Senior Bowl Week concludes this afternoon at 3 with the annual game between the North and South teams, coached by two NFL coaching staffs (this year the Jaguars and Titans). The Senior Bowl is a great look at some of the most promising seniors of 2015. As a Chiefs fan, it’s important to remember that John Dorsey has taken Senior Bowl standouts in the first round of the last two years, Tackle Eric Fisher in 2013 and 3-4 outside linebacker Dee Ford in 2014. With needs at guard, wide receiver, and inside linebacker, it’s possible the Chiefs could draft another Senior Bowl standout in the first round. There are quite a few players that the Chiefs will be scouting, but here are the five that I think are most noteworthy.
Tyler Lockett, WR Kansas State (Team South)
While Lockett isn’t projected as a first or second round pick, he was absolute dynamo at K-State, setting 17 school records, including the career marks for receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, 100-yard receiving games, kick return yards. He also ranked second in receptions per game (5.30), receiving yards per game (78.9), all-purpose yards (6,586) and kickoff-return average, fourth in all-purpose yards per game (140.1) and punt return average, eighth in points (212) and ninth in career punt return yards. He finished second in school history in single-season receptions, receptions per game, total receiving yards and receiving yards per game behind current Green Bay Packer receiver Jordy Nelson (2007), and Jordy has become an elite receiver in the NFL. While Lokcett doesn’t have his size (5’10 compared to 6’3), he has the ability to produce like Nelson, and maybe more. He wont get much help from his quarterbacks, Garrett Grayson and Bryan Bennett, but I am looking for Lockett to show the scouts everything that made him so productive at Kansas State: speed, hands, route running, and run-after-catch ability. He would immediately upgrade the Chiefs offense.
Tre Jackson, G Florida State (Team South)
Arguably the nation’s top right guard, Jackson would fit a huge need for the Kansas City Chiefs. He paved the way for productive FSU offenses in both 2012 and 2013, the former of which ended in a National Title. In 2014, he was the leader of one of the nation’s top offenses, which averaged 33.7 points and 441.4 total yards per game, including a 574-yard outburst against the nation’s then-top-ranked defense at Louisville in a 42-31 win. Jackson is dominant in the run and pass game, and he will face a tough North defensive line that features Washington’s stud defensive tackle Danny Shelton, Hau’oli Kikaha, and Henry Anderson. Jackson isn’t expected to go before the 2nd round, and if Jackson can shine, I think John Dorsey gives him a long look.
Denzel Perryman, ILB Miami (Team South)
Inside linebacker isn’t necessarily a need for the Chiefs, but rather a big question mark with the health of All-Pro Derrick Johnson in question. 2014 fill-in Josh Mauga had an average season, but a potential starter is needed, just in case Johnson isn’t ready. Perryman could be that guy, after dominating at Miami, where in three years, he recorded 343 tackles, 17 for loss, 4.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown, and 7 forced fumbles. Perryman is animal-like when delivering hits, yet is extremely clean. Perryman would bring a fear into the hearts of every running back that ever thought of running on him if he were drafted by the Chiefs.
La’El Collins, T LSU (Team South)
In his collegiate career with LSU, Collins was the 2014 Second Team All-American (USA Today, AP), 2014 Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner, 2014 First Team All-SEC (Coaches, AP), 2013 Second Team All-SEC (Coaches), 2013 SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week (vs. TCU), 2012 All-SEC Honorable Mention (AP), 2012 SEC Co-Offensive Lineman of the Week (vs. Alabama), and 2011 CBSSports.com Freshman All-American. Simply put, Collins is one of the top offensive linemen in school history. He saw action on a total of 2,533 offensive snaps with 222.5 knockdowns, showing an incredible amount of power and strength. In 2012 he played left guard, so he also has versatility. With Ryan Harris struggling in 2014 and becoming a free agent in March, Collins could start for the Chiefs out the gate. The only downside is that with so much talent, he could be a first round pick.
Kurtis Drummond, S Michigan State (Team North)
With the future of Eric Berry hanging in the balance, an the impending free agency of Ron Parker leaves the safety position a question mark for the Chiefs. The Senior Bowl could solve that problem, as Drummond roamed the back end of a solid Michigan State defense. He recorded 233 career tackles in 52 games and finished his career by starting in 34 consecutive games at free safety and finished his career ranked among MSU’s all-time leaders in interceptions (tied for seventh with 12), passes defended (11th with 33) and interception return yards (12th with 148), and had 14 tackles for loss (60 yards), three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Drummond is a physical player, uncommon for the position, and demonstrated intelligence in dissecting offenses. Maybe that’s why he earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology in December 2014. Drummond would be excellent late-round value for John Dorsey if Parker was not retained, or for depth in case Eric Berry doesn’t return.
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