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.

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Running back Deneric Prince

Chiefs fans are pretty used to getting quality rookie running backs out of nowhere. Isiah Pacheco entered the 2022 preseason deep on the depth chart as a seventh-round pick but ended the year leading Kansas City in carries, yards, and rushing touchdowns. He quickly became a fan favorite and solidified his place as the team's starting running back. Deneric Prince may not have quite the same meteoric rise, but he can certainly turn some heads in his preseason debut.

 Prince was the prize of this year's undrafted free agent class in Kansas City. The sizeable running back came from Tulsa, where he had a middling senior season, but still showcased his power and agility on the field. He appeared in only eight games in 2022, but he still posted 729 rushing yards and five touchdowns. All the physical tools were there, and his 5.8 rushing yards per carry were still above average. Prince has a chance in Kansas City to make a significant impact and prove himself as a valuable addition to the team's running back rotation. 

Prince has already seen first-team action in training camp, thanks to Pacheco's limited status. He has turned heads, whether it be on offense or in the return game. He did not have any kickoff returns in 2022 or 2021, but he looked very comfortable in that role during training camp.  

The Chiefs' first depth chart shows Prince as the team's top kick return option. He will get plenty of work on Sunday against the Saints in that role, but his offensive impact is what will really be the determining factor in his future with the team. He is currently RB4, but will likely see plenty of carries on Sunday. Pacheco will be out, Edwards-Helaire has been in and out of camp, and McKinnon is an aging veteran who is no stranger to this rodeo. McKinnon has even been helping Prince practice blocking techniques, arguably Prince's weakest area and McKinnon's strongest.

Prince has the opportunity, the talent, and the drive to succeed this preseason. While that is not the ultimate goal, it is the next milestone on his NFL journey. Hopefully it is not the final milestone he reaches.

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