Chiefs welcome first-round pick Peters on draft’s last day
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) John Dorsey knew people would have questions if the Kansas City Chiefs chose Marcus Peters in the first round of the draft, so the general manager kept team owner Clark Hunt in the loop.
Dorsey didn’t need his approval, Hunt said, but he got it anyway.
So despite a background that included getting dismissed from Washington’s program last season, Dorsey chose Peters with the No. 18 overall pick. And two days later, Hunt and Dorsey both said they believe Peters has put all those transgressions behind him.
”In the preparation for the draft, the weeks leading up to it, John mentioned to me that Marcus might be a player who’s available who we would have interest in,” Hunt said, shortly after presenting Peters with a No. 22 jersey during an introductory news conference Saturday.
”When we got around to the draft Thursday night,” Hunt said, ”we talked about it again, and he said, `Look, we’re good. We feel our support structure here is great.”’
Peters said that his problems at Washington stemmed primarily from a coaching change that he acknowledged not handling well. But he also said that he’s matured since getting kicked off the team – he also has a 6-month old son, Carson, that has helped with that. And he pointed to the fact that he’s reconciled with Huskies coach Chris Petersen as evidence of it.
”Having the experience I did at U-dub caused me to learn from it,” Peters said. ”I’m going to attach to some veterans just to learn how to be a pro, to learn how to conduct myself as a man.”
The Chiefs filled a major need by choosing Peters with the No. 18 overall pick, then added depth by taking Oregon State cornerback Steven Nelson with a third-round pick Friday night.
Kansas City also addressed its offensive line by taking Missouri’s Mitch Morse in the second round, a gaping hole at wide receiver by trading up for Georgia’s Chris Conley in the third round, and then added depth across the board on Saturday in the final rounds of the draft.
The Chiefs started by choosing Georgia linebacker Ramik Wilson in the fourth round. They added another linebacker, D.J. Alexander of Oregon State, and Illinois State tight end James O’Shaughnessy in the fifth. Defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches from Southern Miss went in the sixth round, and Northern Illinois wide receiver Da’Ron Brown in the seventh.
Dorsey said linebacker was a priority on the draft’s final day, not only for depth but also with the future in mind. Derrick Johnson is coming off a torn Achilles tendon and on the downward side of his career, while the other inside linebacker spot remains largely unsettled.
In fact, Wilson said he’s looking forward to Johnson’s tutoring.
”It’s going to be great. He’s a Pro Bowler, great teammate, great team leader,” he said. ”I think he’s perfect for someone to learn under. I can’t wait to work with him.”
Conley and Wilson join several Georgia players already on the roster. All-Pro linebacker Justin Houston was the Chiefs’ third-round pick in the 2011 draft, cornerback Sanders Commings a fifth-round choice in 2013 and quarterback Aaron Murray a fifth-round pick a year ago.
”It’s going to be great to work with Justin,” Wilson said. ”He always comes back after the season, rehabs at Georgia. Sometimes works out. We’ve had a chance to talk a lot.”
Alexander, a teammate of Nelson at Oregon State, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds during his pro day – decent speed by wide receiver standards. His value early in his career could come on special teams, though, which is where he got his start with the Beavers.
”I told all the coaches there, their coordinators, I love special teams,” he said. ”I plan on doing whatever it takes to get on the team in Kansas City and contribute as much as I can.”
O’Shaughnessy is also a special teams standout, a big reason he was taken by the Chiefs in the fifth round. In fact, he once knocked himself out hitting a linebacker on special teams.
”It took me a couple of days to remember it, but I do now,” he said of the block. ”Hey, I understand this league isn’t an easy league to be a part of. It isn’t easy to make it in. Every day I’m going to scratch to make sure I’m on a roster.”
Nunez-Roches, a Belize native who moved to the U.S. as a child, will try to earn a job spelling defensive tackles Dontari Poe and Mike DeVito. Brown will add depth for a rebuilt wide receiver group led by free-agent signing Jeremy Maclin.
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