KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Always on the lookout for late-round steals along the offensive line, the Chiefs wrapped up their 2019 draft class with Nick Allegretti from Illinois.
The 6-4, 310-pound Allegretti played 48 games for the Illini, starting all 12 games in each of his final three seasons. He was a team captain his senior season and earned All-Big Ten second team from conference coaches and Pro Football Focus.
Allegretti played both guard and center at Illinois, and PFF rated him as its No. 3 guard in the nation and second-best in the Big Ten last season. Chiefs area scout Terry Delp sees Allegretti as a two-position player in the NFL.
“His best tape was at guard because he's just a big, physical, mauler-type guy,” Delp said. “He's really fun to watch, he gets after it, plays football hard.”
Allegretti is a self-described “different guy” than most offensive lineman. He's an avid coin collector and and puzzle enthusiast who scored a 42 on the Wonderlic exam at the combine. As a high school wrestler, he compiled a 45-2 record and finished third in the state championships in 2014.
That combination of intellect and physicality make him an ideal candidate to shine at all three interior line positions. He played center during the East-West Shrine all-star game and acquitted himself well while showcasing his leadership skills, Delp said.
“He played a little heavier during the year so guard looked better, but he lost some weight for the all-star game and looked really good at center,” Delp said.
The Chiefs wanted to add competition along the offensive line, and Allegretti adds depth at multiple positions. Center is an open competition, with Austin Reiter the expected starter after he filled in successfully last season for injured Mitch Morse. The club also has two undrafted rookies from last season: Jimmy Murray, who finished the season on the active roster, and Tejan Koroma, who suffered a knee injury during training camp and landed on injured reserve.
Head coach Andy Reid and offensive line coach Andy Heck both value versatility among their offensive linemen. The Chiefs currently carry only three regular guards with starters Cam Erving and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and last year's sixth-round selection Kahlil McKenzie. The club still views Erving as their third-best tackle as well, necessitating the need for more depth at guard.