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What We Learned from the Chiefs Area Scouts

Area Scouts addressed the media following each round on day three of the NFL Draft


Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star):Parker Ehinger is a long guy who is technically sound, can you elaborate on that and his strengths and weaknesses?

SPERDUTO:"Yeah, he's a guy that's started more than 50 games at Cincinnati. He's played guard, he's played tackle, so the versatility adds to his value. He's a guy that shows a ton of patience in his game, he has aggression, he knows when to use it, when to pull back. He's a guy that will definitely fit in our room, he's a true o‐lineman. He had a hunting accident where he was cleaning a gun and sliced his hand. So when I met him, he had stiches in his hand – I was like 'Oh gosh, what happened now?' He said he was just cleaning his gun, got finished hunting, cleaning my gun and cut my hand. But he's that type of guy, he'll fit in our room, fit in our building. He'll be real easy for you guys to talk to and handle, so you shouldn't have any issues with that. He's a good football player."

Paylor:Is there room for added growth, strength‐wise?

SPERDUTO:"Oh yeah. He was, actually at the start of this season, he was probably closer to 324, 325. That might have been a little big for him early on and it happened so quick from the spring to the start of the season, that might be a little tougher."

Paylor:Does he have projectable skills as a guard or is he a tackle?

SPERDUTO:"That goes to the coaches, that's out of our deal. I think he could play both, but that really goes to the coaches – where they want to put him, where they want to use him."

Paylor:Can you elaborate a little bit on KeiVarae Russell?

SPERDUTO:"First of all, he's an outstanding kid. I know he had to miss 2014 because of an academic issue. That was a rare academic deal that only Notre Dame kind of would put him in that situation. He handled it like a man. You're talking about another quality guy that's going to come in here. He's a juice guy, meaning he's got some spunk to him. He'll help our secondary that's already growing with that type of swagger. When you get a chance to meet him, you'll get it.

Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital‐Journal):When you went through Ehinger's background, how much did you bring Travis Kelce in to talk about his background?

SPERDUTO:"We (Parker and I) actually went out to dinner, him and I, and it was kind of funny. It wasn't really – we didn't talk about Travis, it was more getting deeper into the person, the family. He's been through a little bit, he lost his dad. This guy, you'll see, he's going to be a good fit, he's going to be a good fit for you guys. Great fit for our room, for our offensive line room and a great fit for our locker room."

TJ Carpenter (WHB):How quickly do you feel like he'll be able to assimilate the offense?

SPERDUTO:"It's a position of growth. You look at our past draft picks like Larry (Duvernay‐Tardif) and those guys, Zach Fulton, they took a minute. Mitch (Morse) jumped right in and got rolling. Parker's that type of guy. I don't know if it's going to happen overnight, but he's smart enough to handle it and that's an added plus for him."

BJ Kissel ( you were to point to one game to go watch, what would it be?

SPERDUTO:"For Parker, I'd probably go later in the year. It was a position change for him early on when he went from guard to tackle. They can watch anything after those first few weeks, he got rolling. For him, he was consistent, that's what made his value so (high), it's the same thing. He's such a technique guy. And his patience, that patience, once you make that change, like he did from position, you kind of buildup that patience in understanding that this is a different position, I have to adjust my focus, I have to adjust my approach. You can watch any game on that kid and you'd feel the same."

Paylor:Did either of you see any safety traits in Russell or Murray?

SPERDUTO:"KeiVarae's a corner, I think KeiVarae, he's a cornerback. You watch those games in 2013 and you're seriously impressed. This whole year, his play, the way he did with a stress fracture and got through that. He's a corner."

Nick Jacobs (Time Warner Cable Sports Channel):What's the one unique characteristic that really solidified them on your board?

SPERDUTO:"I think, if you look at almost all the guys we've taken, they're all guys that are smart, tough, athletic. And most of all, they all have a passion."

Kissel:As a personnel evaluator, is it easier to evaluate a guy who has played so many positions?

SPERDUTO:"You're exactly right, you're exactly right. You're talking about a guy that's played a bunch of spots. And that versatility adds to our coaches' ability to adjust them."


BJ Kissel ( jumped out about Eric Murray?

