Nick Allegretti Jersey

Nick Allegretti obviously was a little bit concerned last weekend as the seventh round of the NFL Draft was winding down.

The former Lincoln-Way East standout was a two-year captain and three-year staple on the offensive line where he had 36 consecutive starts while playing almost every snap for Illini coach Lovie Smith. Illinois has had a draft selection in 43 of the past 47 years and now has 242 all-time selections.The Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up their three-day rookie minicamp Monday, and by the sound of it, head coach Andy Reid came away pleased with what he saw.

Reid spoke with reporters following the conclusion of Monday’s session and had positive things to say about a number of players, as well as the group of prospects the Chiefs assembled as a whole. Over 70 players attended the three-day minicamp, including the six players the Chiefs selected in the 2019 NFL Draft (wide receiver Mecole Hardman, safety Juan Thornhill, defensive tackle Khalen Saunders, cornerback Rashad Fenton, running back Derwin Thompson, and offensive lineman Nick Allegretti), 17 undrafted signings and a number of tryout players.

Former University of Illinois offensive lineman Nick Allegretti, who was a standout football player and wrestler at Lincoln-Way East, played three seasons for the Illini and was drafted last week in the seventh-round by the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I think overall, this was the best overall group at all positions that we had, just where you could go out and really compete here and make it real,” Reid said.

Reid spoke the most about Hardman, who was making his debut after being the first player the Chiefs selected in the 2019 NFL Draft (Round 2, pick 56 overall). What Reid liked the seeing from Hardman was the improvement he showed from the start of minicamp to its conclusion.

“Every day he got a little better. These are all new — these routes are new to him,” Reid said. “He did a nice job in the red zone, which normally is the toughest place to work, but he did extremely well there. He had a good finish.”

NASHVILLE – Former University of Illinois offensive lineman Nick Allegretti was selected in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday in Nashville. Allegretti was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 216th overall pick.

Allegretti is the sixth Illini drafted in Kansas City Chiefs history and the first since Jeff Allen in 2012. Allen, also an offensive lineman, helped the Chiefs to the AFC Championship game in 2019.

Allegretti was a two-time captain and finished his football career with 36 consecutive starts while playing nearly every snap on the o-line over the last three seasons. A second-team All-Big Ten selection, Allegretti was graded as the third-best offensive guard in the nation in 2018 by Pro Football Focus, allowing just one QB hit and zero sacks on the season while anchoring an offensive line that paved the way for the nation’s 12th-ranked rushing offense. PFF graded him as the No. 6 run-blocking guard and the No. 11 pass-blocking guard in the nation.

Reid said there was one route in particular Hardman had problems with in the early going of minicamp. But he quickly bounced back to show improvement, which was something that left an impression.

Dozens of drafted rookies, undrafted free agent signings and young players asked to try out came together on Saturday for opening day of a three-day rookie minicamp for the Kansas City Chiefs. It was also a time to hear from head coach Andy Reid as he updated reporters on several players.

Reid spoke about a few of the team’s six recent draftees from the 2019 Draft. He noted seventh-round pick Nick Allegretti will be working at center to start. The 6’4″, 320-pound offensive lineman played as a guard for most of his collegiate career at the University of Illinois, but he impressed at center at the Senior Bowl. The Chiefs will enjoy his versatility if he looks good in the middle.

“Nick is an offensive lineman. He can play center or guard, a dual position guy. He can probably kick out and play tackle. He’s not a small guy. We like him in those two positions, guard and center. He’ll be working center with the first group and then getting a little guard work here as we go. He’s very intelligent … he’s a two-time team captain … he’s a tough kid who moves around well.”

Running back Darwin Thompson out of Utah State was praised as a sleeper pick for the Chiefs in the sixth round. Reid provided a brief update on Thompson, saying the best comparison to a player he’s had before is former Chiefs back Charcandrick West

Darwin Thompson Jersey

When Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach sees a player he likes, he doesn’t hesitate to go the extra mile to put him in a Chiefs uniform. That was almost the case with former Utah State running back Darwin Thompson, who Veach almost traded up to select in of the NFL Draft before landing him anyway at pick 214 overall in Round 6.

Veach made a move earlier in the draft for former University of Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who the Chiefs moved up five spots to select at pick 56 while sending pick 61 and a fifth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange. He liked Thompson enough to almost make a similar move after selecting cornerback Rashad Fenton of South Carolina at pick 201 in Round 6.

