Most of the players working out for the Chiefs won't make it. That didn't stop the 68 players including 14 undrafted rookie free agents and the six draft picks from competing in this year's rookie minicamp.
For three days - Saturday, Sunday and Monday, those players will work tirelessly to get a shot at working out with the full team in organized team activities (OTA's).
"They'll get a lot of good work, good individual work," Head Coach Andy Reid said. "They have an opportunity. That's the best thing I can tell you. [It's] an opportunity to play in the National Football League which about less than one percent of the people have an opportunity to do."
Defensive End Breeland Speaks, from Ole Miss, was selected in the second round (46th pick overall) in this year's NFL Draft. He certainly wants to make the best of his opportunity to play quality snaps with the Chiefs.
"They have a few defenses in. And, [I] just wanna make sure I own those and being productive in that during camp," Speaks said. "I did get the playbook. [My] first reaction had to be, 'I can do this.' Looked at a few defenses that we installed for the day and pretty much went over those."
Defensive Tackle Derrick Nnandi, from Florida State, was selected in the third round (75th pick overall). The Chiefs gave up just over 118 rushing yards per game last season (1,890 yards) which was 8th worst in the league. They also gave up 15 rushing touchdowns tied for 28th in the NFL. The Chiefs look at Derrick Nnadi as someone who can help stop the run.
"When it comes to stopping the run, I kind of see it as my bread and butter," Nnandi said. "I really took a lot of pride in that. With that, it really comes with a lot of technique. And, when it comes to pass rushing, that's something I'm still working to improve on so I can be a [well-rounded] overall defensive player."
Outside Linebacker Dorian O'Daniel, from Clemson, was selected in the third round as well (100th pick overall). He was certainly excited to be out on the field to show the entire Chiefs coaching staff what he could do on the field. But, he knows that settling into a solid player, in the NFL, will take hard work and preparation.
"It's obviously gonna be a transition that's gonna take some getting used to. The speed of the game, the coaching, etcetera," Dorian said. "But, I think Clemson has definitely prepared me for this opportunity going forward just because, I've been in big situations, big games, bright lights. I've faced adversity at the highest level. And, I'm just thankful for the coaching staff at Clemson for preparing me to get to this point because, right now, a lot of the things that I'm hearing in the meetings are very similar to what I heard at Clemson. So, that's very encouraging."
The coaching staff is still evaluating talent. The players will have until Monday to prove their worth to the team. The coaches will have several days thereafter to finalize their selections. This three day period is certainly a chance for the coaches to feel the players out. It's also a chance for the players to do the same thing with respect to the coaching staff.
"It gives them a step to see who we are too on the other side of it. So, it's a win-win that way," Reid said. "You know, we don't favor any position whether you're drafted or not drafted. We just have you come out. And, we're gonna coach the dog out of you here. And then, [we'll] watch you. And, they'll be watched every play. They'll be evaluated, graded every play. Every guy will be. And, we tape all the practices."