DELP:"The athlete, for sure. He's one of those guys that, I was watching Minnesota a couple years ago and you're like 'Woah, who's that?' The athlete really stands out and the more you dig in, the better it gets. He's a great player, great person, all that stuff."

Paylor:How is his fluidity thing as a turn‐and‐run guy?

DELP:"Good, he's really smooth with good hips. Like I said, the thing that stood out to me the first time I saw him, as a younger kid, was the speed. He chased down a guy across the field and you're like 'Woah.' But he's got good feet, good hips, he's a good athlete."

Paylor:Could you talk about his technique and physicality?

DELP:"I kind of kept walking around the building and asking 'How tough is this kid?' The first thing people said when you asked him was how tough he was, he just has an edge, they said. He's just kind of that quiet guy, he's a captain, he'll call people out. He was known as the toughest guy on the team, every teammate said that, which is kind of unusual."

Paylor:At 5‐11 and a corner, he's the toughest guy on the team?

DELP:"Especially for a corner, yeah. But I'm telling you, every teammate I asked, I said 'Who's the toughest guy on the team?' And they said that guy."

Paylor:Did they say why?

DELP:"He'll hit you and he's got an edge. He'll tell you how it is, he'll call you out if he needs to."

Paylor:Does he have the skills to project inside as a nickel?

DELP:"Athletically, for sure. And he did do that a little bit there. He's played both inside and out."

Paylor:Are his eyes okay, can he process?

DELP:"Oh yeah, I don't think there will be any issues there."

Carpenter:He said as long as he can get his hands on a guy, he has no issue pushing a wide receiver off of his route. Is that your experience?

DELP:"No, no, he's a very physical player. In college, you can get away with grabbing and being a little more physical than this level. So he did that quite a bit and he was pretty good at it."

Carpenter:Do you think that transition is going to be a problem?

DELP:"No. that's really common in college football nowadays. All of them do it."

Carpenter:Do you feel like Murray will be able to quickly assimilate the defense?

DELP:"Yeah, no question about it. I mean, the coaches didn't blink when I asked about that. Then when you see it on the field, he plays smart and doesn't bust. And to answer (the other) question about him, I'd say Iowa (was his best game), because they're a physical team and you can see him tackle and hit, but they have a fast receiver, too, and you can see him run and cover."

Paylor:Did either of you see any safety traits in Russell or Murray?

DELP:"Yeah, I think Eric could do either because he's tough enough to do it and smart enough and certainly athletic enough."

Paylor:Does he have the eyes to do it?

DELP:"Sure, absolutely."

Jay Binkley (610 Sports Radio):Didn't they send him on blitzes, too?

DELP:"Oh yeah. Like the Ohio State game, he played with a broken bone in his hand, he's taking Ezekiel Elliott. He's not scared or weak."

Nick Jacobs (Time Warner Cable Sports Channel):What's the one unique characteristic that really solidified them on your board?

DELP:"Athletic and tough and very competitive, very competitive."


Adam Teicher (ESPN):Is there a guy as far as style of play that Demarcus (Robinson) reminds you of?

NUTT:"Not really, he's an excellent athlete, very loose hipped, quick footed athlete. He's a little quicker than fast, but on tape when you watch this kid he can run, he can climb on defensive backs. I couldn't give you one receiver that he reminds me of right now."

Dave Skretta (Associated Press):I get that four suspensions is sort of misleading a little bit but how do you sell the guys upstairs on his past?

NUTT:"You go into the school, you talk to staff, you see where the kid has grown. I spent time with him when we brought him in here, he spent time with John (Dorsey), he spent time with Andy (Reid), he spent time with coach (David) Culley, he spent time with Matt Nagy, he spent time with other scouts and I think we were comfortable after feeling the kid out. We feel like he's matured, we feel like he's gotten humbled.  The growth in the kid kind of sold itself."

Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star):So much of scouting now is not just evaluating the player and the tools, it's doing the background work, being a detective. When you were in Gainesville, what are they saying? What are some positive things people told you?

