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Isiah Pacheco may have burst out in mid-March at the NFL combine, but the now Kansas City Chiefs running back has been a known commodity around the Big Ten for several seasons. Count Cassidy Kaminski among those dialed into what the former Rutgers football standout brings to his new home in the NFL.
A regional scout for the Chiefs, Kaminski was charged with evaluating the geographic region that includes Rutgers. As such, he became well acquainted with Pacheco, who was a seventh round pick of the Chiefs in last week’s NFL draft.
The 2021 season was his fourth at Rutgers and Pacheco had 647 rushing yards on 167 carries last season. He also had five rushing touchdowns.
Kaminski spoke to reporters shortly after the Chiefs selected Pacheco.
“Tough, hard‐nose, physical, doesn’t shy away from contact,” Kaminski told reporters. “Very consistent in terms of his work ethic, his ability, getting better every year there.”
Nationally, Pacheco’s performance at the NFL combine, where he tied for the fastest 40-time with a 4.37, helped solidify him as an under-the-radar player.
Kaminski liked the product on the field as well as what Pacheco brings off of it.
“A phenomenal person. Yeah, absolutely, he does have a good, bright personality and character to him. I think we sat down – normally your interviews are 20‐30 minutes at an all‐star game – and we sat for an hour and a half and just talked life, conversation, everything,” Kaminski said. “He can articulate himself and he just brings a good energy and smile to the room wherever he’s at every time.”
The time in the NFL combine was a surprise to many, even those around the Rutgers program who didn’t know that Pacheco had that home run ability in his game. At Rutgers and given the state of their rebuild, Pacheco didn’t often have a chance to flash that speed.
Very often, he simply had a hard time finding a running lane let alone getting to the second-level.
Kamisnki thinks that the Chiefs have added a well-rounded running back who can help the team in a variety of ways.
“I would say the passion. You see passion in the way he communicates, you see passion in the way he runs the football, it’s just who he is,” Kaminski said. “Physically there’s a combination of speed and power there and I would say he runs the ball with that passion. You see that.”
Pacheco joins former Rutgers fullback Michael Burton in the Chiefs backfield. Burton said that he re-signed with the Chiefs in large part to his desire to continue playing for head coach Andy Reid.