The Kansas City Chiefs haven't even played a game yet but already it feels like the 2015 draft class will contribute more than others. I could see six of the Chiefs nine draft picks seeing playing time this year (not including special teams, which could bump that number up). There will be injuries or other issues that pop up during the season that will cause someone on this list to not play as much as we thought or there will be an injury someplace else that will cause a rookie to step up unexpectedly.
That said ... a brief look at the Chiefs 2015 draft class.
First round pick CB Marcus Peters will have a shot to be a day one starter with Sean Smith suspended for three games. Even when Smith comes back, I can see Smith and Peters handling the outside while Phillip Gaines plays the inside. Smith has looked like the real deal.
Second round pick OL Mitch Morse has seem time at guard and center. As of this week, he is running with the first teamat center. "We're looking for combinations; this group seems to be working well together and we're happy with it so far," Andy Reid said of the Morse-led offensive line. Morse has the potential to be a very good player -- this year.
Third round pick WR Chris Conley is back on the field after a two-week absence with what the Chiefs called a knee strain. He lined up on Monday and took snaps in practice so it appears he's on his way back. So far we have seen Albert Wilson miss time earlier this offseason with an injury and now Jeremy Maclin has a strained neck. So Conley will probably see an opportunity to play this year if one of them goes down. Conley has been working mostly on the outside as opposed to the slot.
Third round pick DB Steven Nelson is working with the second team at cornerback. He also stepped in at nickel last week when Phillip Gaines went down for a bit. I see Nelson's future as the nickel cornerback but the Chiefs have given him reps on the outside, too. Nelson should be solid cornerback depth down the road. Work ethic doesn't seem to be a problem with him.
Fourth round pick Georgia ILB Ramik Wilson was listed on the second team at inside linebacker behind Josh Mauga. I wouldn't be surprised if Wilson won this starting job by next year. He's likely a backup this year.
Fifth round pick DJ Alexander is going to have to make the team on special teams, according to special teams coach Dave Toub. Alexander is playing Derrick Johnson's position but obviously there's quite a drop off between the two. If the real DJ is getting a new deal and coming back next season, Alexander may have to stick to special teams.
Fifth round pick TE James O'Shaughnessy is probably the non-Marcus Peters pick I'm excited about the most. I'll be the first to tell you that tight end could be an issue this year because you never know what you're going to get from a rookie but O'Shaughnessy looks like an NFL player. He doesn't look like a fifth round pick out of Illinois State who is taking a giant step up in competition. That's a great sign for his future prospects. In year one, I can see him finishing the year as the second tight end.
Sixth round pick DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches and seventh round pick WR Da'Ron Brown could be practice squad candidates. They're developmental prospects which you hope pan out. We'll need another year on both of them to get a better idea of what they're about.