On paper, the Chiefs had an incredible draft. The Chiefs have likely added at least six, but potentially as many as eight future starters from this single draft. This extends to the choices made in the seventh round. Jaylen Watson fits the mold of what Steve Spagnuolo loves at cornerback and could end up as a future starter if he develops, but he will have to outshine fellow rookies Trent McDuffie and Joshua Williams.
However, I believe Isaih Pacheco has the highest breakout potential out of any Chief drafted this year not named Leo Chanel. To see our initial reactions on Leo Chanel, click here. Brett Veach, in his pre-draft press conference, mentioned he thinks there will be a seventh-round or undrafted rookie Running Back who will have a 1,000-yard season. So when the Chiefs drafted Isaih Pacheco in the seventh round, it raised some eyebrows. What can Pacheco bring to the Chiefs’ offense?
If you look at Isaih Pacheco’s NFL.com draft profile, the first thing that stands out is his 40-yard dash time, 4.37 seconds. This is faster than any other RB currently on the roster, and outside Mecole Hardman, this is the fastest time on the entire offense. Not to mention this was done at 5’11 216 pounds. Pacheco can bring an element of speed to the Chiefs’ backfield that they haven’t seen since Jamal Charles was still in his prime.
Pacheco’s speed translates to the field as well. When turning on film, it is the first thing that stands out. Pacheco is a threat to take any hand-off to the end zone. His cuts are deadly, often leaving defenders looking for their ankles. He will also run through arm tackles, thanks to his size, but he doesn’t look for contact. That being said, there are some areas for improvement.
Currently, Isaih Pacheco’s most significant issue is his lack of game vision. Isaih often takes bad angles, which can lead him directly into defenders. These bad angles can also lead to Pacheco losing speed and allowing defenders to catch up to him. This wasn’t a major issue in college, but defenders are much quicker in the NFL.
Isaih Pacheco isn’t just a dynamic runner, but he also has potential as a receiving back. If you want to be a three-down back for Andy Reid, you better be good in all three facets of the game as an RB: running, receiving, and blocking. Plus, when Patrick Mahomes is your QB, there aren’t going to be many games where there are more rushing attempts than passing.
Pacheco has good hand size for a running back and has shown glimpses of what he can do as a receiver out of the backfield. While he didn’t get many opportunities in Rutgers’ run-heavy offense, the potential is there. Pacheco has also shown that he is a willing blocker, and with his size and strength, Isaih Pacheco could find himself as the go-to guy on third down.
After being drafted by the Chiefs in the seventh round, one of the first things Isaih Pacheco was quoted as saying was, “I’m ready to take another grown man’s job.” To see the whole interview click here. This is the exact kind of mentality the best Chiefs thrive on, and if you look at the rest of the draft, it seems the front office is trying to recruit as many people with this mentality as possible.
Isaih Pacheco is going to come in with a chip on his shoulder and will have to fight his way up the depth chart, but when it comes to his physical ability, he is the most gifted player in the running back room. Isaih needs to put it all together.
A positive for Isaih is there are no expectations for him coming into this season. He will probably be expected to contribute to special teams and be ready to step up in case an injury happens. This will allow him to learn the playbook and step into a bigger role in year two. So, it is possible Isaih Pacheco won’t break out this year, but it’s just a matter of time before he sets the world on fire.
Do you believe Isaih Pacheco will be a star for the Chiefs’ offense? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.
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To see some other Chiefs’ offensive jobs that will be challenged this offseason, click here.