Isiah Pacheco spent four years impressing Rutgers and now, he seems to be doing the same with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Pacheco was selected in the seventh round by Kansas City during the 2022 NFL Draft. It is difficult for a late, day-three draft pick to make an immediate impact during training camp. Pacheco has fit into the scheme well with the Chiefs and has even earned time with the first team.
On Tuesday, the Chiefs announced that Pacheco will start the preseason as their lead kick returner.
The Chiefs say they will start Isiah Pacheco at their kick returner (Byron Pringle left for Chicago). Mecole Hardman remains the punt returner. Toub mentioned McDuffie and Moore as options at PR.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) August 2, 2022
Pacheco was tied for the fastest 40-yard dash time during the NFL Combine, running a 4.37. The Chiefs have liked his versatility out of the backfield being able to act as a pass catcher as well. This has given Pacheco a chance to work with the starters and insert his name into a competitive and strong running back room.
The Chiefs will likely feature former first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire as their starter. He has also been working more as a pass catcher. Jerick McKinnon was extremely productive during the postseason last year while free-agent signing Ronald Jones will also be in the mix. As of late, Pacheco has had an edge over McKinnon and Jones but this does not mean that he will be Helaire’s backup.
What we do know is that Pacheco is likely to make the team as a running back and survive the final cuts.
Pacheco was certainly ahead of Jones Saturday. More even today.— Tommy Rezac (@TommyKFEQ) August 1, 2022
With Pacheco, it seems like they mix between run and pass. Definitely somebody that can be utilized in pass game, special teams too. #Chiefs https://t.co/RGSbYxPEiU
It is easy to imagine a scenario where Pacheco is used on special teams quite a bit for the Chiefs. He brings great speed and is a reliable ball carrier.
It is still early in camp and Kansas City will exhaust all options to see how their high-powered offense will run this season. Pacheco may or may not be in the mix much out of the backfield this season. He will get a chance to impress as a kick returner and if all goes right, the Rutgers’ standout will continue to climb the ranks following his rookie season.