De’Anthony Thomas: The Chiefs Pick I Love

2 of 2

DAT tumbled down draft boards after posting a disappointing 4.51 40-yard-dash time, but he looks much, much faster on tape. In fact, he shows the type sort of top gear speed and track-athlete mechanics that remind me very much of Jamaal Charles — not McCluster, to whom he is most often compared. Once there is open field in front of him, he can lock into a motion and just turns himself into dragster.

But beyond pure speed, he seems to have already developed an NFL-ready level of vision and uses his blocking extremely well.

One way or the other, I don’t expect that his usage on the field will be limited to special teams. As Ben laid out in a post last week, Oregon played him all over the field. In 2012, he led the Pac-12 conference with 7.6 yards per rushing attempt and clocked 1,757 all-purpose yards and 18 touchdowns.

With HC Andy Reid’s signature creative uses of particular athletes in diverse spots, I’d expect to see him lining up at running back, receiver, possibly even tight end.

That said, many Chiefs fans were disappointed that the team did not come out of the draft with a pure wide receiver when the entire football universe considered this their top need. I personally think the Chiefs wide receiver needs were a bit overblown. I don’t think you can point to a single game in 2013 that the Chiefs lost because they were short one receiver.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Sure, the Chiefs almost certainly would have advanced in the playoffs had WR Dwayne Bowe caught that one sideline pass that was on the money in the final minute. But, they also would have advanced if the defense hadn’t evaporated in the biggest collapse in the history of the postseason.

More important than simply ticking boxes on positions of need in the draft this year, the Chiefs picked up new weapons for Reid and DC Bob Sutton to play with.

I for one am excited to see what this kid can do and will be rewatching his highlights over and over until preseason rolls around.