“He’s a really exciting player,” Veach said of Thompson Monday, per Chiefs.com. “We had him higher on that value board and when he fell there in the sixth round, [we took him]. Actually, when we took Fenton, I was trying to make some moves to get back up there and get [Thompson] because I didn’t want to lose him three or four selections before we picked. I called every team right after we took Fenton to go right back up and get this Thompson kid. We couldn’t reach a deal, but as we were kind of doing the review of the teams picking just ahead of us…and all these teams had taken a running back earlier in the draft, so I was like, ‘These teams went running back earlier, I think we might be OK here.’”

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We’ve already heard a bit from Chiefs scouts on their Day 3 draft picks, but now Brett Veach has weighed in. Area scout Trey Koziol revealed that he doesn’t have an exact comparison that he’d scouted for Chiefs new RB Darwin Thompson. Koziol said that he did remind him a bit of Falcons RB Devonta Freeman, but he was hard-pressed to commit to that comparison.

During Veach’s post-draft teleconference, he revealed a comparison for Thompson that he finds fitting. Thompson reminds Veach of Dion Lewis, though, there is one crucial difference.The Kansas City Chiefs have selected former Utah State running back Darwin Thompson with the 214th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Thompson (5-8, 200) was a second-team All-Mountain West selection in 2018 with 1,044 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns along with 23 catches for 351 yards and two touchdowns. A junior college transfer from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, Thompson decided to leave Utah State for the draft after one season. At his Pro Day, Thompson was clocked at 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash with a 39-inch vertical jump, a 126-inch broad jump, a 6.93-second 3-cone drill, and 23 bench press reps of 225 pounds.

The selection is the second in Day 3 for the Chiefs. Here’s a look at the other selections they’ve made so far.In Thompson, the Chiefs drafted a somewhat different type of back than they have with Carlos Hyde, Damien Williams and Darrell Williams, who are all at least 5-11 and over 220 pounds. Thompson checks in at just 5-8, 200 but is also very muscular, which gives him a unique look that makes it hard to compare him to anyone, according to national scout Trey Koziol.

“You want to think he’s a scatback, but he’s so powerful in that build that he really does have strength,” Koziol said Saturday. “So, it’s kind of a rare dynamic. I haven’t done a whole lot of guys out west that I could give you an honest comp and say, ‘Hey, when I looked at him on film he was this guy,’ because not a lot of guys are built that way. It’s kind of a unique build.”

Veach found his own comparison for Thompson — Tennessee Titans running back Dion Lewis.

“He has a little Dion Lewis in him,” Veach said. “Dion is a guy that has similar stature. He might be a little bit more stout than Dion, but both guys are tough runners for their size. Even though they’re small, they can do a lot of different things.”

Rashad Fenton Jersey

The Kansas City Chiefs have selected former South Carolina cornerback Rashad Fenton with the 201st overall pick (Round 6) in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Fenton (5-11, 193) played in 48 games in four seasons at South Carolina (30 starts) and totaled 122 tackles, five interceptions, and 24 passes defensed. He also was a kick returner for the Gamecocks with a 24.8-yard career average and one return for a touchdown. Fenton was clocked at 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine with a vertical jump of 34 inches, a broad jump of 117 inches, and a 20-yard shuttle of 4.25 seconds.

The selection of Fenton is the first in Day 3 for the Chiefs. Here’s a look at the other selections they’ve made so far.

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“I think we’re just looking to find another great player period, offense or defense,” Veach said. “I think the cool thing about having the league MVP (quarterback Patrick Mahomes) is he makes the people around him that much better, so that’s a luxury we have. And if we can get him another tool, we absolutely will. But I think in general we’re just looking to find playmakers on both sides of the football. I don’t think we’re going to be geared towards offense now because Pat is so good. But we’re also aware that Pat is so good, so if there’s someone out there that can make him even better, we’ll be all for it. But I think just in general, we just want to add playmakers, and that includes special teams too.”

Among the top needs coming into the draft for the Chiefs were cornerback, safety, wide receiver, tight end, and running back. The Chiefs had six draft picks in 2018, which was Veach’s first draft as general manager, and used them on defensive end Breeland Speaks (Round 2), defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi (Round 3), linebacker Dorian O’Daniel (Round 3), safety Armani Watts (Round 4), cornerback Tremon Smith (Round 6), and guard Kahlil McKenzie (Round 6).

Juan Thornhill of Virginia and Rashad Fenton of South Carolina will try to help impact the secondary.

“I want to prove that not only as a complete cornerback but as a complete athlete, just being able to bring more to the table and being a lockdown corner,” Fenton said. “I feel I was able to prove that during my time at South Carolina.”

