With no second-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, there was a lot of pressure on the Kansas City Chiefs to make the most of their third-round selection. At No. 87 overall the team grabbed Phillip Gaines out of Rice.
He was a bit of a reach, but he’s exactly the big, fast type of cornerback that GM John Dorsey likes. The 6-foot, 195-pound corner ran the second fastest 40-yard dash at his position at the combine with a 4.38. He also managed the second fastest three-cone drill clocking 6.62 seconds.
Gaines has virtually no chance of landing a starting position with Kansas City in 2014. Brandon Flowers and Sean Smith are locked in their starting spots. Gaines would also have to climb ahead of Marcus Cooper, Ron Parker and Chris Owens.
The Chiefs don’t have a sure answer at free safety yet, but there have been no serious talks of Gaines making a move there. He’s a cornerback who will get a little playing time on passing downs. Hoping for more than that would depend on trade talks surrounding Flowers to substantiate, or an injury.
If Cooper stays as cold as he did at the end of 2013, Gaines has a shot at being the team’s No. 3 corner. That’s as high as he can hope to earn in 2014. Dorsey drafted him for the future.
Both Flowers’ and Smith’s contracts will be up after the 2015 season. Gaines will likely serve as one of their successors, or if he develops quickly, could be part of a backup plan for the team to trade or release Flowers or Smith at some point.
Though that would be a risky move considering Gaines’ history of injuries. His size and speed garner a lot of hope for the future, but his immediate impact with the Chiefs will be minimal.