Good guys don’t always finish last. Sometimes, they get selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL draft’s fourth round.
Former Rockford Ram Parker Ehinger is taking his football career to the next level; after playing college ball at the University of Cincinnati, Ehinger is now a Kansas City Chief.
The 6-foot-7, 290-pound offensive lineman is the highest-drafted Ram since Joe Staley in 2007, and could compete for starting time at guard for Kansas City as early as this season. The Chiefs have a need at right guard, and they drafted Ehinger to hopefully fill that role either this year or in the near future.
Ehinger comes into the NFL a humble man after losing his father Rick two years ago in what Peter J Wallner of MLive called a “freak fall down the steps of his Rockford apartment.”
In a story written by Bill Koch of GoBEARCATS.com, Ehinger was quoted as saying “I don’t really wear my heart on my sleeve,” Ehinger said [the Monday after being drafted], “but I was holding back tears a little bit because of all the work. It was my childhood dream, something me and my brother talked about since we were playing pickup ball in the yard. I can remember thinking about it when I was four or five years old that I wanted to play in the NFL. It was just all that hard work for that long period of time accumulated down to a three-day draft period and then finally getting that phone call.”
Two years before that phone call, however, Parker received a much different one, a call from his brother Doug informing him of his father’s passing.
His father’s teachings, however, haven’t left Ehinger. (Per Koch) “The way he raised me and my brother, I could not ask for a better father figure in my life. Watching him, the way the treated my mom, there was no better man and no better gentleman for my mom. I’ve taken all that stuff and tried to model myself after the man he was.”
Ehinger now brings that gentlemanly attitude to a Kansas City offensive line that led the Chiefs to an 8th-place finish in rushing yards despite an injury to running back Jamaal Charles. Ehinger is known more for his pass blocking ability, but will have to be a solid run blocker to get consistent playing time in Andy Reid’s run-heavy offense.
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