The Chiefs have added Jamal Custis, an undrafted free agent receiver from Syracuse, to their lineup. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports Curtis will receive $100,000 in guaranteed money.Juan Thornhill is expected to instantly mix in with the starting defensive backs. According to Brett Veach, he was the No. 1 ranked free safety prospect for the Chiefs. There’s a burden that comes with being regarded so highly as a rookie. Given the quarterbacks throwing at rookie camp, he could be in for a big one.

Then you have a guy like Khalen Saunders, who automatically has a lot to prove coming from Western Illinois which is an FCS school. He’ll have a chip on his shoulder coming in, but will it be enough? He’ll have to face off against fellow rookie Nick Allegretti during minicamp.

Fans didn’t like the Rashad Fenton pick, but Andy Reid seems to believe he’s a versatile piece for the team to use in the secondary. The question of readiness will certainly be looming, but Fenton could benefit from the quarterback play at camp.

Darwin Thompson is sure to be a fan favorite during the entire offseason program. His contact balance is superb, but he won’t have much of a chance to show it because of the lack of live contact periods.The Kansas City Chiefs used their initial pick on the final day of the NFL draft to select Rashad Fenton, a cornerback out of South Carolina who can play multiple positions on defense.Fenton is another piece Kansas City can use as it shifts to a 4-3 defense under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. The club has been busy fixing one of the NFL’s worst defenses this offseason, and added safety Juan Thornhill and defensive tackle Khalen Saunders on Friday night.

Their biggest addition came earlier in the week, when the Chiefs packaged their first-round pick and a second-rounder next year to acquire pass rusher Frank Clark from the Seattle Seahawks.

Juan Thornhill Jersey

The Cleveland Browns have the opportunity to give themselves a knock-out safety tandem. With Damarious Randall on one side of the field, the Browns need a strong presence across from him. They could find it in Virginia’s Juan Thornhill.

The Cleveland Browns have a need in the secondary before they can really learn to fly on defense. Denzel Ward is a fine cornerback, and Damarious Randall was a breath of fresh air at the free safety position last season. Jabrill Peppers has been shipped off to New York in exchange for Odell Beckham Jr. The Browns need a plug and play strong safety and an upgrade over Morgan Burnett. Virginia’s Juan Thornhill could be their guy.

First and foremost, Thornhill is an athletic freak and perhaps the most athletic safety in this class. The 6-0, 205-pound Virginia native can jump out of the gym with an 11-foot-9 broad jump, and has fantastic, 4.42 speed. Perhaps Thornhill’s most impressive trait is just how easy he makes the safety position look.

Thornhill’s smooth movements make his game tape look more like fine art than football, and his 36 starts give scouts plenty of tape to look at. A former high school quarterback, Thornhill has the instincts to know where he needs to be, but he doesn’t use those instincts as a crutch. Thornhill is patient on his reads and will rarely get fooled. His flashiest game in 2018 came against Miami, where he posted two interceptions and six tackles.

Juan Thornhill, a safety out of UVA, became the first state college player to be taken in this year’s draft on Friday evening.

The Kansas City Chiefs used the 63rd overall pick in the second round to select Thornhill, a versatile defensive back.

Thornhill became the highest drafted player out of UVA since 2011, when the New England Patriots selected another defensive back, cornerback Ras-I Dowling, to start the second round.

Thornhill tied for third in the nation with six interceptions last season.

Thornhill played both safety and cornerback at Virginia, but most scouts project him as an over the top safety at the next level. Some teams had concerns about his tackling ability, and those teams could consider moving him out to corner.

NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah is among those who believes Thornhill can play safety at the next level.

“I just love his range,” Jeremiah said. “I just like his ability to play in the middle of the field, to range around, and make a bunch of plays that way. … I think pure free safeties are hard to find right now, that can play over the top, and that’s where I’d put him.”

Tony Pauline, publisher of NFLdraftanalyst.com listed Thornhill as his fastest rising safety going into the draft, in part because of an eye opening showing at the NFL combine. He ran a 4.42-second 40-yard dash to go with his 44-inch vertical jump and 11-foot, 9-inch broad jump.

More big news out of Virginia Cavaliers men’s basketball yesterday, as sophomore guard Marco Anthony announced that he would enter the NCAA transfer portal, while junior guard Kyle Guy, who said last week that he would at least try out the professional waters, fully committed to the NBA Draft. We also found out more news about the team’s schedule next season, learning that UVA will play Vermont and UMass as a part of the Mohegan Sun’s Hall-of-Fame Classic tournament.

Check out some of the highlights from Juan Thornhill’s incredible career at UVA below. Also be sure to tune into the NFL Draft, which starts on Thursday, and Streaking The Lawn for updated coverage on where the star safety will be heading.

