News

Print
RSS

Versatility, Athleticism and Physicality Highlight Chiefs' Day Two of NFL Draft

Posted May 2, 2015

Mitch Morse, Chris Conley and Steven Nelson are the newest Kansas City Chiefs

As Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey took to the podium on Friday night, shortly after making the Chiefs’ third and final pick of the day, he quickly summed up his feelings on the Chiefs’ selections in the second and third rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft.

“We got better today,” Dorsey stated. “We addressed some needs.”

The Chiefs selected a versatile offensive lineman, an extremely athletic receiver and a physical cornerback with their three picks. 

One word Dorsey used to describe all of these players, “determined.”

Friday also marked the first time the Chiefs have had a second-rounder in the two years Dorsey has led the Chiefs, which is due to the trade with the San Francisco 49ers that brought over quarterback Alex Smith.

The Chiefs used their second-round pick on former Missouri offensive lineman Mitch Morse, whose versatility was praised by Dorsey.

“He can play all five positions,” Dorsey said. “His versatility is phenomenal.”

After playing left tackle last season, Morse said that most teams throughout the pre-draft process talked to him about playing on the inside at either guard or center.

Morse said he spoke with the Chiefs at the NFL Scouting Combine back in February, when he was a standout among the offensive linemen in attendance.

He finished second in the bench press with 36 reps of 225 pounds, fourth in the broad jump at 9’4” and third in the 20-yard shuttle at 4.50 seconds.

Just hours after Morse was picked, Dorsey was non-committal as to where he felt Morse would be lined up once team practices start later in the offseason.

“I would think that you try him at center as a backup or see if he can play guard,” Dorsey said. “He can probably get you out of the game as a tackle, but his versatility, his athleticism, his smarts, his toughness are really good qualities to have.”

For Morse, he doesn’t seem to mind where he plays.

“If I have to move back there I’ll be just fine,” Morse said of moving back to center, where he played back in 2012. “I had a lot of game time experience at center. If that’s where the Kansas City Chiefs need me to play, I feel confident going forward that I can be a good asset to the Chiefs if need be at center.”




Dorsey said that as the middle of the third round started to take shape, the way the board was playing out forced them to make a move and trade up with the Minnesota Vikings in order to secure Georgia receiver Chris Conley.

The Chiefs gave up one of their sixth round picks (No. 193 overall) in order to hop up four spots from No. 80 to No. 76 in the third round.

Just like Morse, Conley (6’2”, 213 pounds) had an impressive combine performance that really put his name out there for people that weren’t already familiar.

Conley had the third best 40-yard dash time among receivers at 4.35 seconds and had the best vertical jump (45.0 inches) and broad jump (11’7) among that same group.

As a senior in 2014, Conley caught 36 passes for 657 yards and eight touchdowns for the Bulldogs. His 18.3 yards per catch average ranked 26th in the nation.

Despite the natural athleticism, Conley said it’s about the little details to be successful in the NFL.

“You have to be a crisp route runner,” he explained. “You have to become someone who is efficient and not only just runs fast and catches the ball well, but you have to be efficient in the way that you run routes.”

Dorsey shared what he likes about Conley.

“Size, speed (combination),” Dorsey said. “He’s got vertical speed and he can go deep. He really does have some nice feet in terms of running after the catch and making guys miss.”

For Conley, the fact that the Chiefs traded up for him isn’t lost upon him.

“If a team is going to move up and they’re going to draft you in that position, they’re going to need you to be ready to make some plays,” Conley said. “I’m so looking forward to working with Coach Culley and learning the nuances of the position, and being able to learn under a veteran like Jeremy Maclin and those guys there.

“They know; they have seen a lot of football. I just can’t wait to work under that staff, under those players and learn as much as I can.”

After playing for four years in the Southeastern Conference, Conley believes that while the competitive nature of the conference may help get him ready for the NFL, there’s still much to learn.   

“Everyone always talks about the speed of the game and they say the speed of the SEC is the closest you get,” Conley said. “Also the physicality and the tenacity, I’ve heard that many times and hopefully that will translate.

