Most draft sources expected Rose — a two-time first-team All-Big 12 selection and 2020’s conference defensive player of the year — to be selected early on Day 3. After aggressively targeting him in undrafted free agency, the Chiefs selected Rose as one of the players to speak with the media on the final day of their rookie minicamp.
“I think it definitely came as a surprise to me,” Rose said of going undrafted. “A lot of waiting — but I think every team had their different reason for passing up on me. But I’m just super glad to have an opportunity here at this great organization. I’m just looking forward to doing my thing in minicamp and making the 53.”
Rose cited the coaching staff as a reason he chose to join the Chiefs.
“I’ve had good conversations with Coach (Brendan) Daly, the linebackers coach,” he said. “I think this organization has done a lot of good things — you can see it over the years — and I felt like there was an opportunity for me here. I think all those things together were the main reason I decided to [sign with Kansas City].”
The Chiefs also spent a third-round draft pick on linebacker Leo Chenal, who has bragged about his violent approach to the game. Rose implied that from him, we could expect more finesse.
“I would say the biggest thing is just using my hands,” Rose noted. “Having heavy hands, striking at the right time is huge. And I think the disengage off of that. I’ve got long arms. That’s something I feel like I can really use at the next level and use to my advantage. And zone coverage too — just understanding route concepts and stuff like that. You grow in the game in so many ways over four years.”
He will need to find a way to stand apart from the competition to make a Chiefs team that has invested a second-day pick in a linebacker during each of the past three drafts. The former Cyclone is focused on doing the little things — along with transitioning from a college to an NFL defensive scheme.
“I feel like my biggest impression this week was just I’m going to work super hard, be relentless, run to the ball,” he said of his minicamp experience. “Even in my note-study and how I’m attentive in meetings [and] asking questions. I feel like this week was really good for me. I’ve been in a 3-3-5 three-high defense for four years. I played about 50 games in one defense, and I don’t know much about 4-3s. So this weekend was really good for me. And I’m just glad I can use this next week to take the film, take the playbook, and just hone in on what I can do to be more comfortable in this defense.”
In spite of his decorated college career, Rose said he has previously faced long odds on making a roster. He is ready for the challenge of making Kansas City’s final 53 this fall.
“I wasn’t highly recruited out of high school,” he recalled. “I had to really earn my spot in college. I had a good opportunity in front of me — and I took it. Really, this chip on my shoulder and being counted out? It doesn’t feel all too different to me, honestly. So if there’s an opportunity to make this team — which I think there is — I’m just going to roll on with the chip on my shoulder. I think a lot of people know I can play. I just have to show that day-in and day-out.”