Mitch Morse Impressed With "Quickness, Leverage and Explosiveness" This Offseason

The Chiefs rookie center and former Missouri Tiger is adapting to the pro game just right down I-70

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For the Kansas City Chiefs second-round selection, the 49th overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, commissioner Roger Goodell introduced former Chiefs defensive back Gary Green to the podium in Chicago.

Green, of course, will have his own celebration later this year when he enters the Ring of Honor, likely a dream come true for him. At the draft, however, it was his turn to make someone else's dream come true.  

"With the 49th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select," Green paused. "[From] right up the road, Mitch Morse, center from Missouri." 

Morse was stunned.

"It was unbelievable," he said in late June on the Chiefs Download Podcast. "The thing was, even if I wasn't a Missouri guy, being called by the Chiefs would have been incredible. Just to see the success they've had and the reputation they have for being a top-notch program and just excellent people from top to bottom.

"It was a little extra special knowing that I was just an hour and 45 minutes down the road."

In being drafted to the Chiefs, Morse became the third player on the roster with a connection to the Missouri Tigers. Quarterback Chase Daniel will enter his third season with the Chiefs in 2015, while wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, another Tiger, will enter his first after coming over from the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason.

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As far as a position along the offensive line, Morse has done it all. Different situations during his time at Missouri called for him to play some center his sophomore season and later play significant time at right and left tackle.

"He started at left tackle, he's played right tackle, he's played center and he's played guard," general manager John Dorsey said at the draft. "I would think that you try him at center as a backup there or see if he can play guard. 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."

Right around the time of the Scouting Combine, Morse said it became clear that NFL teams seemed to agree with Dorsey's philosophy, penning him in as a center or guard.

"I talked to the agent and [he] said, 'Listen, this is what guys see you at. Heavy, short arms,'" Morse said. "I had no idea about it until I got to the Combine. They were hounding me, so they said, 'Listen, you're inside for sure.' So I started working on my snaps right after that."

After Rodney Hudson's departure to the rival Oakland Raiders this offseason, the Chiefs knew they would have a new starting center in 2015.

Eric Kush, who is entering his third season with the Chiefs at the position, is the token "next man up," and fortunately for Morse, Kush has been tremendous in helping him along.

"The guys have been excellent, especially Kush has been real supportive," Morse said. "Not to say the other guys haven't, but it's nice to have guys take me under their wing when maybe I'm out of line or don't know what I'm doing."

Social media has shown that the positive relationship even extends beyond the white lines.

During OTAs, offensive line coach Andy Heck was asked about the pair and he shared his evaluation up to that point.

"Both those guys are built ideally to play the position," Heck said. "Mitch is quickly picking things up and we're cross-training him at both center and guard. We love his quickness and his leverage. He's a very explosive guy."

Based on the comments of his teammates and coaches, it seems it won't be a matter of if Morse will make an impact, but when.

As far as what he will look to accomplish off the field, Morse explained that he wants to get involved in the Kansas City community as much as he can.

"I find myself very vested in the disabled community due to the fact [of] my younger brother," he said. "I feel like I'm a guy you can approach. I have no hair on my head, I have a beard, but I'm a guy you can talk to about pretty much anything.

"I just want to be a good teammate and be the best person I can be and make my mom and dad proud outside of the football field."

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