Lessons learned from KC Chiefs rookie mini-camp

Trent McDuffie Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Trent McDuffie Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Joshua Williams
Joshua Williams, Fayetteville State (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Projects are going to be projects

In the early rounds, as we’ve already discussed, the Chiefs grabbed a few players who are going to be instant contributors even in their rookie seasons in Trent McDuffie, George Karlaftis, and even Skyy Moore. As the draft went on, however, the Chiefs began to grab at some interesting prospects with clear NFL-caliber skill sets. It’s just that some of them are going to be longer-term projects.

Looking at some of the players at mini-camp, it was clear that those who were taken later in the draft or signed thereafter are going to need more time than some others. For example, in the fourth round, the Chiefs selected Joshua Williams, a Fayetteville State cornerback who was the first player taken from an HBCU. Scouts and analysts knew that Williams was a player with real potential to grow into a long-term contributor, but he would need time to grow with the leap in competition.

Williams had the chance to speak with reporters from rookie mini-camp and he spoke about his own learning curve when he said, “We’re working on everything,” Williams said. “Not to say I’m awful at everything. But everything is completely more complex and at a whole different level.”

Brett Veach echoed those same sentiments even after the draft when he said that one thing he really liked about Williams was the way he struggled early at the Senior Bowl only to then return to practice and get noticeably better. That kind of coachable talent makes it easier for a team to feel good about their bet on a guy like Williams, and that’s going to be true of other names like Jaylen Watson and Nazeeh Johnson as well. Give them time and they will likely begin to reward the Chiefs’ investment if only given the opportunities to grow.