When the Chiefs take the field in a little over a month in St. Joseph for training camp, they will have seven draft picks looking to get as many reps as possible. One of them — tight end Tony Moeaki — told Adam Teicher he knows how important the pad-free workouts were for the rookies but also that things change when training camp hits.
“We had a chance to get our heads in the playbook, get in some practice, get in some workouts,” said Moeaki, a third-round pick from Iowa. “It would be a disaster for us at training camp if we didn’t have this time.”
Moeaki was the Chiefs’ best receiver at tight end in the offseason work, providing an element that was missing last year after the Chiefs traded Tony Gonzalez. Moeaki will have to show the Chiefs he can be a reliable blocker when training camp begins.
“Everything becomes different when you put the pads on,” Moeaki said. “Blocking becomes a part of the game. It will be interesting. It’s big because some players are different in pads.”
Moeaki missed some practice time early in the offseason because of an injury that neither he nor the Chiefs would disclose, but he returned and finished by making several big plays.
As we’ve seen over the last couple of years with Brad Cottam, Jake O’Connell and countless other young tight ends, you never know what they will give you until they take a few hits over the middle in training camp. It’s not asking much for a player to throw his body all over the field to catch a ball when you know there’s no one waiting to take your head off.
With that said, Moeaki has looked impressed when he’s been able to get on the field and should get every chance to hold off Leonard Pope for the starting job.