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ESPN’s Louis Riddick hints Chiefs are especially high on 3 rookies

Some key notes came down from the Monday Night Football commentator.

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC

When ESPN’s Louis Riddick tweets something about the Kansas City Chiefs, it’s worth paying special attention. The man who coined Patrick Mahomes’ “Ferrari” nickname was the pro personnel director for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2010-12, the same period that an up-and-coming scout named Brett Veach was in the building.

Riddick tweeted about three rookies after the Chiefs’ mandatory minicamp on Thursday afternoon. To the tweets!

  • Let’s get this out of the way — Creed Humphrey, despite being a rookie, is the favorite to start at the center position over veteran signee Austin Blythe. When the Chiefs first acquired Joe Thuney in free agency, they had floated him as possibly shifting from left guard to center. All of that chatter stopped in its tracks once Kansas City selected Humphrey with the No. 63 overall pick.
  • A sixth-round pick in 2021, Trey Smith is already beginning to give me L’Jarius Sneed vibes as far as a day-three steal. The door needed to open first, with Kyle Long beginning camp as the favorite to start at right guard. But once Long suffered a leg injury costing him the entire offseason, this became a wide-open battle. Smith should be right in the mix with Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Nick Allegretti, among some others, but Riddick writing his name makes me think it should surprise nobody if he starts training camp with the first team at right guard.

We also can’t forget offensive line coach Andy Heck's words regarding Smith from early June: “I do think that Trey has starting guard in his future — how fast that will come, that would be difficult to predict. He has all the physical and mental tools that you’d look for, and he loves football. That’s an indispensable quality. He loves football, he loves to compete, and he’s an extremely physical person. These things jump out at you when you watch tape of him. Now, how fast can he learn our system, learn our techniques, really kind of quiet things down in there at that guard position? We’ll see, but he’s certainly off to a good start and working very hard at it.”

  • And finally, Noah Gray, who Riddick mentioned the Chiefs “like a lot.” Pending injury, this is a tight end room that you can sharpie into the Chiefs’ 53-man roster — the Chiefs will keep three tight ends, and they will be Travis Kelce, returning veteran Blake Bell and Gray. Gray’s athleticism has drawn comparison to Kelce’s, and the Chiefs’ tight end room should be as strong as it has been in a long time with the second dynamic player in Gray and the blocking ability of Bell. Welcome back into the fold, 12 and even perhaps 13 personnel (two and three-tight end sets).

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