After addressing two primary needs — defensive line and cornerback — with their first two picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Chiefs used all three of their fourth-round picks to do the same on Saturday, the final day of the draft.
With pick No. 105, they selected Cincinnati tackle Parker Ehinger, an experienced offensive lineman with versatility. With pick No. 106, they selected Minnesota cornerback Eric Murray, a competitive and fluid corner with cover skills. And with pick No. 126, they selected talented-but-troubled receiver Demarcus Robinson from Florida.
Ehinger, who is listed as 6 feet 6 and 310 pounds, was a four-year starter for the Bearcats. He started out at right tackle as a freshman and spent his next two years at right guard before shifting out to left tackle as a senior.
The Chiefs’ lead scout on him was Pat Sperduto. Sperduto said Ehinger’s experience — he started 50 games at Cincinnati — and versatility was attractive to the Chiefs. So was his technique in pass protection.
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“He’s a guy that shows a ton of patience in his game; he has aggression, he knows when to use it, when to pull back. He’s a guy that will definitely fit in our (O-line) room.”
Ehinger’s NFL.com draft profile says his “core strength is below desired level, but Sperduto said there’s room on Ehinger’s frame for added growth, and Ehinger agrees.
“I feel like I can develop parts of my body in different areas, and I feel like I can get in the weight room and work on certain parts that maybe I didn’t have as much time to work on in college, just being busy with school and everything,” Ehinger said.
With their next pick, the Chiefs selected Murray, who is listed at 5 feet 11 and 199 pounds. He is a three-year starter who recorded 66 tackles, an interception and seven pass breakups. He also forced three forced fumbles and was a willing special teams player, too. Murray blocked two punts in 2014.
The Chiefs’ lead scout on Murray was Terry Delp, who said Murray’s athleticism — he ran a 4.49 40-yard dash and posted a superb 39 1/2 -inch vertical jump — is the first thing that stands out.
“I was watching Minnesota a couple years ago and you’re like ‘Oooh, who’s that guy?’ ” said Delp, who remembers watching Murray chase down an offensive player across the field. “He’s really smooth. Good hips.”
Delp said the Chiefs also liked Murray’s toughness. Murray’s NFL.com profile says he “maintains good positioning and crowds receiver’s chest, forcing him against the sideline” and “does not have the mentality of a small cornerback.”
“I’ve always been an aggressive kid; I never could play basketball because I was too aggressive,” Murray said with a laugh. “It’s just always been in me; I can’t really help it.”
Delp is excited to see Murray join a young cornerback corps that includes six players taken in the last three drafts (Marcus Peters, Phillip Gaines, KeiVarae Russell, Steven Nelson and 2016 sixth-rounder D.J. White).
“He’s a captain, he called people out … he was known as the toughest guy on the team — every teammate said that, which is kind of unusual, especially for a corner,” Delp said of Murray. “He’ll hit ya, and he’s got an edge. He’ll tell it how it is.”
With their final pick of the fourth round, the Chiefs selected Robinson, who is listed at 6 feet 1 and 203 pounds. Robinson, nephew of former NFL receiver Marcus Robinson, was called “an electrical vertical talent” whose NFL comparison is Mike Wallace in his NFL.com draft profile.
Ryne Nutt, the Chiefs’ lead Southeast scout, said Robinson — who ran a 4.59 40-yard dash at his pro day and caught 48 passes for 522 yards and two touchdowns in 2015 — would have gone in the top three rounds were it not for his off-field issues.
“He’s a loose-hipped, quick-footed athlete,” Nutt said. “He’s a little quicker than fast, but on tape when you watch this kid, he can run, now, he can climb on defensive backs.”
Robinson, however, had a somewhat bumpy road to the pros. He was suspended four times in college, with the first three coming his freshman year because of failed marijuana tests. Robinson later spent 45 days in drug rehab, and said on Saturday that he hasn’t touched drugs since he was a freshman.
His last suspension came in November 2015, when he was suspended for the Florida State game for meeting with an agent.
“I was just trying to move too fast,” Robinson said.
Since then, Robinson — who declared for the draft after his junior season — says he has fielded all sorts of questions from teams about his off-field issues, and has worked to assuage concerns.
“I just had to let everybody know that was in my past — everything was in my freshman year, and I’m a changed guy now,” Robinson said. “I haven’t done anything wrong since my freshman year.”
Nutt said the organization did its off-field homework on Robinson, which included plenty of digging around Gainesville.
“Teammates loved this kid; this is a kid that’s going to come in, he’s going to do anything you ask,” Nutt said. “He’s going to work his butt off, he’s not a diva, he doesn’t demand the football, he’s gonna play on special teams if you want him (to), he’s going to block on the edge if you want (him) to.
“Just, he wants to please. He’s a people pleaser.”
Robinson added that the Chiefs brought him in for a predraft visit, and he had an opportunity to speak to multiple members of the personnel department, including general manager John Dorsey, coach Andy Reid and receivers coach David Culley.
“We feel like he’s matured, we feel like he’s gotten humbled — just the growth in the kid sold itself,” Nutt said.
Robinson joins a receiver room that includes a respected veteran leader in Jeremy Maclin, in addition to Albert Wilson, Chris Conley, Rod Streater, Mike Williams and another former Gator, Frankie Hammond.