Day Four of organized team activities (OTAs) brought a new face to the first-team unit from the previous three workouts.
Rookie Parker Ehinger took the starting repetitions at left guard during team-related drills in place of Zach Fulton, who worked with the first team the first three days of OTAs.
“I’m still at left guard,” said Ehinger, the Chiefs’ first of three fourth-round picks in the recent draft, “but kind of bumped up, got a chance to get some reps with the ones and everything.”
The 6-6, 310-pound Ehinger said he was notified Tuesday morning in the position meeting that he would practice with the starting unit.
Not much of an advance notice, obviously, but Ehinger was up to the task.
“I don’t try to overthink it,” he said. “We go through some install this morning and everything, so I’m just trying to worry about what we got to install, just take it all in stride and go from there.”
Tuesday in all likelihood won’t be the first time in OTAs the Chiefs will rotate personnel along the offensive line to identify depth.
The Chiefs appear at left tackle with Eric Fisher, center with second-year pro Mitch Morse, right guard with Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and right tackle with Mitchell Schwartz.
And coach Andy Reid indicated last week he was comfortable with the core starting group on the offensive line when asked about shuffling personnel.
“I don’t think it’s going to be as much as you’ve seen in the past,” Reid said. “I feel pretty good with that group. It’s important that we still get guys in there, so that if something were to happen they can (fill in).”
Meanwhile, the left guard spot, which was vacated when the Chiefs released Ben Grubbs and Jeff Allen left via free agency, is up for grabs.
Ehinger is a prime candidate along with Fulton, Jah Reid and Jarrod Pughsley. But the battle for the starting job remains far from settled and should remain fluid well into training camp.
“The starting five isn’t decided in OTAs,” Ehinger said. “We got a lot football to be played, so just going through this, just kind of a cool experience playing next to Fish(er), playing next to Mitch (Morse), learning from some older guys. They’ve been good mentors to me, just a cool experience right now.”
While there is no guarantee Ehinger will close OTAs with the first team, the rookie has impressed a veteran teammate to his immediate left.
“Big Park, he’s a good guy, working hard out there,” Fisher said. “I think he’s a great addition to our offensive line. It was kind of cool to get next to him and help him out.”
The compliment from Fisher comes with guarded optimism given the Chiefs’ desire to tweak repetitions.
“It’s kind of a whirlwind when you get in there with the ones and anything I can do to help him,” he said. “We’re just shuffling the line around like Coach Reid always does, just another combination.”