The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine began on Saturday and wrapped up today, inside Lucas Oil Stadium, from Indianapolis, IN.
It's fair to say that this Combine experience was unlike any other for the Kansas City Chiefs, who haven't owned the league's top draft pick since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.
Fast foward 43 years, where new general manager John Dorsey, new head coach Andy Reid and his coaching staff embark upon a new chapter and legacy in Chiefs history.
Our 65TPT crew traveled to Indianapolis, where we began with a behind-the-scenes look, detailing what you, the fans, would see, if wearing a credential.
After the tour around chilly Indianapolis, it was time to set up shop in the media room, where just feet from our table, our new head coach addressed the Combine media, for the first time in his NFL head coaching career.
Less than 24 hours after coach Reid spoke about the new Chiefs regime, his running mate, new general John Dorsey owned the media room as well, discussing everything from the first pick, to the impressive WRs in this year's draft class, as well as updating the media about talks involving Dwayne Bowe and Branden Albert.
It was refreshing to hear two of our organization's leaders, speaking about the team's mission to restore the winning culture that is Kansas City Chiefs football.
The dynamic duo, Dorsey and Andy Reid, were busy meeting and interviewing players, searching for the best fits for the 2013 Chiefs roster and beyond. In addition to their player evaluations and interview sessions, they represented the Chiefs in refreshing fashion, meeting with several media outlets, throughout their time inside Lucas Oil Stadium.
To gauge the national perception of the Chiefs, we caught up with two of the best in the business, Sirius XM's Adam Caplan and ESPN's Chris Mortensen, who assessed the Chiefs needs in the offseason and discussed the future outlook of the organization, directed by Dorsey and Andy Reid.
After speaking with the Chiefs brass, as well as Caplan and Mort, it was time to focus on the Combine players.
Keep in mind, more than 300 players received invites to the Combine, each searching for a spot on the 53-man roster, of any one of the 32 NFL teams, including our Kansas City Chiefs.
Although last year's draft class, which included the names Luck, RG3 and Russell Wilson, may sound more appealing, the 2013 Draft class has some intriguing names as well, for both football and non-football related reasons.
For example, former USC QB Matt Barkley has been described as not having a strong-throwing arm, while people question his ability at the next level; Barkley had an appropriate answer for such accusations, during his press conference.
Meanwhile, sticking with the quarterbacks, I've seen West Virginia's QB Geno Smith listed as the top QB in this draft. Smith declined an invite to showcase his talents at the Senior Bowl last month and walked me through his thought process, regarding that decision.
During his on-field workouts, Smith ran the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds, behind him was EJ Manuel at 4.65 seconds.
Following his Combine trip, Manuel's draft stock is rising, according to NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah. EJ addressed the media, from one of the three elevated podiums, and carried himself in impressive fashion.
As for the running backs in this draft, the biggest story to me, is the comeback of South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore.
Three months after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery, Lattimore is determined to make it back to the field, an NFL field, that is.
Lattimore told me that Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, who rushed for 1,509 yards in 2012, after tearing his ACL the year before, has served as an inspiration to him.
Moving from RBs to the guys catching passes, wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson is predicted to go as one of the top receivers in the draft. Patterson told me that his three biggest strengths, heading into the NFL, are "speed, catching and scoring."
In order for QBs to have the time to find their open receivers, they need help up front. One of the positions responsible for providing the QB time, the left tackle.
I see a three-way race for the top left tackle taken in this April's draft. We spoke to Eric Fisher at the Senior Bowl and again at the Combine and he still believes that he is the best tackle in the draft. However, Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel and Oklahoma's Lane Johnson, beg to differ. Joeckel was later asked about Kansas City and professed to loving "the barbecue."
The player who was under the biggest spotlight, for both football and non-football questions, was Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o, who put the hoax-scandal story behind him, by admitting mistakes and an unrelated poor performance in the title game loss to Alabama. On Monday, Te'o ran his 40-yard dash in 4.82 seconds.
It seems only fitting that the DBs "shut down" the Combine, concluding their sessions today. Among those being most talked about, include Alabama DB Dee Milliner, who ran an unofficial 4.31 40-yard dash, which was later topped by Cal DB Steve Williams' unofficial 4.25 40-yard dash time. A few other notable performances, former LSU star Tyrann Mathieu looked strong during on-field drills and Washington DB Desmond Trufant was impressive with an unofficial 40-yard dash time of 4.31.
As the Combine closes, we move one step closer to free agency, which begins March 12, followed by the 2013 NFL Draft (April 25-27).
OTAs, mincamps and training camp can't get here soon enough, as it's going to be an unforgettable ride in 2013 at Arrowhead.
As for the comprehensive Combine coverage, watch more Chiefs staff, media and player interviews, listed below.
Joel Collier - The Chiefs Assistant GM describes the Combine experience, working with John Dorsey and Andy Reid.
Rich Gannon - The former Chiefs QB and current CBS NFL analyst addressed the Chiefs offseason needs.
Tyler Bray - The former Vols QB talks about his decision to leave college early for the NFL.
Tyler Eifert - The former Notre Dame TE discusses his Combine experience.
Landry Jones - The former OU QB talks about his arm strength and more, heading into April's draft.
Barkevious Mingo - The former LSU DE/LB was all smiles, during his Combine presser.
Ryan Nassib - The former Syracuse QB takes the mic and answers the media's questions at the Combine.
Alex Okafor - The former Texas DE described what NFL teams would be getting from him, off the field.
Alec Ogletree - During his presser, the former Georgia Bulldogs LB expressed regret for his off-the-field mistake.
Chance Warmack - Find out who the Alabama OL's favorite running back is.
Tyler Wilson - The former Arkansas QB sat down with members of the media to talk about the upcoming NFL Draft.