With the 2015 NFL Draft just a little more than 10 hours away, it’s time to predict who the Kansas City Chiefs will draft, one final time. Armed with 10 picks, General Manager John Dorsey has the ability to trade up, or he can sit back and add ever-valuable depth. He has drafted well so far, finding studs in the mid rounds, notably Travis Kelce and De’Anthony Thomas and late round starters like Zach Fulton. With another solid draft, Dorsey can set the Chiefs up for years to come.
Round 1, Pick 18: C Cameron Erving (FSU)
While I’ve probably been the biggest voice in the La’El Collins-to-KC movement, the chances of Collins actually falling to the Chiefs is very, very unlikely – although his draft stock could plummet at the last minute now that he is wanted for questioning in the murder of his girlfriend, who’s baby may not make it, either. He’s the best guard of the 2015 class, and his ability to play tackle only increases his value. After Iowa’s Brandon Scherff (who I believe will go in the Top 15), Collins is the only other 1st-round guard. With tackle not being a position of major need, the Chiefs move to a position that is: Center. 2014’s starting center Rodney Hudson left for Oakland for a bigger contract this off-season, and I’m not sure Eric Kush can be a consistent starter. Erving’s transition from left tackle to center was seamless, and his consistency and health are two big pluses. If the Chiefs are going to make a run at the Super Bowl, the interior of the offensive line must be stabilized.
Round 2, Pick 49: CB P.J Williams (Florida St.)
On October 5th, Williams and FSU teammate Ronald Darby were arrested on a DUI charge after they crashed into another car. Police initially labeled the incident as a hit-and-run, but Williams later returned and was only issued two traffic tickets. While this is a stain on his record, his on-field play should offset any questions. His 40-inch vertical shows his ability to go up in the air and play the football, and he’s physical corner who doesn’t shy away from contact. He plays the run well too. Williams, along with Sean Smith, would form a deadly duo.
Round 3, Pick 80: WR Tyler Lockett (Kansas St.)
The Chiefs may have signed Jeremy Maclin to be be the No. 1 wide receiver, but I’m unsure of the No. 2. Jason Avant, while under a new one-year contract, is on the back end of his career, and Albert Wilson hasn’t played enough to assume the role. This leads me to believe that the Chiefs will draft at least one receiver, and I believe Tyler Lockett’s name should be called. His slight frame (5’10, 182 pounds) might be concerning, but his excellent speed, ability to separate, and hands makes him an excellent mid-round steal. Lockett can also return punts, holding the school record for kick return yards with 2,196 (28.5 average) and four touchdowns and 488 career punt return yards (15.2) and two scores. He also holds the school record for for career catches (249), receiving yards (3,710) and touchdown receptions (29).
Round 3, Pick 98 (Compensatory): TE MyCole Pruitt (Southern Illinois)
With the biggest needs being filled early, Dorsey can now work on adding depth. Behind Kelce, the tight end position is one of the weakest on the Chiefs. Neither former basketball player project Demetrius Harris nor Richard Gordon have much playing experience (7 receptions combined), so giving Kelce a running mate would help the Chiefs offense. Pruitt is a small school prospect, but leaves as the school’s leader in catches (211), receiving yards (2,601) and receiving touchdowns (25) for a tight end. While he lacks the experience against elite competition, his natural abilities would give Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Doug Pederson much to work with.
Round Four, Pick 118: LB Ben Heeney (Kansas)
Looking long term, Derrick Johnson’s career is winding down. The Chiefs would be wise to find the future at the position. Heeney, a local kid, would be an excellent pick. Heeney was a very productive linebacker at Kansas, averaging 7.3 solo tackles per game in 2014, leading the NCAA. He floats well in coverage to jump passes and get his hands on the ball (eight passes defended, four interceptions in his career), a trait needed to be an every-down backer in the NFL. He’s also experienced with man coverage responsibilities and was often the only linebacker on the field. One of his most underrated traits is his ability to blitz, and in Bob Sutton’s defense, that’s a must for his linebackers.
Round Five, Pick 172 (Compensatory): CB Jacoby Glenn (UCF)
Sean Smith is in a contract year, and behind him there isn’t a lot of talented depth. In this mock draft, the Chiefs do select a #2 corner in P.J Williams, but 2nd year man Philip Gaines is best suited for the slot, so they still need a fourth corner. Glenn, like Williams, is a physical corner who plays the run well and has playmaking ability (35 passes defended, seven interceptions, three forced fumbles).
Round Five, Pick 173 (Compensatory): T Sean Hickey (Syracuse)
Donald Stephenson was unable to crack the starting lineup last season despite the struggles of Eric Fisher and Ryan Harris after returning from suspension, and Harris is no longer here. Behind Fisher, tackle is weak, so adding depth will be critical. Hickey is experienced at right and left tackle, and started 38 straight games to finish his collegiate career. He’s good at picking up blitzes pre and post snap.
Round Six, Pick 193: DT Joey Mbu (Houston)
With Vance Walker and Kevin Vickerson leaving in free agency, depth behind Dontari Poe is weak. Mbu offers little as a pass rusher (4 career sacks), but he possesses the prototypical run-stuffing frame. He gets his hands up in passing plays (two interceptions), and he recognizes screens. Mbu will help keep Dontari Poe fresh.
Round 6, Pick 217: OLB Geneo Grissom (Oklahoma)
With Pro Bowl backers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, and Dee Ford expected to take on a much larger role in 2015, the Chiefs could use some depth to one of their most important positions. Grissom struggles in coverage, but as a 3-4 backer he won’t have to do much of that, and his immediate value will come on special teams.
Round 7, Pick 233: RB Trey Williams (Texas A&M)
Jamaal Charles is in a contract year, and behind Knile Davis its just Cyrus Gray (De’Anthony Thomas, while listed as a back, is used more as a wide receiver). Williams, despite his 5’7 height, averaged 6.6 yards per carry during his collegiate career and has no major injuries. He also has only 242 career offensive touches, which means his body is still fresh. Also helping his stock is 24.1 average on kick returns. The Chiefs have found good special teamers in running backs before (Knile Davis and Thomas).
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