Sophomore Will Rock, who caused four turnovers and picked up six ground balls in the team’s wins over VMI and Marist last week, earned ACC Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career on Monday.

Five-star recruit Johnny Juzang names Kentucky, Virginia among his final schools Reports: Virginia’s Hunter, Jerome, and Guy receive NBA Combine invites WATCH: The heartwarming moments Juan Thornhill and Tim Harris got the call in the NFL Draft Bronco Mendenhall honors Virginia legend George Welsh at Celebration of Life Here is where UVA players have signed after the 2019 NFL Draft Virginia lacrosse moves on to ACC title game with dramatic 14-13 win over North Carolina

Mecole Hardman Jersey

The Chiefs have taken Mecole Hardman, Juan Thornhill and Khalen Saunders. How did the Chiefs do? We discuss the newest team’s newest players.

The Chiefs have made their first three selections of 2019. While it is impossible to know exactly how a player’s NFL career will go based off of their college career, I am going to give my initial take away from the selections of Mecole Hardman, Juan Thornhill, and Khalen Saunders as well as a way-too-early grade, because all draft grades are too early.

My initial take away from the group as a whole is how Brett Veach is approaching this year’s draft. He is not only taking guys that have a high ceiling, but also decently high floors. All three players selected stand little chance of being complete busts, in my opinion. That being said, let us begin with Mecole Hardman.

Why Cowboys Should Draft Mecole Hardman no Matter What

To me, this is the signal for the end of Tyreek Hill‘s career with the Chiefs. I don’t believe that there is any way that Hardman was the Chiefs initial guy going into the draft. When the Tyreek Hill news surfaced, Brett Veach was left with very little choice, but to draft a playmaker for Patrick Mahomes to make up for some of the production that Hill created.

Hardman is a speedy player who can burn people off of the line of scrimmage. His burst is very good and his vision with the ball in his hands is incredible. I like his vertical ability and his ability to track the ball. The Chiefs are blessed with more speed for the offense and for special teams.

Mecole Hardman has a pretty small frame and may have a smaller catch radius. Also part of his size, his downfield physicality is not great. For players that at the top of the league, being able to box out defenders and use their body to their advantage. This is where the he could use a bit of improvement.

Again, it is way too early to know how Hardman will play in the NFL; However, his talent is not as high as many of the receivers that went in round two, in my opinion. While his playmaking ability is incredible and he has been gifted with top-notch speed, he will need to improve in several parts of his game to be a true number one receiver in the NFL.

If authentic, the audio cut of Hill and his girlfriend would be quite damning to his case with the NFL, which has a track record for conducting detailed investigations in the matters of child and/or spousal abuse.

And the notion of Hill potentially lying to police authorities may be grounds for an unprecedented suspension, if not a lifetime ban with the NFL.

Which brings us back to Hardman: the lightning-fast wideout enjoyed a breakout season last year, rolling for 35 catches, 543 yards and eight total touchdowns.

Interestingly, Hardman’s athletic skill set compares favorably to that of Hill; and whether fair or not, those tie-ins will become even more prevalent, if Hardman gets vaulted into a starting role in Year 1.

Bottom line: the pressure’s on for the player (Hardman) who just joined a franchise with sky-high hopes of making the Super Bowl in 2020.

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid talks about how WR Mecole Hardman of Georgia and Virginia DB Juan Thornhill, the team’s first two 2019 NFL Draft picks, will fit in and help the team.

Mecole Hardman is around the same size as many of the NFL’s leading receivers including Antonio Brown, Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill, T.Y. Hilton, Brandin Cooks and Odell Beckham Jr. His size, speed, and quickness would present problems for bigger corners.

Hardman was a high-school quarterback, and is still learning the receiver position. With that being considered, his ceiling is considerably higher as a pro than in college. He managed to find the end zone once every 4.6 plays, scoring 13 touchdowns on only 60 touches. He also managed 1,467 return yards on only 74 returns.

Mecole would be valuable in the Ravens’ offense, and would be able to take the top off, consistently winning 1-on-1 on the outside or in the slot. If the box is stacked, Hardman will score at a freakishly high rate if Lamar Jackson is able to get the ball in his hands deep.

Greg Roman would love to have him for jet sweeps/screens which are a prominent feature in his offensive game plan. Many pundits predict that Mecole will be available in the third round.

University of Georgia playmakers have excelled at the NFL level, and Hardman should follow suit. He projects somewhere between Seattle Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett and Kansas City Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill. If the Ravens are able to secure Hardman with the 85th pick, they won’t regret it.