With training camp coming to a close, who stood out for the Kansas City Chiefs this year?
The Kansas City Chiefs have officially wrapped up training camp in St. Joe. Although many players impressed throughout the duration of camp, here are five that truly stood out and are worth keeping an eye on.
No. 5: Mike Hughes
Mike Hughes was a late offseason acquisition for the Kansas City Chiefs thanks to a trade with the Minnesota Vikings. Hughes, at only 24-years-old, has suffered multiple serious neck injuries, which led to the trade. Although heading into camp, Hughes wasn’t receiving the same amount of recognition as some of the other defensive backs. This is understandable since he was a large question mark.
Right from the start of camp, Hughes emerged on the depth chart. He was running with the first and second-team defense throughout practice while shining on special teams. He even returned kicks in the first preseason two preseason games while impressing in coverage. I watched Hughes go up against Tyreek Hill and other receivers during practice and he won several of those matchups. He went as far as locking up Hill on a few snaps.
While running with the first stringers in practice, Hughes lined up not only on the outside but in the slot as well. He looked just as comfortable in the slot as he did on the outside. This is crucial because the Chiefs desperately need a reliable slot corner. In Minnesota, Hughes played about 30% of his snaps on the inside.
That number that should only increase during his time with the Kansas City Chiefs.
No. 4: Trey Smith
It’s no surprise that Trey Smith makes this list. Smith, who was drafted in the 6th round this year, has impressed everyone during training camp. At the beginning of camp, Smith was third on the depth chart behind veteran right guards: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Kyle Long.
Needless to say, it didn’t take long for Smith to overtake both players for the starting right guard job. He looked phenomenal against Chris Jones during the 1-on-1 drill. Smith was holding his own against one of the best pass rushers in the league. At one point, Smith even put Jones on his back during the drills, which is extremely impressive for any lineman, let alone a rookie.
He also ran with both the first and second-team offensive line. Although, he was playing most of his reps with the starting offensive line. Smith continued to dominate his fellow teammates throughout camp, seemingly never letting up.
He further solidified his position on the line after Duvernay-Tardif and Long sustained injuries. That said, it was apparent that the job was already Smith’s to lose. He started week one of the preseason and even punished 49ers defensive lineman and opened a clean running lane for Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Smith looks like he’s on the verge of a breakout season for the Kansas City Chiefs. What a steal.