NUTT: "Teammates loved this kid, this is a kid that's going to come in, he's going to do anything you ask, he's going to work his butt off. He's not a diva, he doesn't demand the football, he's going to play on special teams if you want him, he's going to block on the edge if you want him to. He wants to please, he's a people pleaser and he's a really good kid. Talking to him, at the combine I talked to his combine group leaders, the kid was on time, everything they asked the kid to do he did. Coming in here Andy is really good, the offensive guy are really good, so I think he'll fit in fine."

Paylor:I know you have to be careful about saying where his value is but as a talent can you say generally what kind of talent he is? He had to fall a little bit because of the off field stuff, but as a talent, if you took all of that stuff away how much earlier could we have been talking about him going?

NUTT: "I thought he was a top three round talent to be honest. I thought he was, as I said before, loose hips, quick footed, his production is down a little bit but the kid with the ball in his hands, it's impressive what he can do with a ball in his hands."

Paylor: How many times did he have to adjust his route based on the coverage?

NUTT: "They put this year, when coach Mac (Jim McElwain) came in, they put it on him now. They moved him around, you've got to learn this offense and he did it. He sat in and he met with Matt Nagy and he talked coverage and he said for a wide receiver he was impressed by what this kid knew. I think he'll be fine, it's always an adjustment in year one, it's going to be an adjustment for anybody coming into this system because the playbook is thick and there's a lot of verbiage but with those coaches and this kid's willingness, he'll be fine."

BJ Kissel ( fans that have never seen him play and if you were going to show fans one game that kind of shows everting that you like about him, what game would you show?

NUTT:"Mississippi this year he played well, Vanderbilt he played well. There's a few games last year I can't think off the top of my head, but the kid's definitely got moments where he shows you where he can be."

Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital‐Journal): We had him earlier on a conference call, he said he likes to compare his hands to Odell Beckham and he's got a body like Brandon Marshall, as a talent evaluator how much would you agree?

NUTT: "I'll let him make those kind of comparisons. I think the kid is talented but he can do all that stuff. Odell's hands are special now, this kid's got good hands too but I won't go to detail on that stuff."

Teope: The fact that he mentioned these two well‐known receivers, what does that say about his confidence?

NUTT: "He's a confident dude now, he expects a lot from himself. It shows too that the kid watches the game, he's watching Sundays, he has a feel for who he is as a player and that's important too."

TJ Carpenter (810 WHB):How difficult was it to evaluate him as a wide receiver given some of the inconsistencies at QB for the Florida Gators?

NUTT: "You've got to go back to last year, because last year was a little bit more productive and a little bit more consistent, but practice too. I was in Gainesville probably four times, went to practice twice, watched this kid, saw him live, saw him move around, saw him catch the football so you put it all kind of together and see where he can go. We cut up all the tape from this year and put it all together in terms of when he's touching the ball what's he doing. I think he had around 50 catches this year so you have 50 right in a row opportunities to kind of scout him so you use all of that."

Carpenter: How is his ball security?

NUTT: "Ball security is good, that's one thing I think he'll need to work on because he wants to make a play with the football in his hands. Demarcus knows that, the guy wants to produce for your team. That's his thing is the YAC, that's what he's really good at. He wants to get that extra yard and sometimes the ball can come out but that's all correctable.  I think our coaches will do a good job with that."

Jay Binkley (610 Sports Radio): Playing in the SEC with that level of competition, is that going to help Demarcus?

NUTT: "Absolutely, he practiced against Vernon Hargreaves who went in the top 11 or 12 or something like that. I've seen those 1‐on‐1 tapes and Demarcus has come out on the positive side more times than not so this kid is playing top level corners, week in and week out. It matters, I think just seeing that now there's less of a jump when you come to the NFL."

Paylor: I believe you were the lead scout on Chris Jones. I'd like you to tell us a little bit about his strengths and weaknesses.  I think the first thing you notice is a really unique body.

NUTT:"Absolutely, big human being. That kid can add weight if you want him to and if you want to keep him to where he's at around 310 he can do that as well. Very powerful, very long armed kid, when you watch the tape it's almost like octopus arms the way he'll strike guys and they'll kind of crumble down the way he can use his hands. Very powerful base in the lower, he's got thick thighs, butt and he's got athletic calves and medium sized ankles."

