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Andy Reid rookie minicamp roundup: Tight end room, late draft picks and Jamal Custis

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The Chiefs head coach spoke to the media ahead of rookie minicamp weekend in Kansas City.

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid spoke to the media Saturday ahead of rookie minicamp, which takes place at the team’s practice facility on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We have the full rookie minicamp roster here.

Let’s get to the roundup:

Tyreek Hill

Kansas City Chiefs v Oakland Raiders Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Reid spoke about the Tyreek Hill situation in his opening statement.

“If anyone’s here with a Tyreek question, nothing’s changed since the last time we spoke and Brett (Veach) spoke, so I’ll just leave it at that and I’m not going to get into that, so this is the rookies’ time.”

The Chiefs said Hill would not partake in team activities back on April 25 and nothing more on the matter since that date.

Injuries

The Chiefs’ undrafted free agent class includes several players who are injured now but the team sees as contributors “down the road.” Per Reid:

Not practicing: Defensive end Tim Ward (ACL surgery) and linebacker Darius Harris (right shoulder surgery)

Limited: Wide receiver Felton Davis (Achilles tendon surgery) and tight end John Lovett (wrist surgery)

The last three draft picks

Utah State v Michigan State
Utah State’s Darwin Thompson

Reid discussed the Chiefs’ final three picks of this year’s 2019 NFL Draft—sixth-round cornerback Rashad Fenton and running back Darwin Thompson and seventh-round offensive lineman Nick Allegretti. As expected, Reid had a bit more to say when it came to his offensive rookies.

CB Rashad Fenton

“[I] like his cover ability. He can play inside and outside. We’ll see how he does in those areas.”

RB Darwin Thompson

“Loved him in college and what we saw. He played at Utah State and he wasn’t there a long period of time. He didn’t spend the four years there, but what we saw we sure liked—quickness. He’s not real tall but he’s put together, rocked up pretty good, but he’s got great quickness. He’s one of those guys that [has a low] center of gravity, can move around very low and quick and he’s got good hands.”

Asked if he has had a player similar to Thompson since he’s been in Kansas City, Reid told reporters that Thompson is “a little like Charcandrick (West).”

“He’s not the biggest guy. Charcandrick had a big head, but everything else was a little smaller. They’re about the same height there, and I’m curious. I’ll be curious to see how he does. The one thing you notice with him—when you put on the film, man, everything was fast. He had the burst. He had patience to the hole, but he had the speed through the hole. When he was outside, people had a hard time catching him, and then he had good hands. That’s at the college level, so we’ll see. The one thing, and you can even see it out here is that low center of gravity—that strength in the core, which is so important for a running back—that balance in core areas. And we’ll see how he picks it up. We’ll throw a lot at him and that’s a tough position. You got to know the pass game, the run game, blocking and all that stuff, so [we’ll] see how he does.”

OL Nick Allegretti

“Nick is an offensive lineman who can play center or guard—dual-position guy, probably could kick out at tackle. He’s not a small guy, but we like him in those two positions: guard and center. He’ll be working center out here with the first group, and then he’ll get a little guard work in as we go. Extremely intelligent. If the Wonderlic test means something, he’ll be number one on the team. He’s a two-time team captain, and there’s nothing pretty here... he’s a tough kid and moves around well. The one thing that jumps out at you is he’s dirty tough. That’s the one thing—when you watch tape on him without even knowing him, you go, ‘That’s a tough nut right there.’”

The tight end room and its depth

NCAA Football: Florida Atlantic at Western Kentucky
WKU Hilltoppers tight end Deon Yelder (19) celebrates the score at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs went into the NFL Draft needing another tight end after losing Demetrius Harris to the Cleveland Browns in free agency. The Chiefs didn’t select a tight end, but Reid said he still feels positive about the position group.

“I’m not worried about that room,” he said. “I’m curious to see some of the young [players]— the (Deon) Yelders and those guys. (Blake) Bells, I want to see them play. We got some good, young guys in there—I just don’t have enough information on them when things are going, like a training camp practice. And these practices will be good for them.”

The Chiefs have four tight ends in rookie camp this weekend, including former Princeton quarterback John Lovett, a transition player.

“Lovett’s a guy that can play a lot of different spots for you,” Reid said. “He’s not as big as a normal tight end. You’re talking about 233 pounds, so he’s not going to be your grinder in there, but he can play in the backfield, he can play quarterback and he can play in that Wing tight end position.”

The Chiefs’ starter at tight end, Travis Kelce, is taking it “week by week” after offseason ankle surgery and it is unclear if he will be ready to practice until training camp. The one benefit of that news is it gives the Chiefs’ options at No. 2 additional time to work with quarterback Patrick Mahomes throughout OTAs.

“I think it’s great,” Reid said. “We’d love to have Travis out there, but if there’s a plus, it’s that these guys will get good reps.”

Wide receiver Jamal Custis

The Chiefs turned some heads around the league Friday when ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that former Syracuse wide receiver Jamal Custis received a $100,000 bonus for signing with the club.

Reid was asked why Custis was such a priority for the Chiefs as a rookie free agent rather than outright drafting him.

“It’s picks—it’s number of picks that you have,” Reid said, “I like him, though. He’s got good skill. I’d be curious to see when things get going here how well he runs his routes and catches and does all those things in our system, but I sure liked him at Syracuse. He was a good football player.”