With the combine over, Clark Hunt, John Dorsey and Andy Reid have work to do regarding the Chiefs roster. With needs at quarterback and inside linebacker, the future of the franchise could ride on 2017’s selections. Last year, the Chiefs hit home runs in the 2nd round (Chris Jones) and 5th round (Tyreek Hill and Eric Murray), but are needing depth at guard and defensive tackle.
Collaborating with Brandon Norris of Arrowhead Addiction, we took our dart-board shot at mocking the 2017 NFL Draft.
Round One, Pick 27
My pick: QB DeShaun Watson (Clemson)
Brandon’s pick: QB Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech)
In both cases, the Chiefs get their man of the future. Alex Smith regressed in 2016, even though the team, particularly the offense, is loaded with playmakers. Mahomes is a gunslinger who can get outside of the pocket and make plays, too. He has inconsistent foot work, but possesses the arm strength and willingness to make plays down field, while Watson demonstrated an uncanny ability to outperform everyone in crunch time during his run at Clemson – finishing runner-up in the Heisman in each of the last two seasons.
Round Two, Pick 59
My pick: ILB Zach Cunningham (Vanderbilt)
Brandon’s pick: CB Kevin King (Washington)
With Brandon’s pick, the Chiefs go back to the school that netted the NFL’s best play-making corner (Marcus Peters) and compliments an already dangerous secondary. With my pick, the Chiefs address a position that has needed a serious starter for at least two years now. Ramik Wilson is good, but lacks the instincts (right now) to truly be a star. Cunningham can make all the plays, and while he struggles to wrap up at times, the Chiefs run defense could certainly use an aggressive backer.
Round Three, Pick 91
My pick: CB Cordrea Tankersley (Clemson)
Brandon’s pick: TE George Kittle (Iowa)
With Kittle, you get arguably the best run blocking tight end in college football, who also has the speed to beat most linebackers. However, with Kelce coming off his first 1,000 yard season, this feels too early to go with a player who won’t play much, barring injury. In Tankersley, you get a long corner (6’1, 199) who also had eight interceptions in his collegiate career. He’s not as fluid as Peters, but would provide more size on the outside and allow Steven Nelson to work from the slot, where he’s at his best.
Round Three, Pick 104
My pick: DT Ryan Glasgow (Michigan)
Brandon’s pick: WR Chris Godwin (Penn St.)
The departure of Dontari Poe left a big hole in the middle of the Chiefs defense, and while they did sign former Eagles DT Bennie Logan, it was only a one-year deal. Glasgow is a two-down player at the NFL level, but his hard-working demeanor and powerful playing style would make the Chiefs run defense a lot tougher, and free up blockers to allow the ends and backers to make splash plays. Godwin is a talented, but raw receiver. He has the ability to a good WR at the next level, but with Maclin, Conley, and Hill already on the roster, he wouldn’t see the field much, barring injury.
Round Four, Pick 132
My pick: OLB Vince Biegel (Wisconsin)
Brandon’s pick: LB Ben Boulware (Clemson)
We both mocked linebackers to the Chiefs here, but Biegel is an outside backer. With Hali aging, and little behind him, the Chiefs could use another edge rusher for their sub package defenses. Biegel was productive, despite average athleticism, and his football pedigree and workmanship could make a perfect fit in a defined role on a star-studded defense. Boulware made plays at Clemson (6 FF, 7 sacks in two years), but his size (6’0, 238) and play experience makes me question how good he’ll be at the next level.
Round Five, Pick 170
My pick: RB Marlon Mack (South Florida)
Brandon’s pick: DT Josh Augusta (Mizzou)
With little behind Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West, the Chiefs need to address their running back depth. Enter Mack, who posted over 100 rushing yards per game over his three collegiate seasons while catching 63 passes. Six of fifteen touchdowns last season covered 43 or more yards, and in an offense that already has plenty of speed, Mack would fit right in. While his twelve fumbles is concerning, his limited usage would limit the chances for him to put the ball on the ground. Augusta is MASSIVE. He began the season at 390 pounds and played most of the season in the 370’s, but trimmed down to a slim 347 for the combine, where he ran a 5.16 40. Despite clogging the middle, he’s also athletic, lining up at FB in short yardage situations and getting the ball. Maybe we’ll see him scoring TD, like his predecessor, Poe.
Round Five, Pick 180
My pick: WR Malachi Dupree (LSU)
Brandon’s pick: RB Elijah Hood (North Carolina)
Conley and Demarcus Robinson are the only two receivers drafted by Chiefs GM John Dorsey. Both came from the SEC. With that, Dupree makes sense. He’s a developmental prospect, but posted 22.7 yards per catch in 2014. Held back by poor quarterbacking, he’s better than his numbers indicate. Dupree could sit behind the Chiefs receivers while learning the craft. With Brandon’s Pick, the Chiefs add depth to a weak position, but I dislike his lack of speed or elusiveness.
Round Six, Pick 216
My pick: TE Scott Orndoff (Pitt)
Brandon’s pick: Edge Rusher Deon Hollins (UCLA)
The Chiefs could use a blocking tight end, with neither Demetrius Harris or James O’Shaughnessy being particularly good in that area. While Hollins is raw, he is able to bend and get around the edge with quickness. It may take him a couple of years, but a great investment.
Round Six, Pick 218
My pick: T Daniel Brunskil (San Diego St.)
Brandon’s pick: K Zane Gonzales (Arizona St.)
I actually take offense with this pick, as I’m a fairly big Cairo Santos supporter. No, they haven’t resigned him, but they did tender him and I’ve yet to hear any team offer him a deal. Picking Gonzales wouldn’t make any sense, as they’d have to pay him sooner or later, like they will with Santos. In Brandon’s defense, he is one of the best kickers to come out in a while, with excellent accuracy and a strong leg, and could be had for 1/4 the price of Santos, who’s most recent tender offer is worth $2 million. Brunskill would give the Chiefs an athletic tackle who can catch touchdowns (3 in his career), as he was originally at tight end. Joe Valerio anyone?
Round Seven, Pick 245
My pick: G Caleb Peterson (North Carolina)
Brandon’s pick: LB/DB Jermaine Grace (Miami)
We both went with depth picks here, but a linebacker with some defensive back skills sounds intriguing.
Until next time…
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