Chiefs grab Phillip Gaines with third-round pick
Originally published May 9, 2014 at 10:03 p.m., updated May 9, 2014 at 10:17 p.m.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs selected defensive back Phillip Gaines from Rice in the third round of the NFL draft Friday night, helping a pass defense that was shredded by Indianapolis in the playoffs.
Kansas City was in need of safety help after losing starter Kendrick Lewis in free agency. It is possible that Gaines could ultimately make the switch to that position.
"It doesn't matter to me. I don't care if I'm strictly on the punt team," Gaines said.
The Chiefs did not have a second-round pick after sending it to San Francisco in the deal that netted them quarterback Alex Smith. That made it a long night for general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid, who had to wait until the 87th overall pick before nabbing a player.
Kansas City selected pass rusher Dee Ford in the first round Thursday night.
Like Ford, who dealt with knee and back problems at Auburn, Gaines will arrive in Kansas City with a history of injury trouble. He missed the end of the 2009 season with a broken wrist and the rest of the 2011 season when he broke his foot in an early season game against Southern Miss.
Gaines also had some off-the-field trouble. He landed on probation after an arrest in April 2011 for misdemeanor possession of marijuana, and was suspended for last season's opener after a second failed marijuana test. That caused him to miss out on an opportunity to showcase his talent against Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and wide receiver Mike Evans.
"You know, it happened in the past. I've grown up. I've learned from it," Gaines said. "I've moved on. Unfortunately I was part of it. I dragged my family into it, I dragged my teammates into it. I've learned from it. I have the opportunity now. I have to justify the Chiefs."
Gaines said teams asked him about the incidents and that he owned up to them.
"I just told the truth. I'll never shy away from it. I did it," he said. "I did it, and I'll own up to it every day for the rest of my life. Sometimes you make mistakes. You man up to it and you move on. The Chiefs believe in me."
When he was on the field, Gaines proved to be a dynamic playmaker.
The first-team All-Conference USA pick allowed only 13 receptions while getting targeted 40 times his senior season. He defended 13 others, leading the team with four interceptions.
"Honestly, I really didn't care if I was a free agent guy as long as I got picked up," Gaines said. "I just wanted to get that degree and play football, and here I am today."
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