Among the players the Kansas City Chiefs left on their starting 53-man roster on Tuesday was former Kentucky offensive lineman Darien, who the team picked in the fifth round (145th overall) of last April’s NFL Draft.・Kinard was there.
At the time, there was a belief that Kinnaird was picked later in the draft than he (and some others) expected.
“All the feedback I got was in the second round. It was probably as low as the bottom of the first round. He told reporters later on a Zoom call. “But after all, man? This is another he Trey Smith situation.
“I have a lot to prove, and I have a big chip on my shoulder.”
Kinnaird’s reference to Smith, who the Chiefs could have picked in the sixth round of the 2021 draft, was perhaps unfortunate, largely because they determined Smith’s health wasn’t as serious as was commonly believed. Not only was Smith a starter for 2021, but he was also a player to watch.
Given that background, it was easy to have high hopes for Kinnaird. But during his camp in training, the 6-foot-5-inch, 345-pound tackle mostly played on his third string. Instead of competing with Andrew Wiley for the starting right tackle, he may struggle to make a team.
“I believe the Chiefs trust [Geron] Christian and Prince Tega Wanogo outnumber Kinnaird, who may need a year of seasoning, if not a switch to the inside position.” Arrowhead pride Pete Sweeney’s Last 53 Roster Predictions. “Remember: The Chiefs recently waived another fifth-rounder, wide receiver Cornell Powell, but he’s still at the club. The practice team should be an option.”
Kansas City general manager Brett Beach told reporters Wednesday that Kinnaird could move to the inside.
“When acquiring players, whether through the free agency process or the draft process, we place a high priority on their flexibility, or ‘position flex.’ are interchangeable, when I brought Andrew Wiley here, he [had] Spent most of his career as a guard. Now he’s tackling. So many of these guys have a ‘flex’. “
Beach admitted that Kinnaird, like many other rookies, had a difficult time adjusting to the NFL. However, he also pointed out that Kinnaird finished the camp with high marks.
“With Darien, I think he did really well in this camp,” said the GM. “last week [or] It was good for a week and a half.i would say [that] Among the rookies, there have been a few more changes for him. I think he had a chance to play in Kentucky. [which] It was a heavy, execution-oriented attack. Coming into this league, I think we have very different levels of talent in terms of what we look at from the edges. I know he played for his SEC. It was good. [to] Going to a pass-heavy offense in the NFL felt a little different for him.
“I think it took him a little while to get his feet wet, but I think we started seeing him turn the corner at the end of the race. [preseason]And he’s also one of those guys when you start looking at it— [and] You invested your draft picks — you want to get this done.
“We believe he has a lot of strengths, both guarding and tackling.”
After all, that’s exactly what the Chiefs told us to expect in the first place.
After the Chiefs drafted Kinnaird, area scout Pat Sperdut said, “I think we could make him work as a right tackle.” I think the spot will be a light tackle.”
And Kinnaird, once slated to be Kentucky’s starting left tackle, was moved back to the right flank when it made more sense for the team to put someone else on the left.
“For me, that’s what the team needs,” he said in May. “Whatever the best fit I need to meet, I’m going to do it.”