The Chiefs added to their glut of young cornerbacks on Saturday, as they acquired second-year pro Kenneth Acker from San Francisco for a draft pick.
Dorsey and the Chiefs, per team policy, declined to disclose the nature of the pick, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported it is a seventh-round pick in 2018.
Acker, 24, was a sixth-round pick of the 49ers in 2014 and is listed at 6 feet and 194 pounds. He started 13 games for the 49ers last season – primarily as an outside corner general manager John Dorsey said – while recording 65 tackles, eight pass deflections and three interceptions.
“Should be a nice addition,” said Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who found out about the trade shortly after the game.
Dorsey said Acker – who essentially redshirted as a rookie – is also a four-phase special teams guy who possesses enough of the measureables – “He’s right there at the Mendoza line,” Dorsey said – the Chiefs put so much value in. At Southern Methodist’s pro day, he ran a hand-timed 4.5 40-yard dash and posted a 36-inch vertical, along with a 6.94 three-cone drills.
“He’s got athleticism and he’s going to help on special teams and as a backup corner,” Dorsey said. “He was everything we thought could help us, so that’s why we acted on the trade. The compensation, we thought, was fair.”
Dorsey and Reid said the trade is not a reflection of their young corners, of which there are many; instead, it’s just a move to improve depth. However, the Chiefs already have a number of corners on the roster they’ve recently invested draft picks in, and all of them can’t make the team. Phillip Gaines, a third-round pick in 2014, has been productive in the past, but is recovering from a knee injury. He earned his first action of the preseason on Saturday, starting in the nickel next to Marcus Peters and Steven Nelson, but only played a handful of snaps as the team continues to take it slow with his rehab.
After that, Nelson – a third-round pick in 2015 – and 2016 sixth-round rookie D.J. White have each started games this preseason. Nelson earned time with the starting base 3-4 defense on Saturday while White worked with the second teamers in the second half. The Chiefs also have 2016 third-rounder KeiVarae Russell and veteran Marcus Cooper, the team’s 2013 rookie of the year, but they’ve generally been working behind the other four.
That’s six corners competing for playing time – seven if you count Acker – and teams rarely keep more than five corners, so it will be interesting to see which players will be on the move. Teams have until 3 p.m. Tuesday to cut their rosters down from 90 to 75 (the Chiefs are currently at 88) and will have to reduce their rosters to 53 by 3 p.m. on Sept. 3.