KANSAS CITY, Mo. – With three picks in the fourth round, the Chiefs addressed depth at key positions on both sides of the ball and took a chance on a player that comes with off-field concerns.
The selections of Cincinnati offensive guard Parker Ehinger (105th overall) and Minnesota cornerback Eric Murray (106th overall) are safe selections.
But the Chiefs took a chance on talent and potential over past character issues by using their final pick (126th overall) of the round on Florida wide receiver Demarcus Robinson, who was suspended four times in college.
Robinson owned his mistakes, which he said included three failed drug tests during his freshman year, during a conference call with Chiefs beat writers. He added teams asked plenty of questions about his character throughout the predraft process.
“I just had to let everybody know that was in my past,” Robinson said. “That was everything in my freshman year and I’m a changed guy now.”
The key for Robinson was convincing prospective employers, and the Chiefs’ decision makers were sold after a vetting process during a predraft visit.
“He spent time with (general manager) John (Dorsey),” area scout Ryne Nutt said. “He spent time with (head coach) Andy (Reid), he spent time with (wide receivers) Coach (David) Culley, he spent time with (co-offensive coordinator) Matt Nagy.
“He spent time with other scouts and I think we were comfortable after feeling the kid out we feel like he’s matured, we feel like he’s gotten humble and just the growth in the kid kind of sold itself.”
The 6-1, 204-pound Robinson finished his career at Florida appearing in 33 games, totaling 1,335 yards receiving and nine touchdowns on 106 catches.
He also doesn’t lack in confidence, comparing some of his physical attributes with two high-profile NFL wide receivers.
“I have Odell (Beckham)-type speed, I would say pretty good hands, big body like Brandon Marshall,” Robinson said.
Robinson’s poise doesn’t surprise Nutt.
“He’s a confident dude, now,” Nutt said. “He expects a lot from himself and it shows, too, that the kid watches the game. He’s watching Sundays, he has an idea, a good feel for who he is as a player, and that’s important, too.”
The selection of Robinson adds to crowded wide receiver corps consisting of Jeremy Maclin, Albert Wilson, Chris Conley, Rod Streater, De’Anthony Thomas, Mike Williams, Frankie Hammond Jr., Fred Williams, Da’Ron Brown, Kenny Cook and Kashif Moore.
The competition in training camp will be fierce for a coveted roster spot, but Robinson didn’t look that far down the road. He preferred to soak in the moment of getting a phone call.
“I’m just excited to be picked,” he said. “I’m excited to be selected.”
The same could be said for the 6-6, 310-pound Ehinger, who is a former college teammate of Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, and the 5-11, 199-pound Murray.
“Whatever they need me at, I’m happy to play anywhere,” said Ehinger, who can play guard or tackle. “If they need me to take center snaps, I’ll take center snaps. I love to compete for a starting position at some point and if it means playing anywhere they need me at, I’m happy to play anywhere.”
Murray agreed, adding he is looking forward to working with the Chiefs cornerbacks.
“Just the opportunity to learn, I think that’s the biggest thing for me,” Murray said. “If I can understand concepts, then I can understand more about the position. I feel like that would translate over for me and go well in my game and help me as well as help the Kansas City Chiefs backfield.”