As the first running back drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs since Clyde Edwards-Helaire was selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, 2022 seventh-rounder Isiah Pacheco is a dark horse candidate to break the 53-man roster in his rookie season.
The list of RBs drafted by the Chiefs since 2000 includes the likes of Kareem Hunt, Jamaal Charles, and Larry Johnson as the most notable contributors—while players such as De’Anthony Thomas, Knile Davis, and Darwin Thompson enjoyed some lesser successes. The bottom line, in regards to Chiefs running backs, is that the history is rich among those who were drafted, and hopes are high for the newest member of that exclusive club.
A four-year starter at Rutgers, one of the greatest assets Pacheco brings to Kansas City is his proven durability. He is a 5’10” and 216-pound bruiser, who has put on display his ability to get outside and hit second gear. Concerns with CEH’s speed—and injury-prone nature thus far—have been discussed among Chiefs Kingdom for two full years now, so a beefy RB with apparent explosiveness would be well received by fans.
Seventh-round running back Isiah Pacheco is a dark horse candidate to make the team’s active roster in a crowded backfield.
Pacheco, who will dawn number 10, was never greatly included in the Scarlett Knights’ passing game and there were concerns leading up to the draft about his abilities as a downfield receiver. Whether or not he will clean up that part of his game and disprove naysayers is yet to be seen, but the way that he moves with the ball in his hands makes him an intriguing asset for the Chiefs’ screen game. He tends to try and break runs outside a little early, rather than allowing for blocking to develop in front of him, so maybe he could settle into a short pass-catching role with his apparent comfort working through space in the flat.
Whether he becomes a receiving threat, earns a percentage of the carries out of the backfield, or is only around for depth on the offense, we will likely see him on the field in some capacity. If nothing else, as a spark plug for the special teams.
With blazing 4.37 40-yard dash speed, seeing number 10 haul in punts and/or kickoffs would be reminiscent of Tyreek Hill’s early days in Kansas City. If that is to be Isiah Pacheco’s first role with the Chiefs, fans can only hope that he will experience a similar trajectory of success.