Former Missouri offensive lineman Mitch Morse expected to hear his name called in the NFL Draft sometime Friday.
But when asked if he thought he would go 49th overall — the pick the Chiefs used to select him in the second round — Morse could only chuckle.
“Oh no, no,” Morse said. “I was expecting to go sometime today. But this is awesome.”
Adding to the excitement, Morse said, is the fact his father’s side of his family lives in Kansas City.
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“You know what, I’m feeling really fortunate, man,” Morse said. “I get to stay close to home, which is Mizzou, and Kansas City is such a great place to be.”
Morse, a Texas native who is listed at 6 feet 5 and 305 pounds, was a three-year starter at Missouri.
He started 11 games in 2012, including seven at center — where he dealt with some snapping issues — and four at right tackle because of injuries along the offensive line. Morse started all 14 games at right tackle in 2013 and moved to left tackle in 2014, when he became a team captain and started all 14 games.
Morse, who has initially been listed as a center by the Chiefs, could potentially compete with Eric Kush at the position. The two are the only centers on the roster, and Morse said he’s absolutely willing to play the position.
“If I have to move back to that position, I’ll be just fine,” Morse said. “I’ve accepted the 2012 season, I learned a lot from it, and I had a lot of game-time experience at center, so if that’s the position they want me to play, I feel confident going forward I can be an asset for the Chiefs, if need be, at center.”
This marks the second straight year a Missouri offensive lineman has been selected in the second round. The Seattle Seahawks selected Justin Britt last year, and Britt became an immediate starter at right tackle.
Morse opened some eyes with an impressive performance at the NFL Combine.
“I was fortunate enough to really put up some good numbers and really get my name on people’s boards,” Morse said. “So if they didn’t know about me, they could see my film and go from there. But I definitely do believe the combine helped me a ton.”
His bench press (36 reps), broad jump (112 inches) and 20-yard shuttle (4.50 seconds) were ranked in the top five among all offensive linemen, and he also posted a 5.14-second 40-yard dash, a 31-inch vertical jump and a 7.60-second three-cone drill.
“I talked to (the Chiefs) at the combine,” Morse said. “I got to really hit it off with Coach (Andy) Reid and the general manager and the coaches were there.”
The Chiefs selected cornerback Marcus Peters in the first round with the 18th overall pick. They took Georgia wide receiver Chris Conley with the 12th pick in the third round (76th overall) after trading a sixth-round pick to Minnesota, and took Oregon State cornerback Steven Nelson with the 34th pick in the third round (98th overall) on Friday.
They have five picks remaining on the final day of the draft Saturday: No. 19 in the fourth round (118th overall), No. 36 and 37 in the fifth round (172nd and 173rd overall), No. 41 in the sixth round (217th overall) and No. 16 in the seventh round (233rd overall).
Chiefs’ second-round pick
▪ WHO: Guard Mitch Morse
▪ PICK: Round two (49th overall)
▪ SCHOOL: Missouri
▪ HEIGHT: 6-5
▪ WEIGHT: 305 pounds
▪ COMBINE STATS: 32 1/4-inch arms. 9 1/4-inch hands. 5.14-second 40-yard dash. 36 bench reps. 31-inch vertical. 112-inch broad jump. 7.60-second three-cone drill. 4.50-second 20-yard shuttle.
▪ HOW HE FITS: Morse is a smart, tough lineman who offers immediate upside as a jack-of-all-trades type lineman, at least initially. He had experience at center, guard and tackle at Missouri and it appears he will initially battle third-year pro Eric Kush for the vacant hole at center. Morse opened some eyes at the combine with a strong performance in tests and drills.