There is an odd NFL rule that forbids rookies from participating with their NFL teams until their school has graduated. For the majority of players, this is not an issue because most schools are done in May. But some schools, such as Oregon, are on the quarter system, which means they don't get done until June.
So that's why De'Anthony Thomas, the Chiefs fourth round pick out of Oregon, hasn't been participating in the Chiefs OTAs this summer. Thomas was able to participate in the rookie minicamp in May but he was not allowed to attend any of the Chiefs 10 OTAs after that.
That changes this week when Thomas returns to the Chiefs practice field. Oregon's school session is over, which means Thomas will be able to practice with the Chiefs at mandatory minicamp on June 17-19 of this week.
Thomas' presence will affect two areas the most -- slot receiver and punt returner.
At slot receiver, the Chiefs have some injury issues with Junior Hemingway (sick) and Weston Dressler (hamstring) having missed time due to injuries. With both those guys missing time recently, Thomas may have a shot to step in and contribute at slot receiver.
At punt returner, the Chiefs have been working with various guys, including Dressler, Albert Wilson, Joe McKnight and Frankie Hammond Jr., among others. I would guess that Thomas gets a shot to contribute there.
It's obviously still early but I'm thinking that DAT's biggest contributions in year one will be on special teams as a returner.