KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs watched 10 wide receivers go off the board before springing to action in the third round.
Kansas City sent the 80th overall pick and a sixth-round pick (193rd overall) to the Minnesota Vikings to move up four slots to Minnesota’s 76th overall slot.
The Chiefs used the pick on Georgia wide receiver Chris Conley.
“I thought as you sat and looked at what was going on,” Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said, “what was transpiring, it was probably best to react right now and go and get a receiver.”
The Chiefs got a player with the speed to stretch the field and physical skills.
The 6-2, 213-pound Conley clocked a blazing 4.35 40-yard dash at NFL Scouting Combine, and the time tied for third-best time among wide receivers in Indianapolis.
He appeared in 49 games with 23 starts at Georgia, totaling 117 receptions for 1,938 yards and 20 touchdowns, averaging 16.6 yards per catch.
“He’s got vertical speed,” Dorsey said. “He can go deep. He really does have some nice feet in terms of running after the catch and making guys miss. He’s got enough size to break the arm tackle.”
The Chiefs version of the West Coast offense is often described as complex, but Conley may not have a big problem learning it as the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2014.
“What helps is when you’re making that transition from college to the pros, you are thrown this huge playbook,” Dorsey said. “He is really a sharp kid, so he is going to pick the playbook up. He has got the athletic skills to just kind of blend right in, and I look forward to seeing him.”
Conley, a native of Dallas, Ga., will also have a familiar face waiting for him in Kansas City to assist the acclimation period.
The Chiefs drafted former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray in the fifth-round of the 2014 NFL Draft and he and Conley have stayed in touch.
“It’s funny because he’s told me multiple times, ‘Hey man, I wish they would take you. I wish they would get you in here,’” Conley said during a media conference call. “He texted me as soon as they made the pick and was telling me congratulations and hey, get ready to come and grind with me again. So I’m looking forward to being reunited with an old teammate.”
Conley joins wide receivers Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Albert Wilson, Junior Hemingway, Frankie Hammond Jr., Armon Binns, Fred Williams, Da’Rick Rogers, Corbin Louks on the Chiefs roster.
“I’m so looking forward to working with (wide receivers ) coach (David) Culley and just learning the nuances and be able to learn under a veteran just like Jeremy Maclin and those guys there,” Conley said. “They know; they have seen a lot of football and they have seen raw guys come in and work on those things and I just can’t wait to work under that staff, under those players and learn as much as I can.”
The Chiefs have drafted a player from Georgia in four of the last five drafts: Outside linebacker Justin Houston (2011), defensive back Sanders Commings (2013), Murray and Conley, the latter three all coming with Dorsey.
NELSON BRINGS VERSALITY
The Chiefs used the 98th overall pick (compensatory) on a second cornerback in as many days from the Pac-12 with the selection of Steven Nelson.
“Steven Nelson is a very interesting football player who actually originally was committed to Georgia,” Dorsey said. “He goes to Sequoias Junior College (Calif.), winds up at Oregon State. I want to say that he is very versatile, very prideful and he is a very good defensive football player.”
The 5-10, 197 Nelson was a two-year starter for the Beavers and finished his career at Oregon State with 122 tackles (85 solo), two sacks and eight interceptions.
Nelson said during a media conference call he had no pre-draft communications with the Chiefs, but he is familiar with the style of defense he’ll join.
Nelson said he can play outside or as a nickel cornerback, and has experience playing press-man.
He also showed high confidence when asked about his playing style.
“Physical, real physical,” Nelson said. “I would definitely say I’m not afraid of anybody because I can play fast. Versatile, I can play any coverage you ask me to. I even have some finesse when it comes down to it. I’ve been working on my game on the line of scrimmage and down the field as well.”
Herbie Teope is the lead beat writer and reporter for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: