It was a day of evaluation for the Chiefs’ coaches and personnel guys
If only for a short time, the University of Kansas Health System indoor training complex was in use Friday morning, but it wasn’t
With Chiefs’ general manager Brett Veach, head coach Andy Reid and all of their staffs in attendance, the indoor field was home to 26 area NFL hopefuls going through workouts led by the Chiefs’ coaching staff as part of their local Pro Day.
These are players who either grew up in the Kansas City metro area or went to college in the area, and who were invited by the Chiefs to come and work out.
“It’s unique in the fact that when we first started doing this five years ago we were limited to just metro area prospects,” Veach, who was seen walking around talking to different players and scouts throughout the workout, explained. “But now the league has allowed us to bring the three major schools—Kansas, Missouri, Kansas State—into the mix, so now we get a chance to really get our hometown schools here every year, which is really special to us.
“It has been a really cool experience.”
In fact, 17 of the 26 players at the workout on Friday either went to Kansas State (5), Kansas (2), or Missouri Men’s Authentic Custom Stitched Boston Red Sox Alternate Baseball Jersey Red (10).
When it comes to gathering information to use for the draft later this month (April 26-28), the local pro day is just another opportunity for Veach and company to evaluate guys and add information to their ever-growing database.
“As an evaluator, you can never have enough in regards to seeing these kids compete,” he added. “We all watch them on tape and our area guys get to go out there and see them during the fall, but for me personally just seeing these kids compete live, it’s a cool deal.”
“And for a lot of these small school kids to come out here and perform in front of our coaches, you get to see how they really compete and how they handle a little stress.”
While many of these kids won’t have the opportunity to play at the next level—the numbers bear that out over the years, the chance to simply perform in front of NFL coaches and personnel guys is special in and of itself.
“A lot of these kids grew up Chiefs fans, a lot of their families grew up Chiefs fans,” Veach explained. “So, for these kids to go out there and bust their tails in high school and earn a scholarship to college, and to finish college and get their degree and then to come back here to the Kingdom and work out for us, it’s almost like it has come full circle.
“They grew up watching this organization, watching the Chiefs, and they do their thing in college and then they come back here and get to perform maybe one last time, and if so, it’s kind of a cool way to end it.
“But for some of these guys, they’re going to get a shot to go on to bigger and better things.”
We won’t know for another few weeks if any of this year’s local pro day participants end up with a shot at making the Chiefs’ roster, but it was a great experience for them as well as another opportunity for Veach and company to gather more information.
Here’s a look at the 26 guys who participated on Friday:
Mitch Lochbihler, punter, Kansas State
Dominic Collins, receiver, Missouri
J’Mon Moore, receiver, Missouri
Montell Cozart, quarterback, Boise State (Bishop Miege)
Jesse Ertz, quarterback, Kansas State
Juante Baldwin, cornerback, Pittsburg State (North Kansas City HS)
J’Veyon Browning, running back, Northern Iowa (F.L. Schlagle HS)
Glenn Harris, safety, Wayne State (Center HS)
Marcus Jones, cornerback, Northwest Missouri State (North Kansas City HS)
Travis McMillan, cornerback, McKendree (Grandview HS)
Sean Newlan, safety, Kansas State
Thomas Wilson, safety, Missouri
Eric Beisel, linebacker, Missouri
Joe Burkett, linebacker, Missouri
Donte Watkins, cornerback, Missouri Western State (Blue Springs HS)
Drew Scott, long snapper, Kansas State
Ishmail Wainright, tight end, Baylor
Zach Hannon, offensive line, Kansas (Rockhurst HS)
Tyler Howell, offensive line, Missouri (Bonner Springs HS)
Adam Ploudre, offensive line, Missouri
Jayson Rhodes, offensive line, Kansas
Marcell Fraizer, outside linebacker, Missouri
Will Geary, defensive line, Kansas State
Christian Hill, defensive line, Arizona State (Staley HS)
AJ Logan, Boston Red Sox Custom Jersey defensive line, Missouri
Ish Witter, running back, Missouri