3 Kansas City Chiefs rookies to watch vs Saints

Some Chiefs rookies will get extended looks as the preseason kicks off, either due to injury or just standing out in camp.

Kyle Rivas/GettyImages
3 of 4

Safety Chamarri Conner

Let's stick with the late-round, super-athletic defensive backs, shall we? The Chiefs drafted safety, Chamarri Conner, in the fourth round this year on the back of his hard-hitting production at Virginia Tech. Conner may have more pressure in the long-term picture for Kansas City, but he needs to prove he can hang with NFL competition.

Many Chiefs fans will remember that Sneed came out of Louisiana Tech as a fourth-round safety. A little raw, but very athletic and productive in that defense. The draft and athletic profiles of Sneed and Conner are very similar. This is the final year of Sneed's rookie deal, and the Chiefs' top corner should be in line for a big payday after the 2023 season. But if the Chiefs want to retain other talents, Sneed could walk after this season. Conner coming in and proving he can do what Sneed does in the slot and at safety would be a big help in moving on from Sneed.

Much like Jones, Conner received pre-draft praise for his work on special teams. Brugler gave him a glowing recommendation, saying, "Conner was a special teams ace in college, logging 802 snaps. His special teams background should stand out from Day 1 of training camp." Fans can not ask for a better endorsement than that. Plus, the film stands out well with this gem from Jim Nagy.

But, unlike Jones, there has not been a notable amount of buzz around Conner during training camp. That can be a good or a bad thing, but it does limit the expectations I have for Conner entering the New Orleans matchup. He has a chance to carve out a good role in different units and just be a hard-nosed ball player. The first step in creating that reputation is standing out against the Saints.