chiefs announced the signings of three of their draft picks — wide receiver Jehu Chesson (fourth round), inside linebacker Ukeme Eligwe (fifth round) and safety Leon McQuay (sixth round).
The club also announced seven more undrafted free agent signings: Alabama receiver Gehrig Dieter, West Florida receiver Anas Hasic, Oklahoma State cornerback Ashton Lampkin, Southern California guard Damien Mama, Montana cornerback J.R. Nelson, Oklahoma State safety Jordan Sterns and Auburn receiver Tony Stevens.
The Star already reported the signings of Oregon State safety Devin Chappell, Nebraska receiver Alonzo Moore, Utah State tight end Wyatt Houston, Hawaii receiver Marcus Kemp and Texas Permian-Basin offensive lineman Corin Brooks.
All are in rookie mini-camp, with most looking to get noticed.