For the eighth episode of our new podcast on the 2017 NFL Draft, our guest was former Chiefs Director of Pro Personnel Will Lewis. Here are a few of the thoughts he shared on the broadcast, which we published Thursday.
On the role of then-running backs coach Eric Bienemy in developing Toledo OH Kareem Hunt, as well as the team’s decision to draft Hunt: “As far as, you know, being able to learn and being able to to get to that point where he could be a pretty good player, I think when you have Eric Bienemy as the running backs coach, you feel pretty good about what he can get out of almost any player. So I think with all those things factoring in, I think we felt pretty good about (Hunt).
On the other running back Will, in particular, liked for the Chiefs in 2017: “Everybody was impressed with (Florida State’s) Dalvin Cook, and I think I can’t speak for Bienemy, but I think Bienemy had him up pretty high in the mix, partly because he could run downhill, he had speed to bounce outside, and, I mean, he could catch the ball. He was pretty good on the screens. So in our offense at the time and Kansas City’s offense, that was one of the things that you were looking for in a running back. So I have to think that Dalvin Cook was up there pretty high for us.”
On the “tree” of general managers who learned under former Packers GM Ron Wolf: “I think the background for a guy like (former Chiefs GM John) Dorsey started with Green Bay, and that’s the way Ron Wolf did things, and Dorsey was a little bit of a clone, so to speak. He liked to do things exactly like Ron did, whether it was antiquated or not. But, you know, that’s the system that he grew up with and believed wholeheartedly in. So (former Packers GM) Ted Thompson did the same thing. (Seahawks GM) John Schneider did it the same way. (Former Washington GM Scot) McCloughan did it the same way. I imagine (former Raiders GM) Reggie McKenzie does the same way. So a lot of those guys . . . were in Green Bay at one point and (when) then branched off, I think they ran similar systems.”
On the team’s slow buy-in on Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes: “Patrick was an interesting study, and I say that because initially he was kind of missing from the top tier of our board. I mean, he was on there, and it’s like, ‘OK, well, we’ll kind of get to him a little bit.’ So it was it was kind of a little bit of a quiet deal. It was more of a deal where you could see him building momentum as it came along, and I think that was partly because of who was pushing him and who knew a lot about him, who had studied him a lot. And as all that information started coming in, you can see him gradually working his way up the boards.”
On why Iowa TE George Kittle fell to the fifth round: “I would say coming out of Iowa, I mean, with their ground and pound, that it probably didn’t showcase his skills where people would say, ‘this guy is a first- or second-round type tight end.’ So I think that hurt him a little bit as opposed to, had he gone to some West Coast team or down in the SEC where they threw the ball all the time. . . You got tough guys (at Iowa) that just play hard. So I think that was the perception of Kittle, is that he is an in-line blocker. He is a tough guy, I mean, with adequate hands. And he sure went to the right place at the right time.”