“But even in the same frame, I have to be ready to take my game to another level. It may have been effective at this level, it may have been effective when I was at Georgia, but it’s going to take that much more from me now.”

Conley said he spoke with the Chiefs a few times during the pre-draft process.

“It was unique,” Conley said. “It was always soft spoken words. Not really hardball questions. Just conversation, getting to know who I was. They said multiple times that they had heard things about me from people who know me. I guess they kind of wanted to find out for themselves.”

Dorsey didn’t have to look far for anyone who might have an idea about who Conley is as a person or player. Last year’s fifth-round pick and former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray is quite familiar with Conley. They played together for three years at Georgia (2011-13).

“I asked them about who they are as people and how they play the game,” Dorsey said. “I got really interesting insight from Aaron (Murray) about Chris (Conley). Every little bit of piece of information helps.

“Once (Conley) comes here and has a chance to endear himself to this community, you’ll just see what an awesome guy he really is.”

Conley said that he and Murray have stayed in touch.

“I’ve talked to Aaron (Murray) multiple times,” Conley said. “He loves it up there (in Kansas City). It’s funny because he’s told me multiple times, ‘Hey man, I wish they would take you. I wish they would get you in here.’ He texted me as soon as they made the pick and was telling me congratulations and hey, get ready to come and grind with me again.

“I’m looking forward to being reunited with an old teammate.”




The Chiefs selected cornerback Steven Nelson with the No. 98 overall pick (third round).

Despite drafting a cornerback in the first round in Marcus Peters, Dorsey believes you can never have enough talented defensive backs.

“In today’s football, where the game has actually gotten more outside, you can’t have enough good corners on your team,” Dorsey said. “If you can have four or five corners on your team that can play and contribute, you’d like to get as many as you can because that’s the way football has changed a little bit here in the last five years.”




RELATED: Breaking Down the Chiefs' Decision to Draft Washington CB Marcus Peters




Nelson described his style of play to the Kansas City local media on Friday night.

“Physical. Real physical,” he said. “I would definitely say that I’m not afraid of anybody. I can play fast, I'm versatile, and I can play any coverage you ask me to. I even have some finesse when it comes down to it.”

Dorsey loves the competitive nature he sees from Nelson when he throws on his tape.

“I like that every time he steps onto the football field, he’s ready to play,” Dorsey said. “He’s ready to do anything that you ask him to do, whether it be special teams, he’s up for the challenge, he takes pride in how fiercely he plays the game. He’s just a really good competitor.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Nelson was one of just two draft-eligible cornerbacks that didn’t miss a single tackle in all of 2014.

Although he said there wasn’t any dialogue between he and the Chiefs during the pre-draft process, Nelson said he was familiar with what the Chiefs like to do on defense.

"I know they like to play a lot of man coverage,” Nelson said. “They have a lot of great cover guys. They like to match up a lot.”

For a physical player like Nelson, who uses every bit of his 5-foot-10, 197-pound frame, the upfront style of play of defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s scheme will suit him well.

Nelson also mentioned that while he was growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, he used to go and watch Chiefs veteran safety Eric Berry play at Creekside high school in Fairburn, Georgia.

Between Morse’s versatility, Conley’s athleticism and Nelson’s physicality, the Chiefs did get better on Friday.

After the trade-up in order to secure Conley, the Chiefs sit with five picks heading into Saturday and they’re listed below.

Round 1: No. 18 overall – Washington CB Marcus Peters

Round 2: (17) No. 49 overall – Missouri OL Mitch Morse

Round 3: (12) No. 76 overall – Georgia WR Chris Conley

Round 3: (34) No. 98 overall (Compensatory) – Oregon State CB Steven Nelson

Round 4: (19) No. 118 overall

Round 5: (36) No. 172 overall (Compensatory)

Round 5: (37) No. 173 overall (Compensatory)

Round 6: (42) No. 217 overall (Compensatory)

Round 7: (16) No. 233 overall

 

 

^ TOP ^


FAN COMMENTS