ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – One name consistently comes up since Kansas City Chiefs rookies, quarterbacks and select players arrived Tuesday for training camp: Rookie wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
The 5-10, 186-pound Hill, whom the Chiefs drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, earned praise for his blistering speed and ability to blow by defenders through two days of practice.
“Quick, man, fast,” veteran wide receiver Mike Williams said. “That speed – I played with (Marquise) Goodwin in Buffalo and I haven’t seen anything like this. He’s quick and fast, and I can’t wait until the world gets to see him.”
Williams isn’t alone in complimenting Hill, of course.
While the Chiefs are shorthanded in the early practices, limited to just 7-on-7 personnel groupings, and aren’t in full pads, Hill once again showcased his breakaway speed Thursday morning.
In one instance, Hill, who has been clocked at 4.25 in the 40-yard dash, easily got behind defenders deep down the field before hauling in what would have been a touchdown catch in a real game.
Hill’s explosive talent left an impression on rookie cornerback KeiVarae Russell, who was college teammates at Notre Dame with speedy Houston Texans rookie wide receiver Will Fuller.
“I’ve never seen somebody that fast,” Russell said of Hill. “I’m pretty sure you all know Will Fuller, went to my school, 4.3 (40-yard dash) at the Combine, and I’ve played against elite speed.
“But I’m telling you, man, Ty – Fuller, I love you dog, but Ty might have you, man. He’s that fast, he’s legit that fast. They said he ran like a 9.9 in the 100, and you can see it. No matter who is out there, the dude’s fast.”
Cornerback Phillip Gaines agreed emphatically.
And the third-year defensive back, who possesses 4.38 40-yard dash, certainly has a personal understanding of what speed can do on the football field.
“Tyreek is a special player,” Gaines said. “It’s hard to find a combination of quickness and speed, and he has both.
“He has speed that many people in this world can’t match. He has the combination of quickness to get in and out of breaks. He definitely is a hard cover, so whoever has to go up against him it’s going to be tough. If he continues to work, and which he does, then he’ll be a pretty decent player.”
Hill has an opportunity to build on what he has accomplished through 13 days of offseason practices – 10 organized team activities (OTAs), three days of mandatory minicamp – and the past two days of workouts at training camp.
The team’s veterans are scheduled to report Friday before hitting the practice field for a full practice Saturday. Pads will come on and contact allowed shortly thereafter, and Hill will need to prove he can perform under those circumstances.
Nevertheless, his defensive teammates aren’t taking Hill’s speed for granted.
“If you’re not on your game, he’ll take advantage of it,” Russell said. “If you know what he’s going to do, you can limit what and how he runs his routes with the space you give him. If you just go out there uncertain and the ball is hiked, and you’re playing a guessing game, he’s simply not a guy you want to be playing a guessing game with.”
JONES LEAVES PRACTICE
Rookie cornerback Tre Jones, an undrafted free agent out of Mount Union, suffered a hamstring injury and left practice early. Jones departed the field on a cart, which took him up the steep hill to the training facility.