A Ferrari molded in the frame of a Mack truck, it won’t take long for Kansas City Chiefs faithful to endear themselves to rookie seventh-round running back Isaih Pacheco. A standout at Rutgers whose burst will further expand the Kansas City playbook, he’s been a standout early at camp.
With Tyreek Hill gone, the need for speed within the Chiefs’ offense is at an all-time high. While no one in the league presents a skill set like Hill’s, the arrival of Pacheco—someone that can both run through and around defenders—should earn him touches early this fall if all comes to fruition. A backfield headlined by former first-rounder Clyde Edwards-Helaire, offseason addition Ronald Jones, and Jerick McKinnon, Pacheco’s path to snaps will be a treacherous one in the fight to 53. But with a deep bag of traits, it’ll be hard to keep him out of uniform.
First look at rookie RB Isiah Pacheco pic.twitter.com/dtqIQKxjBo
— KC Sports Network (@KCSportsNetwork) July 27, 2022
Early signs in 11-on-11 work have seen Pacheco earn snaps alongside Patrick Mahomes. While it could be nothing, with smoke, there’s fire—we aren’t in spring OTAs anymore. A 4.37 40 runner at the combine, what makes Pacheco so darn intriguing is his ability to do it all wherever he aligns at the snap. It’s no secret offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Reid remain one of the more creative duos in all of football, and with a thoroughbred athlete like Pacheco waiting in the wings, scheming him touches shouldn’t be an issue with all eyes focused on the dynamic tandem of Mahomes and Travis Kelce.
While his numbers during his time with the Scarlet Knights failed to jump off the page, it’s all about projection, and there isn’t a single offense in football more scheme-versatile and more willing to tailor scheme than the Chiefs. They do it all. A between-the-tackles role could be where he finds his straightest path to snaps. Behind a 216-pound frame that will allow him not only to holster against the physicality that comes within the trenches but shake off arm tackles only to stick his foot in the ground and rapidly work up to his 4.3 speed, presents a unique athlete into an offense expected to regress this fall.
Although expectations must be tempered to a point—he is a seventh-round rookie—diamonds are excavated from the rough each and every year and the Chiefs have made it a habit of striking gold often. From 2021 sixth-rounder Trey Smith to Hill, a fifth-rounder out of West Alabama in 2016, Isaih Pacheco could quickly provide elite value to an offense with Super Bowl aspirations once again this fall.
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