Mike Burton thinks this ‘special’ quality in Isiah Pacheco will help Chiefs

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When the Kansas City Chiefs drafted Isiah Pacheco in the 2022 NFL draft, he’d become the second player from Rutgers on the roster.

Chiefs FB Mike Burton was drafted out of Rutgers by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL draft. He first joined Kansas City in 2021, re-signing with the team on a one-year deal this offseason.

While the two Scarlet Knights didn’t get an opportunity to play together in New Brunswick, Burton is quite familiar with the Chiefs’ new running back.

“I am familiar with him,” Burton told Chiefs Wire in an exclusive interview. “I missed playing with him at Rutgers, but the years that I’ve gone back for a spring game or spring practices in my offseason, I have been able to meet with him, talk with him, watch him practice. I talked to the coaches who were there about him and things like that. I definitely know him and I’m very familiar with him.”

When the Chiefs draft a player, they typically have a cut-up or highlights of that player that are made available for the rest of the team. In the case of Pacheco, Burton already knew exactly the type of player and person that the team was getting when they turned in their draft card.

“He is a physical, hard-nosed runner, who also has great speed,” Burton said of Pacheco. “When you watch his tape, he’s running away from guys. From a physical standpoint, he has the tools, and I noticed that probably two years ago when I was at a Rutgers practice.”

Beyond the tools — which are great in their own right — there is something special about Pacheco that Burton noticed while watching him play at Rutgers. It’s something that he thinks the rest of the team will be able to learn from and utilize themselves. He isn’t the only one who picked up on this special quality either, with Chiefs northeast area scout Cassidy Kaminski saying something quite similar about Pacheco.

Pacheco plays the game with passion.

“Just the way he runs the football — his passion — I mean he’s running every carry like it was his last,” Burton said of Pacheco. “I think that’s very special. Guys feed off of that, so that’s going to be great for the locker room.”

Even as a late-round draft pick, Burton expects Pacheco to be a contributor in Kansas City. Upon the suggestion of a third-down role as a pass-protector, Burton agreed that the rookie has the chops to play that role in the NFL.

“He’s a big kid,” Burton said. “He definitely has the size and strength. I think he hit 27 reps on the bench at his pro day. He’s definitely got that strength and that mentality to be a pass protector, there’s no question about it.”

As Pacheco takes the next step, he’ll have a friendly, familiar and supportive face to rely on in the Chiefs’ locker room. It’s something that will surely help him acclimate as he makes the jump to the next level.

“He has a great personality off the field as well, just a great kid,” Burton said of Pacheco. “I’m very excited to have him coming here whenever the rookies get here.”

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