Chiefs news: Hunter Nourzad describes the 'pure excitement' of draft day

The Chiefs' fifth-round pick had his introductory press conference and talked about learning from the team's vets and the value of his versatility.
Penn State v Maryland
Penn State v Maryland / G Fiume/GettyImages

When the Kansas City Chiefs submitted the card for their fifth-round pick with Hunter Nourzad's name on it, they were doing so with the hopes of bolstering more than one position. That's something that Nourzad clearly takes pride in.

Nourzad is an older prospect in the Chiefs draft class, a sixth-year senior at Penn State who profiles as an interior lineman at the next level. That does not mean, however, that he can't slide outside at tackle if called upon. Yes, that means he can play all five positions up front.

It's not as if the Chiefs are likely to call on him to do so, but the versatility that Nourzad brings is a big reason why his name was submitted in the first place. The Chiefs lost OL Nick Allegretti this offseason to a free agent deal with the Washington Commanders. In the process, they lost their most reliable backup behind starting guards Joe Thuney and Trey Smith or center Creed Humphrey.

The Chiefs' fifth-round pick had his introductory press conference and talked about learning from the team's vets and the value of his versatility.

During his introductory press conference, Nourzad said the Chiefs valued his versatility and said he's ready to step in wherever he's needed for Andy Reid's offense.

"I think that when you look at my past and all of the positions that I have played, it kinda just speaks for itself that I can. I feel very comfortable and happy to play any position that the coaching staff and the organization decide will help the team as much as possible."

There's a greater challenge to being able to change positions inside than what the casual fan might realize, which is what helps to make Nourzad such a valuable late-round addition to the Chiefs. He might not be a starter in the short term but in a league where anything can happen at any time, Nourzad's versatility is a vital asset up front.

"Each position is different when you go from tackle to guard to center because you change things like the space and time you have and the people you’re blocking and other responsibilities when you’re at center," said Nourzad.. So I think the coaching staff having me do those things at Penn State when I got there has enabled me to switch positions."

In 2021, Nourzad played both left and right tackle primarily for the Nittany Lions before transitioning inside in 2022, where he started full-time at left guard. This past year, he was made the team's starting center.

"It was a combination of a decision because I knew I wanted to move to center if I decided to come back for a sixth year and coaches also knew that it would probably be the best position I would move to for helping out the team as much as possible."

Nourzad was well aware of the talent levels on the roster he was drafted into—with multiple All-Pros in Thuney and Humphrey around. He described his emotions as "pure excitement" when he got the call from K.C. "My reaction was pure excitement. Watching the draft for the past three days and waiting for my name to be called, as soon as you get that call on the phone, it’s really just a wave of excitement."