Rookie review: CB Phillip Gaines

Today we’re continuing a series looking at the six 2014 draft picks of the Kansas City Chiefs. We’ll look at how they fared in offseason practice and what the Chiefs can reasonably expect from them as rookies.

Third round: CB Phillip Gaines

Offseason: One starting cornerback, Brandon Flowers, first was absent from offseason practice and later was released. The other, Sean Smith, was demoted to second team after a recent arrest for DUI. The leading candidate to be the nickelback, Chris Owens, missed many of the practice sessions because of a hamstring injury. So the Chiefs were begging for cornerbacks but still didn’t give Gaines a look with the starters. But Gaines, at 6-foot and about 190 pounds, at least looks the part. He has the size and the long arms the Chiefs are looking for in a cornerback.

Expectations: That the Chiefs, in need of corners, passed over Gaines for journeymen or developmental prospects in spring practice suggests they believe he is a project. It’s far too early to count him out, particularly if the Chiefs continue to have a need. If he improves in camp, the opportunity for playing time will probably be there. At this point, though, it appears his main contribution will come on special teams.

Quote: “As a competitor, you always want to play against the best because that’s how you test yourself. You can’t test yourself going against just regular players. Peyton Manning, being one of the best quarterbacks of all time, I can’t wait to go against people like him and just watching him play throughout his whole career understanding how he approaches the game, it’s going to be an honor to play against him. To go against the best, I can’t wait. That really tests your skill and I can’t wait to do that.” -- Gaines.