Ex-NFL Scout Gushes Over Chiefs Undrafted LB: ‘He Has Starter Tools’

Getty Iowa State linebacker Mike Rose.

We know the potential someone like undrafted rookie receiver Justyn Ross brings to the Kansas City Chiefs if he stays healthy. But there’s another undrafted rookie on the Chiefs that also brings great upside despite having injury concerns: linebacker Mike Rose.

Rose, a four-year starter at Iowa State, recorded 173 tackles, 41 sacks tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, and 6 interceptions during his time with the Cyclones, per Sports Reference. During his senior season, Rose registered a career-high 12 tackles for loss and 3 sacks despite missing two games due to injury.

After the season, Rose was diagnosed with a shoulder injury that deterred teams from using a draft pick on him. But the talent level is still there, although it is tied to injury concerns, similar to Ross.

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Senior Bowl Executive Director and former NFL scout Jim Nagy explained on Twitter what Rose is capable of in the NFL if he stays healthy.

“Rose would’ve gone in 4th or 5th if not for injury that was diagnosed after the season,” Nagy wrote on May 23. “He has NFL starter tools. At minimum, a quality backup.”

Rose Addresses Going Undrafted

Speaking at Chiefs rookie minicamp, Rose addressed his feelings towards going undrafted despite being a projected Day 3 draft choice.

“I think it definitely came as a surprise to me,” Rose said on May 9. “A lot of waiting — but I think every team had their different reason for passing up on me. But I’m just super glad to have an opportunity here at this great organization. I’m just looking forward to doing my thing in minicamp and making the 53 [man roster].

Rose also explained why he chose to sign with the Chiefs.

“I’ve had good conversations with Coach (Brendan) Daly, the linebackers coach,” he said. “I think this organization has done a lot of good things — you can see it over the years — and I felt like there was an opportunity for me here. I think all those things together were the main reason I decided to [sign with Kansas City].”

Rose Has ‘Fight-it-Out’ Approach to Football

To get a better understanding of what Rose brings to the linebacker position for Kansas City, here’s the overview from Rose’s draft profile, which was created by NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein:

“Sam linebacker with quality play strength and a fight-it-out demeanor. Rose is much better in the box, where he can scrape downhill and attack the blocking scheme,” Zierlein wrote. “He’s more than capable of playing off blocks and disrupting downhill rushing attacks but his success rate suffers greatly when forced to cover more ground and make open-field tackles. He’s a physical blitzer on passing downs but will be a liability in coverage. Rose has a chance to become a backup 4-3 Sam or 3-4 inside linebacker but his lack of pursuit speed could hinder his upward mobility.”

With Anthony Hitchens being cut and the Chiefs adding Rose and drafting Leo Chanel, Kansas City has consciously made an effort to get younger in its linebacker room this offseason. Bundle that with the leaders of that group, Willie Gay Jr. and Nick Bolton, and there’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to Kansas City’s linebackers.


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