With our latest AP interview, we attempt to uncover more about our sixth round choice, WR Quinten Lawrence. The McNeese State product is known for being a pure burner on the field, but injury concerns knocked the promising small school talent down some draft boards. It remains to be seen whether this pick is a reach or whether it's an unearthed gem that Scott Pioli and company have become known for.
To gain some further insight on the latest addition to our receiving corps, we talked to Tom Annino, Sports Director, KPLC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The town is also the home of McNeese State. After years of seeing Quinten up close, Annino gives us some fantastic insight into what to expect (as well as some lofty comparisons).
Tom Annino: Quinten has incredible speed. More often than not, he was the fastest player on the field. If he gets behind you, forget about it. So if he doesn't make it as an every-down wideout, he'll have a great future as a kick returner. He has good size at 6'1". He showed off his strength at the NFL combine, placing in the top ten for wide receivers in the bench press.
But one of the most impressive things about Quinten can sometimes be overlooked if you're just looking at statistics: he's a great guy. He's a leader both on and off the field. While interviewing some of his McNeese teammates the week after they found out Quinten was gone for the year, they were visibly upset. They knew they lost their best receiver and one of their best teammates.
Quinten is hungry to succeed at the next level, and it won't surprise me one bit if he does. Chiefs fans will love Quinten, not just because of his ability, but also because of his personality.
AP: What's the biggest obstacle for Lawrence?
TA: Injuries are the obvious concern for him. If he can come back from his leg injury, he'll be fine. It's pretty tough to target one area where he needs to improve. But I think Quinten will have to work on the same things every receiver has to work on when they go to the NFL. Things like blocking, more polished route running, the increased physicality of the game, etc.
AP: Where did you think he would fall in the draft?
TA: Some thought he would be taken as high as the third round. It didn't happen for him though. I would probably attribute that to injury concerns and because he didn't play at a big time FBS program. He only got to play in four games during his senior season so that obviously hurt his numbers. Even though he played at a small FCS school like McNeese State, many believed his talent was at an FBS level.
AP: Looking forward, are there any comparisons that come to mind?
TA: I know it's early to make a lofty comparison like this, but I think Reggie Wayne would be an adequate comparison. Wayne is 6' feet tall. Quinten is 6'1". Wayne is 198 pounds. Quinten is 180 pounds. Both of them have great speed and are constant deep threat. Like Wayne, Quinten's speed makes him a game-changer.
AP: So you obviously think his chances are good at the next level?
TA: During my interactions with Quinten, it's obvious he's a man of great character. You can tell his teammates had the upmost respect for him and his ability. You'll never have to worry about Quinten being a bad teammate. So that tells me he'll be a quick learner with the Chiefs and will improve faster than most late-round picks. Obviously, this is going to be a tough transition for him. It is for everybody. But I think he's going to turn a lot of heads in Kansas City.