With a very crowded running back room, Kansas City Chiefs sixth-round pick Isiah Pacheco needs to show why the Chiefs should save him a roster spot.
Typically, sixth-ground draft picks don’t generate much buzz for teams in their first year. In fact, many don’t even make final roster cuts. This is even more true when the pick is a running back, one of the more devalued positions in the league.
This is why most people outside of Chiefs Kingdom probably haven’t thought much about Isiah Pacheco, the former Rutgers running back who Brett Veach drafted this past spring. Even most Kansas City Chiefs fans might be scratching their heads trying to figure out who he is. Well, here is your first sneak peek:
Now, this clip doesn’t show a whole lot from Pacheco, but it does seem to show he could be pretty shifty, and also his run up the sideline is a pretty impressive sprint. He’s also getting meaningful reps to prove himself, as he ran with the first-team unit in practice on Saturday—something that can be difficult for any late-round pick.
“He’s a tough guy who doesn’t take anything for granted. He has that attitude and determined mindset that wants to be great — just like everybody in that group,” said Eric Bieniemy of Pacheco.
Pacheco is an interesting position because, as it stands, the Chiefs running back room is pretty crowded. It currently has former first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire, veterans Derrick Gore and Ronald Jones, and then two other lesser-known players in Tayon Fleet-Davis and Jerrion Ealy. Altogether that makes six true running backs (sorry, Mike Burton).
We know not all six are going to make the roster—honestly, probably only three or four at the most, which means Pacheco needs to take advantage of every rep he can get. He also needs to find his footing on special teams.
Based on the (very) small sample size we saw in that clip, Pacheco reminds me of Charcandrick West: small, shifty, and quick. West had a short career with the Chiefs, but when he was paired up with Spencer Ware, they formed a pretty solid thunder-and-lightning duo. Maybe Pacheco can find his own “thunder” somewhere in the running back room.
One thing is for sure if Pacheco does end up making the roster, seeing him in No. 10 is going to take some serious getting used to.