KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Eight of the 10 draft picks for the Kansas City Chiefs were on the defensive side of the ball, so defensive assistant coaches have had to get back to teaching the rookies the ropes.

Defensive backs coach Dave Merritt is already impressed. He has an expression for his players that’s normally used to reference a popular Michigan basketball team.

“This is my 26th year in the league, and I’ve never been around a group where — I call them the ‘Fab 5,’ and most of them weren’t even born then,” Merritt said. “This group is very special. You work with the guys, try to teach them new techniques. They’re all sponges.”

New defensive line coach Joe Cullen said rookie George Karlaftis has benefitted from veteran help during training camp.

“Some guys, you get a first round pick, you don’t want to tell them anything, but our guys are doing a phenomenal job with that,” Cullen said. “Frank (Clark), you see him to the side, talking to George off to the side on how to get better, how to work on your get-off, hand work, doing a great job mentoring him.”

Brendan Daly, who moved from defensive line coach to linebackers, has been working with rookie Leo Chenal. He said the Wisconsin product needs to work on pass defense, Daly said.

“There’s some things he needs to improve there, and there’s things he needs to do in the run game to improve,” he said. “He’s played a lot off the ball than on the before, so some of the line-of-scrimmage stuff he’s still learning and working through. Some of the coverage stuff, both man and zone, I would probably say more man.”

But for all the Chiefs assistant coaches, they’re focused on making sure their rookies are ready for the first preseason game Saturday in Chicago.