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The Kansas City Chiefs made it two selections for Rutgers football on Saturday, with Isiah Pacheco going in the seventh round of the NFL draft.
The Rutgers running back was taken No. 251 overall. Just 22 picks prior, Rutgers wide receiver Bo Melton was taken by the Seattle Seahawks.
Pacheco could be a very nice fit in the Chiefs multi-faceted offense. This past season as the primary ball carrier for Rutgers, he had 647 rushing yards on 167 carries and five touchdowns.
His finished his Rutgers career with 2,442 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry, a number that took a dip with the offense’s struggles this season.
He shot up NFL draft boards following a strong showing in the NFL Combine last month.
In the Chiefs backfield he joins former Rutgers standout Michael Burton. This past offseason, Burton signed a one-year deal to remain in Kansas City.
Pacheco burst onto the NFL platform with a strong showing at the NFL combine and his flashy Gucci sunglasses. But read on to check out more aboutIsiah Pacheco and what makes the Rutgers running back a unique player and person for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Pacheco runs hard...and fast
At Rutgers behind an offensive line that had some struggles the past two years, Pacheco turned into between-the-tackles runner who was forced to grind out yards. Simply put, he wasn’t able to stretch runs or bounce outside given the Scarlet Knights’ struggles in their run blocking.
But Pacheco does have home run ability, showing that with a 4.37 time in the 40 at the NFL combine in early March. That’s the kind of speed that turned him from an undrafted rookie free agent signing into a Day 3 selection in the NFL draft.
It was tied as the fastest running back time in the combine.
— Rutgers Football (@RFootball) March 5, 2022
Pacheco's tough story
Want to know about what makes the Chiefs running back tick? He has had a difficult story and upbringing, including losing two of his siblings to violence.
In a must-read story from Keith Sargeant of NJ Advanced Media, Pacheco details his difficult upbringing and how that inspires him now.
“I play football for them,’’ Pacheco said in the Sargeant piece.
“My family had a lot of ups and downs. When my brother first passed and then my sister passed a year later, it really hurt my mom deep inside. I’m the youngest one out of all my brothers and sisters and I kind of bring that smile to my mom’s face when I’m out here on this field just grinding away, taking care of my school work and showing what I have to do to get to that next level.”
A three-star in high school
The Vineland, N.J. star was a standout in high school where he played both running back and quarterback. Perhaps Andy Reid can find some Wildcat snaps for Pacheco.
He was a solid recruit, a three-star with a 5.6 rating from Rivals coming out of Vineland North. In addition to Rutgers, he held offers from programs like Boston College, Iowa, Louisville, Maryland, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh and Syracuse among others.
He played much bigger than his ranking during four years at Rutgers where his team never had a winning season.
He's an underrated receiver out of the backfield
In 2018 as a true freshman, Pacheco had only two receptions, despite featuring heavily out of the backfield with 111 carries and 551 rushing yards. But Pacheco has proven himself to be a solid pass-catching option out of the Scarlet Knights backfield, something that could and should be an asset with the Chiefs.
Over the next three seasons, he had 45 catches for 238 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown. When he gets into the open field, he can be dangerous and elusive with his speed.
Special Teams Ace
As his role grew in the Rutgers backfield, Pacheco became a valuable part of the program (he was a captain in 2021 after all). But as a freshman, he was a standout on special teams.
Showcasing that speed that he flashed at the NFL combine, Pacheco had 18 kickoff returns for 348 yards. Wouldn’t be shocking to see him get a look for kickoffs during his first couple of seasons in the league.