Rookie tight end James O’Shaughnessy, a fifth-round draft pick, will probably have more of an impact on special teams than on offense in his first NFL season. The Chiefs, with Travis Kelce and Demetrius Harris ahead of O’Shaughnessy on the depth chart, likely won’t need much from a third tight end.
Special teams is a different matter. There, O’Shaughnessy’s 245-pound body could be of use immediately.
O’Shaughnessy, who is participating in the Chiefs’ three-day rookie camp that concludes on Monday, showed in college at Illinois State that he’s willing to do whatever it takes. With his team kicking off and trying to protect a four-point lead in the FCS championship game against North Dakota State, O’Shaughnessy got a concussion when he led with his head in bringing down the return specialist.
“Earlier in the season in our one (defeat), I chose not to go in on a kickoff and I told myself if we had an opportunity like that, I wasn’t going to let it happen again because they ended up scoring on that kickoff,’’ O’Shaughnessy said of Illinois State’s regular-season loss to Northern Iowa. “We lost the game.
“I wasn’t going to allow that to happen again. Obviously we were up at that point and I wanted to make sure I made a play, which I did. I’ll take the tackle, but I kind of wish I had a little bit of a better-form tackle so I didn’t knock myself out.”
As a receiver, O’Shaughnessy is a developmental prospect. Eventually, he could provide the Chiefs with a nice alternative to Kelce and Harris.
Rookie camp is the start of that process.
“It’s been fun,’’ O’Shaughnessy said. “It’s good to actually finally get back out on the field after this hectic draft time and all of the pro days and various things like that. Obviously there is a lot of learning going on, there’s a lot of hectic stuff. You’ve got to get all smashed in within three days, but I’ve had a blast so far and I’m just trying to stay level-headed and keep progressing each day.”