Chiefs have stockpiled 7 picks for final day of NFL draft
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Eric Murray grew up in Milwaukee and played college football at Minnesota, so one might assume that the physical cornerback would consider the Packers or Vikings his favorite NFL team.
''I love the Chiefs,'' he countered, before offering a reason many college kid can appreciate: ''I play a lot of `Madden' and that's my favorite team to play with. It means a lot to go to the team I love.''
The Chiefs concluded the NFL draft on Saturday by stocking up on depth at a number of positions of need, including cornerback. They took Notre Dame's KeiVarae Russell in the third round Friday night before grabbing Murray, whose in-your-face style fits Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton's system.
''I kind of kept walking around the (Minnesota) building asking, `How tough is this kid,''' Chiefs area scout Terry Delp said. ''He's that quiet guy, he's a captain - he'd call people out. But he was known as the toughest guy on the team. Every teammate said that.''
After trading away first- and second-round choices the first two days, general manager John Dorsey had seven selections in the remaining rounds - even after losing a third-round pick for tampering.
Cincinnati offensive tackle Parker Ehinger, who projects as a guard in the NFL, was chosen before Murray with the first of back-to-back picks in the fourth round. Florida wide receiver Demarcus Robinson, a first-round talent with checkered background, was taken near the end of the round.
Kansas City went with Stanford's Kevin Hogan, a developmental quarterback prospect, before gambling later in the fifth round on West Alabama wide receiver Tyreek Hill - the speedster booted from the Oklahoma State program after pleading guilty to punching and strangling his girlfriend.
Georgia Tech cornerback D.J. White and Virginia Tech linebacker Dadi Lhomme Nicolas went in the sixth round.
The Chiefs traded their first-round pick Thursday night, then traded one of their two second-round picks Friday night to continue stockpiling selections. They still managed to snag hulking Mississippi State defensive tackle Chris Jones with their other second-round choice and Russell in the third.
''We've identified some players that are good fits for us, and we're fortunate to get those high fourth-round picks,'' Dorsey said. ''You can begin to add some of that depth we talk about.''
Ehinger was a teammate of current Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce early in his career with the Bearcats, and got a congratulatory text message and Twitter shout-out shortly after he was picked.
The 6-foot-6, 308-pound Ehinger played left tackle as a senior, but also played right guard and right tackle. He was a captain and a four-year starter whose strength is in pass protection.
''I can pick up any system very quickly. I ran a couple of different offenses throughout my college career,'' Ehinger said. ''Whatever they need me to do, I'll play anywhere.''
Murray became the fourth cornerback chosen by the Chiefs in two drafts, joining defensive rookie of the year Marcus Peters and Steven Nelson last year. He has decent size, showed some durability in starting 39 straight games with the Gophers, and prides himself on playing with an edge.
Kansas City was looking for help in the defensive backfield after losing cornerback Sean Smith and safety Tyvon Branch in free agency and watching safety Husain Abdullah retire early.
Robinson may prove to be the biggest steal of the draft.
Many believe the 6-foot-1 wide receiver had first-round talent but slid into the fourth after four suspensions at Florida had labeled him a malcontent. But those suspensions are somewhat misleading - three occurred as a freshman, before Robinson spent 45 days at a drug treatment center, and the other occurred when he mistakenly met with a marketing agent as his career was winding down.
''There were a lot of questions, a lot of doubts,'' Robinson said. ''I just had to let everyone know that was in the past. That was my freshman year. I'm a changed guy. ... I haven't done anything wrong since my freshman year. Just letting them know, let them know I'm a changed man by my actions.''
Hogan could compete to be the backup to quarterback Alex Smith, while Hill may have generated the most late-draft buzz after his legal trouble and the ensuing legal questions.
Dorsey was not available to discuss the pick, but area scout Ryne Nutt said that the general manager took the information that was provided to him and signed off on the selection.
''I got questions everywhere I went. It wasn't new to me,'' Hill said. ''I just told them straight-up, I told them I'm trying to move on from that. I'm trying to be a better young man. I'm trying to show everybody who I am. (The conversation) wasn't anything major, just trying to let them know who I really am.''
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