Let’s jump right into this week’s “People’s Mailbag” with a little mood-setting music.
Sure can. That’s what this mailbag is for, to answer your questions about the Chiefs’ three-day rookie camp that concluded on Monday.
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Glad you guys asked! With a little help from T.J. Lavin it’s time to introduce The Star’s All-“You Killed It” Team for rookie camp.
1. WR Chris Conley: The Chiefs’ third-round pick was the most athletic player on the field all three days. No one could keep up with him. He has the speed and movement skills to create separation and threaten teams vertically. This means little right now, however. Because many a man has killed it during rookie camp and OTAs, only to shrink when the pads come on. But this was a strong start for Conley.
2. ILB Ramik Wilson: The Chiefs’ fourth-round pick showed off his cover skills, nabbing three interceptions (by my count) during the three-day camp. That kind of nose for the ball could help him see the field in passing situations, provided it holds up. What we’ll all be looking for come training camp — and what was impossible to see without pads — is how he fares at shedding blocks.
3.CB De’Vante Bausby: He’s big (6-2, 183) and fast with ball skills. Seeing him break up a jump ball intended for 6-foot-4 receiver Kenny Cook was one of the highlights of camp.
4. WR Kenny Cook: At 6-feet-4 and 182 pounds, Cook is enormous. He also showed off his ball skills and catch radius throughout the camp, repeatedly snagging balls out of the air over smaller players. We’ll see how he looks when the pads come on, but Cook gave the Chiefs something to think about.
5. RB Keshawn Hill, OL Melvin Meggs, C Daniel Munyer and OL Kelvin Palmer (tie): All these dudes were tryout guys who were signed to the team following the camp, so they must have done something right. Hill seemed pretty quick, for what it’s worth. It was hard to tell with the linemen.
It’s unlikely, based on Andy Reid’s past history. According to my math, Reid has only had two rookie wide receivers accomplish this feat. Reggie Brown did it in 2005 (43 catches, 571 yards, four touchdowns) and Jeremy Maclin did it in 2009 (56 catches, 773 yards and four touchdowns). DeSean jackson had enough yards (912) in 2008 but only scored two touchdowns.
Yes, I think he has a chance to be that. It might take a year to fully grasp the offense, but the guy could be a really nice complementary piece to Jeremy Maclin. But he has to beat out Albert Wilson first, which could be difficult this year. Wilson can play, and he’s a year ahead.
Big, athletic guy who can run some. I enjoyed talking to him. He knows he needs to get stronger and refine his route running. He’s another guy who will be fun to watch when the pads come on.
Maybe Marcus Peters? He received a lot of coaching from Al Harris, which is not a surprise. He’s Al’s project. Peters has good press strength and is good at breaking on balls in front of him, but Harris was working with him on refining his technique so he can open his hips a bit better, particularly in off coverage.
I mean, you never know. But it would take some serious guts to trade Chase Daniel and hand Aaron Murray the keys to a playoff team if Alex Smith gets hurt. Murray may develop into a fine quarterback, but this isn’t the season to let him take his lumps. The Chiefs are built to win now. How many good years do you think Jamaal Charles and Tamba Hali has left, anyway?
The top five corners are pretty set, in my opinion: Sean Smith, Phillip Gaines, Marcus Peters, Jamell Fleming and Steven Nelson. But Bausby is long, athletic and talented. He had a solid showing during the three-day camp and could figure into the plans if someone gets hurt. He might be an ideal practice squad candidate. But keep in mind, Smith could be suspended two games to start the season due to his DUI case, which means the Chiefs could carry another corner while he’s gone. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves — we really shouldn’t forget about incumbents like Marcus Cooper, the team’s 2013 rookie of the year who seemingly fell out of favor in 2014, and talented 2013 fifth-round pick Sanders Commings, whose range and versatility could help him come cut time.
Lewallen got some work at several different positions on the line. Aside from that, it’s hard to tell with linemen when they don’t have pads on.
Agreed. Any son of the Stinger is basically a son of mine. But alas, the camp came and went and the Chiefs didn’t sign him. Perhaps we need to fly this man into to Kansas City to have a chat with John Dorsey and company, eh?
I don’t like counting out incumbents in favor of rookies (even highly-drafted ones), so I’m gonna put my money on Eric Kush for now. And I’m not so sure an Eric Fisher-Ben Grubbs-Eric Kush-Jeff Allen-Donald Stephenson isn’t the best option for the Chiefs on week one. Those guys have some sense on continuity, they can all get out and run a little bit, which will allow Andy Reid to go back to the running back screen plays they somewhat abandoned last year, and they all show comfort getting to the second-level in a zone-run scheme. If Morse beats out Kush, so be it. But Allen has better feet than last year’s starter at right guard, Zach Fulton, or free-agent signee Paul Fanaika, and as a pending free agent, he’ll be playing for money — just like Stephenson. I like that.