KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chiefs rookies and 39 tryout players converged Saturday on the team’s training complex for the first day of a three-day rookie minicamp.
For a vast majority of the players outside of 12 who spent time with the Chiefs during the offseason, Saturday marked the first time since their college careers ended to be around an organized football setting.
Saturday also signaled the first time of the offseason when coaches have an opportunity to get on the field.
“We are very excited to be here for the rookie phase of this minicamp here,” coach Andy Reid said. “They got a little bit of introduction today with meetings and with a walk-through.”
The three-day minicamp provides a first shot for players to compete for coveted roster spots and to catch the coaching staff’s attention before veterans arrive for the start of the voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) on May 24.
For rookie wide receiver Demarcus Robinson, the past day afforded him an opportunity to get his hands on the Chiefs’ playbook and he was pleased with what he read.
“I looked at it,” said Robinson, the Chiefs’ third of three fourth-round picks, “and was like, ‘Man, I definitely can see myself fitting in and making some plays.’”
Kansas City’s nine selections from the recently-concluded draft arguably have a better shot at the final roster than undrafted free agents. But the Chiefs have a good track record of finding college free agents.
In past years under Reid, the Chiefs have secured contributors, including running back Charcandrick West, kicker Cairo Santos, wide receiver Albert Wilson and safety Daniel Sorensen, among others.
In the meantime, the participants of the minicamp will practice without pads and no contact is allowed, making it a challenge to effectively evaluate the play on the field.
But the Chiefs head coach appears pleased with what he has to work with in the coming days.
“It looks like a good crew,” Reid said.
THREE TO GO
When it comes to rookie contracts, the intrigue from years ago is gone when considering the collective bargaining agreement now slots rookie pay depending on round and overall pick.
And it isn’t uncommon for draft picks to agree to terms and sign their contracts before the start of rookie minicamp, such as was the case Friday when the Chiefs signed six of their nine selections.
Defensive lineman Chris Jones, offensive lineman Parker Ehinger, wide receiver Demarcus Robinson, quarterback Kevin Hogan, cornerback D.J. White and outside linebacker Dadi Nicolas are under contract.
The three unsigned are cornerback KeiVarae Russell, cornerback Eric Murray and wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
The Chiefs’ 2016 draft class have assigned jersey numbers.
While the numbers could change between now and the start of the regular season, here is what the players wore on Day One of rookie minicamp: Defensive lineman Chris Jones (95), Cornerback KeiVarae Russell (26), offensive lineman Parker Ehinger (79), cornerback Eric Murray (21), wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (14), quarterback Kevin Hogan (8), wide receiver Tyreek Hill (81), cornerback D.J. White (24) and outside linebacker Dadi Nicolas (52)/
It isn’t uncommon for players who spent time on the Chiefs practice squad the previous season to attend the rookie minicamp, and 2016 isn’t different.
Offensive tackle Laurence Gibson, linebacker Tyrell Adams, wide receiver Da’Ron Brown, tight end Travis Ross and offensive lineman Michael Liedtke, defensive lineman Jimmy Staten are present for camp.
Additionally, select players on the current offseason roster are present: Wide receiver Kenny Cook, offensive lineman Curtis Feigt, defensive back Keith Lewis, fullback Trey Millard, wide receiver Kashif Moore and linebacker Efe Obada.