Paylor:Is the effort ok in pursuit, did he wear down in games?

NUTT:"I don't think he wore down. The thing with Chris was, the pad leverage. I think the pad level can sometimes make it look a little worse than what it is. If this kid can play with low pads and I told him this on the phone when we talked and when we saw each other and he knows that's just consistent pad leverage, I think he's going to be a really good football player."

Paylor:Does he have the skills to play, 1‐technique, 3‐technique, 5‐technique, 2‐ gap can he do all of that?

NUTT:"He can play any position on the defensive line and he can play on all three downs if he wants when he gets into it. He's still got to show that he can do it in the NFL obviously. From college tape, I think he can play three technique, five technique, I think he can play nose, he can play anywhere."

Paylor:Frame wise does he remind you of anybody you've seen?

NUTT:"Probably Marcus Stroud with Jacksonville, I'd say a little similar to that. This kid's probably a little better of an athlete, but the body type is similar."

Carpenter:You said he could add weight if they wanted him to, do you think he could slim up?

NUTT:"Yea, he's a thick boned, big dude, I mean 310 that's naturally easy for the kid. I don't know if you'd want him to slim up but if you told him to I think he would do it, Chris is willing to do whatever you want him to do."

Paylor:Is it a quick metabolism, is he going to have to be conscious of the body composition? Or is it going to be easy for him?

NUTT: "I think when you're 310 pounds and its natural and you look good, I think the weight is always going to be something, for anyone over 300 pounds that you need to be conscious of."


BJ Kissel ( stood out when you were doing the evaluation on Kevin Hogan?

KOZIOL:"I think the guy's won a lot of games for them. He's a very, very bright kid. He's coming from a pro‐style offense. He's 36‐10 as a career starter for them, he's won three Pac‐12 Championships, he's the only quarterback, I think, in Stanford history who's been to three Rose Bowl games, too. If you look at his body of work as a whole, it's really impressive, the guy has figured out a way to win games in a pro‐style offense. I thought that was very impressive."

Teicher:What held Hogan back to the fifth round, why was he not considered a higher‐round pick?

KOZIOL:"I don't know. I'm thrilled to have him in the fifth round. I think we got a great get there. I can't speak to what other teams were thinking of, but he had been somebody that had been on our radar throughout this whole process."

Teicher:Did you guys have him rated higher than a fifth‐round pick?

KOZIOL:"You know, he was a guy that was in the mix. I can't recall specifically where he was, but he was a guy that we thought if he was available to us, that we would take a shot on."

Paylor:Are you guys good with his delivery?

KOZIOL:"I'm not really a quarterback guru, I can't really speak a whole lot on the mechanics of how they throw. How guys throw, you can work with that. You see the guy in San Diego, Philip Rivers, he's managed to kind of overcome that. I don't really believe in messing with how kids throw, he was able to do it and do it at a high level at Stanford. So if he was able to accomplish that, playing in some big games in a pro‐ style system, that's not a concern to me, no."

Paylor:How much verbiage did he have to deal with at Stanford?

KOZIOL:"Probably as much as anybody in the country. I know that, speaking with (Stanford Head Coach David) Shaw and their offensive guys there – not only were they doing run‐pass checks at the line of scrimmage and having his ability to audible out of things. Sometimes he's carrying three plays into the line. And that's something that's really advanced for the college levels. I don't think there will be any problems with him acclimating to the verbiage that I know coach uses in our offense."

Kissel:If you were to pick one game for fans to watch to get an idea of what he could be, what would that be?

KOZIOL:"I thought the Notre Dame game this year was outstanding. That's a big time game for them, that's a big time rivalry. Obviously with his family's connections with Notre Dame, that's a very important game for him and I thought he really showed up in a primetime matchup versus a really talented team."


Adam Teicher (ESPN):Tyreek Hill was accused of a serious crime, did the organization consider that when they drafted him?

NUTT:"Sure, he's a guy that had an issue in the past. John (Dorsey), Dirk (Taitt) and myself, we've done the research on it. From that, I think John was comfortable enough to take the kid. I'm not going to speak anymore on that, I'm going to speak on the player and what he can do for us. But that other stuff might be better questions for John."

Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star):Could you talk about Tyreek Hill?

NUTT:"He's got world‐class speed. He ran a 4.25, at his pro day, it was one of the better pro days I've been to all year. The kid's explosive, he's fast‐twitched, he can obviously run and he's very good with the ball in his hand."

Tod Palmer (Kansas City Star):Do you remember his vertical jump and broad jump measurables?

NUTT:"Off the top of my head, I think his vert, I want to say, a 39 and the broad was close to an 11, somewhere around there – it was a little shy of that if I remember."

Paylor:With Hill, how special is the talent?

NUTT:"If you talk to Dave Toub, and he's been around the league, he compares him to Devin Hester in terms of return ability. From what I've seen, he's probably the best returner I've done since I've been in the NFL. Just elite explosiveness. I'm going on seven years (in the NFL)."

Paylor:What do you see from D.J. White?

NUTT:"D.J. is a fast, tough and a physical corner. I think he fits what we do. And if you're going to watch a game, Pitt this year, he matches up with Tyler Boyd a little bit and it's a good game."

Paylor:Is he a zone or man guy?

NUTT:"He can do both, he can do both, they use him in both roles."

Paylor:Does he have safety skills at all?

NUTT:"No, he's more of just a corner. He's going to be a corner."

Paylor:What do the people at Georgia Tech say about him?

NUTT:"They love him. This is one of the hardest workers on the team. He's going to buy in, he's smart, he's tough. This kid's going to add to that room, substantially."

Paylor:When something like that is there with Hill, can you give us the process that you have to do?

NUTT:"I've talked with the Oklahoma (State) staff and I talked to the West Alabama staff and they all like the kid. You know, he made a mistake and I'm not going to go into details of it, but the kid and the human being is somebody they like. You're going to talk to the kid, I'm sure he's probably more than sorry he did it. He's a good person, he means well."

Paylor:Do you almost have to go deeper than the coaching staff and teammates on that?

NUTT:"Yeah and John could probably talk about the details of where we want from there. Absolutely, yeah, that's something he could address."

Dave Skretta (Associated Press):Is there a personal pressure you feel when you're in the draft room lobbying for guys with off‐field issues?

NUTT:"You see the player, but you have to be impartial when you're giving everything to John. You have to take yourself, your emotions – you want the player, but (you're saying) this is what the kid is when he comes in here. And John will make that decision, him and Andy (Reid) are making the picks. We're scouts and we give him as much information as we can and we kind of give him our opinion on it and they go from there."

TJ Carpenter (WHB):How much of your interview times, talking to him personally, did you guys do leading up to the draft?

NUTT:"Well he came in on a visit here, and then at his pro day you spend time with him, at the school I spent time with him on my visit. I'd say substantial. You have to get a good feel for all these kids, you want to get a feel for anybody you draft.

Kissel:You've been doing this for seven years, how much of the off‐field discussion is about the situation that they're coming in to?

NUTT:"I think that's a big thing – you want to make sure your locker room can handle them. But they're good people, they're not going to stir up anything. They're not me‐guys, they're not selfish. They've made mistakes in the past, they've owned up to them. But I think they'll be fine when they come in, they're not going to hurt the locker room in any way."


BJ Kissel ( you were evaluating Dadi Nicolas, what was the main thing that stood out?

DONAHOE:"The biggest thing with Dadi is just his explosiveness, athletic ability, his get‐off. He's a passionate kid with football. He kind of plays like that on the field, too. I know if you look back at his stats this year, it might not have been the greatest, but you go back two years ago and this kid was making plays all over the field. The biggest thing is just his athletic ability. That just stands out right away."

Terez Paylor (KC Star):Why was he playing inside at Virginia Tech?

DONAHOE:"Their defense, they play kind of with a nose and two d‐tackles where they line up, so that's just part of scheme there. He was asked to kind of play the three‐tech there. He didn't really have a say in that, that's kind of just how they played him there. The thing that's kind of amazing with him is that he played in there at that weight and was still able to make plays."

Paylor:How does a 235‐pound guy hold up a three‐tech in college football?

