The Chiefs rookies are expected to be productive early and often.
Unlike GM Scott Pioli's 2009 crop of rookies, the Chiefs 2010 class includes mostly first, second and third round picks. In fact, the Chiefs only had picks in rounds 1-5 so most should be considered contributors, even in year one.
Even if only a couple of these picks pan out, it's still likely to be better than the 2009 class which to this day has only seen contributions from Tyson Jackson and Ryan Succop. There are a few other players that could be role players in the near future but not as many as the 2010 class, I don't think.
Here's a rundown on what you might be able to expect from the rookies in 2010.
Safety Eric Berry
He'll be the starter at safety from day one. The only possible hold up that I can imagine would be a long holdout into training camp.
The 2009 fifth overall pick was a quarterback (Jets' Mark Sanchez) and quarterbacks usually are paid a premium when drafted that high. That's why Berry's deal might be hard to do.
It's still too early to predict but, if he doesn't have a significant absence in training camp, he'll be your day one starter.
Wide receiver Dexter McCluster
I get the feeling that McCluster will play more as the season goes along. He's a smaller guy like Jamaal Charles is and Haley was cautious in how much he used Charles (until he realized, "Holy crap, this guy is good.").
McCluster calls himself an "Offensive Weapon" and will see the most time at receiver but is also a candidate to line-up in the backfield as a running back or wildcast as well as return kicks.
He'll be fun to watch.
Defensive back Javier Arenas
After seeing him practice a few times, I'm beginning to think he might be the best rookie -- not for their career but in terms of being ready to go day one. It looks as if he's got the inside track to the starting nicker corner job. He lined up there throughout OTAs and was seen making plays and being very vocal.
He comes from the Nick Saban tree which Pioli is familiar with and Saban is a former defensive backs coach so I do think Arenas has an advantage early.
He's also a candidate to return kicks.
Guard Jon Asamoah
Don't expect him to see a whole lot of playing time in 2009 unless someone gets hurt. It's not necessarily because of Asamoah's ability but moreso the guys in front of him.
Brian Waters is at left guard and definitely has that spot locked down. Ryan Lilja was signed this offseason and has lined up at right guard throughout the offseason.
Asamoah will be around in the future so it would be good if the Chiefs worked him in slowly. No reason to play him right away.
Tight end Tony Moeaki
The wildcard, in my opinion. He had an impressive year at Iowa...when he was healthy.
He's athletic, fast for his size and has good hands, as evidenced the last couple weeks of OTAs.
The problem is that Moeaki has an injury history (which is why its surprising the Chiefs selected him) and he was out the first few weeks of OTAs with an undisclosed injury.
Basically, I think Moeaki will be boom or bust. If he's healthy, he's a great option for Matt Cassel. If he's hurt, well he's been hurt before so it shouldn't be a major surprise.
Safety Kendrick Lewis
Here's another wildcard. With Jarrad Page seemingly out of the picture, Lewis has been stealing a little bit of time from Jon McGraw. This will be another interesting battle to watch.
I'm not sure if it should be considered a good thing if Lewis comes out the winner in this battle. Sure, it's good to get guys playing early but would he be in there because of his skills or the lack of competition. That's an important question.
I like Lewis and think he'll be a good player for the Chiefs in time. I'm just not sure if it's the best idea to throw him into the fire.
Outside linebacker Cameron Sheffield
We didn't hear much from Sheffield during OTAs. The Chiefs outside linebacker spots are filled for 2010 -- Mike Vrabel and Tamba Hali.
Vrabel is getting up there in age a little bit and even missed a couple of games last year. However, Andy Studebaker played pretty well in his absence so I suspect Studebaker is the first backup in at this point.
As a fifth round pick, Sheffield could fairly be labeled a project at this point. There's just not much to know yet.