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New Chiefs feel sense of urgency at rookie minicamp

Posted: 11:05 PM, May 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-05 00:16:13-04
Chiefs Rookie Minicamp Day 1

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The newest Kansas City Chiefs hit the practice field early Saturday morning for the first time.

Seventy-two players were on hand for the first day of a three-day rookie minicamp at the team's outdoor practice facility.

The Chiefs had a full compliment of draft picks, undrafted free agent signings and tryout players along with a few holdovers from last season who primarily spent time on the practice squad.

Each and every player participating understands nothing is guaranteed.

"Drafted or undrafted, they always talk about in the meetings, you can get cut no matter if you're in the first round," Chiefs defensive tackle and third-round draft pick Khalen Saunders said. "You can make the team if you went undrafted, so I'm gonna carry that chip no matter where I'm at. I came from (Western Illinois), an underdog university, so I always will have that mentality."

Chiefs coach Andy Reid echoed that sense of urgency at a press conference Saturday.

"There are gonna be guys that were undrafted that have an opportunity to make the team," Reid said. "It happens every year, so it doesn't matter if you're a priority free agent or not or you're a tryout guy. Somehow, somebody squeaks in there and catches your eye and you bring them up. But the main thing is, particularly with the drafted players, that we build a foundation with these guys."

The Chiefs also announced Saturday that four of its six draft picks — second-round wide receiver Mecole Hardman, sixth-round cornerback Rashad Fenton, sixth-round running back Darwin Thompson and seventh-round offensive lineman Nick Allegretti — have signed contracts already.

Hardman is a speedy wide receiver with great hands from Georgia, who faces the pressure of being drafted as insurance for Tyreek HIll. Hill remains suspended from the team amid a child abuse investigation.

While he told reporters he doesn't feel any added pressure, Hardman definitely feels a sense of urgency to get acclimated in the offense.

"The quicker you can learn, the quicker you can play," he said. "The more you can play, the more confident you play. So, it was fun being out there with the coaches learning the playbook. It's coming easy right now. Hopefully, I can get it down to where I can play fast and confident."