Mini-Camp Important to Some Vital to Others

The Kansas City Chiefs got their first look at their rookie draft pool this past weekend. And although many eyes are centered on KC's first round selection Dontari Poe, and the rest of the Chiefs marquee rookies, this weekend was about finding a diamond in the rough more than evaluating draft picks.

Over Mother's Day weekend, the Chiefs invited their entire draft class, several more undrafted rookies, and a handful of free agents to their practice facility to give, in most cases, their first taste of an NFL practice. But for some, this might be their first and/or last opportunity to make an NFL roster.

Romeo Crennel opened his post-weekend press conference by giving the scoop on the Chiefs most prized draft selections.

In the case of Poe, Crennel said "He's made some progress", but "He still has some work to do". But Crennel was not as vague when speaking on some of the Chiefs other draft choices. Crennel raved about WR Devon Wylie's "speed and quickness" and was impressed by OL Jeff Allen's leadership qualities.

Fellow offensive lineman Donald Stephenson was also singled out by Crennel who said, "He's a good athlete", and that "he could do well for us". WR Junior Hemmingway was praised for his sure hands and RB Cyrus Gray "showed some flashes", but Crennel said, as applies to nearly all rookies, both players often looked lost.

One thing we do know about the Chiefs draft choices however is that we will get several more opportunities to evaluate all of them as we get closer to training camp and the preseason. The same cannot be said for several of the NFL hopefuls in attendance this weekend.

One of those players merely looking for a call back for OTA's and training camp is Quarterback David Legree. Coming out of Hampton University as an undrafted quarterback puts Legree's chances of making this roster an uphill climb but Legree got more than enough opportunities to show off his strong arm as the only QB available over the weekend.

Several tight-ends with some local ties were on hand this weekend as well trying to get noticed. Former Kansas tight-end Tim Biere was signed to a rookie free agent contract and is all but guaranteed to get another opportunity to shine. Former Missouri TE Martin Rucker however was invited to mini-camp as a try-out player and was sent home following day 2 and will hope, and pray, for a call-back when the Chiefs begin OTA's May 21st.

WR Josh Bellamy was one of the stars of the weekend as he hauled in several nice catches and impressed Coach Crennel with his quickness and speed.

Bellamy, and the rest of the 15 undrafted rookies under contract, will remain in Kansas City to participate in individual workouts and team functions.

Two players, Jeff Allen and Jerome Long, left camp early to finish up classes per league rules. Both will rejoin the team following their collegiate obligations.

For the rest of the Chiefs try-out's, the hope is that they showed enough mettle to get a call back form OTA's. But for a team that has been tabbed as having deep depth, many of these players might be trying out for a try-out with another club.

WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
What was really gained in the Chiefs recent rookie mini-camp?


For all the news, notes and quotes on the Chiefs, visit WarpaintIllustrated.com