DONAHOE:"He does. I mean you watch it, there are some plays where you kind of shake your head. You just wonder what they're doing with the kid, but they've had that defense and have been successful with that defense. A kid with Dadi's athletic ability, you've just got to get him on the field no matter where he plays."

Paylor:When you saw him at outside linebacker, can he bend?

DONAHOE:"Yeah, he can bend. He can get off the ball. He can still get there as a pass‐rusher. That's going to come with time. The kid only played a couple years of high school football. He wasn't a highly‐recruited kid coming out, so the upside is there. It's time for him to put in 100 percent and really develop as an outside linebacker, especially for us."

Paylor:When he was outside, was his primary go‐to pass‐rush move a speed rush? 

DONAHOE:"It was mostly speed, but he has an inside counter where he can beat you too. His lateral agility is really good too. He's not just kind of a one‐trick guy. But again it's inconsistent but you're banking on that athletic ability to take over when needed."

Jay Binkley (610 Radio):He (Nicolas) mentioned blocking a couple field goals. How big will he be for special teams?

DONAHOE:"He can definitely do that too. The biggest thing that I guess I just keep saying is this kid's athletic ability. He wasn't asked to drop much there in his defense, but he can see that and he can do that kind of stuff. So, to just use this kid and get him on the field. He's probably going to make plays."

Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital‐Journal):Nicolas says he wants to be in the 240 to 255 range – how concerned are you to potentially lose some speed?

DONAHOE:"I'm not. If you look at his body, he kind of has a skinnier lower half, so as far as those guys, they can keep their athletic ability. He has room to put on some weight. He's just holding that weight – that's the biggest thing for him, but once his nutrition and that kind of stuff gets worked out here, I don't see it being a problem. He's probably going to lose weight during the season – most guys do lose a few pounds. I'm hoping he can stay around that 240 to 245 range where he will probably be best off at the next level."

Teope:You currently have a guy who has gone up against him a lot already in practice ‐ How many times did you find yourself as a scout tapping into (Laurence) Gibson asking about this guy?

DONAHOE:"Yeah, I haven't actually talked to him yet about it. I wasn't here. I was in the northeast all fall and all spring. I will probably ask him now and see what his opinion is on him. I'm sure they went at it. Laurence is an athletic guy too, so I'm sure they had their stuff in practice and stuff like that."

Kissel:For fans that haven't watched him play, what game would you tell fans to watch over the last couple of years to give them an idea of who Dadi Nicolas is?

DONAHOE:"Ohio State. Not this past year, but two years ago. Like I said, that is what caught my attention at first. This summer we kind of got to go through and see where the big players were at and kind of what we have to target. He's one guy that really jumped off from last year. You kind of were disappointed going into this year, but that Ohio State game last year really opened some eyes."

Paylor:Is he willing to try different pass rush moves? Does he try them?

DONAHOE:"I'd say his feel can improve. I only say that because he was at Virginia Tech and, like I said, he only has a couple years of high school football. There's development he still has to go through with that. But you see enough where he has a few different pass rush moves – he has an inside counter, he has the length, so with all that, you hope it just comes together for him."

Paylor:What made you comfortable with his off‐field issues?

DONAHOE:"I evaluate the player first and obviously that other stuff takes care of itself. He's an emotional kid. I don't hold that against him completely because it's just, I'd say more immature, growing moments that he went through. The main thing is I evaluate the player and we kind of talk about it as a group with John (Dorsey) and everyone and we came to the conclusion that we're okay with the guy."

Paylor:What did his teammates and coaches say about him?

DONAHOE:"They like the kid. He's a passionate kid who has a love for the game, it might not always come off that way. But at the end of the day, everyone did like this kid. Like I said, he had his moments that we just had to deal with. Like I said, he's still growing as a person and as a player."

Bob Gretz (Topeka Capital‐Journal):In the pre‐draft process, was there any chance he could play safety? DONAHOE:"No, I don't think he has that kind of skillset, at least with safety. With him, the thing that shows up – if you turn on two years ago, you turn on last year – is just his ability to rush and get pressure. He might not be getting sacks, but he's constantly getting in the backfield. So that's what I said, if he could just finish off that and refine some stuff as an outside linebacker, I think his ceiling is high. But again, it's on him to continue to develop as a player."

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