The Kansas City Chiefs have drafted very well in recent years and have built one of the best rosters in the NFL. The real question in KC is whether this team just needs to make a change at quarterback to put them in Super Bowl contention? This offseason was spent retaining their key players such as Eric Berry but they did suffer one big departure in Dontari Poe. What can we expect from the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2017 NFL Draft?
It’s hard to know for sure what the Chiefs will do just because their roster is so balanced. The one wildcard in the first round could be whether they take a developmental quarterback or not. In terms of pure fits, Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes seems like a great choice. In terms of pure arm talent, Mahomes may have the best one. He recorded the best velocity on his throws at the combine. The only downside to Mahomes is he tries to play the hero on every play and refuses to take what the defense gives him. Something really good or really bad is going to happen on every play. Enter Andy Reid who is probably the best offensive mind in football. Remember Andy Reid was the same guy who worked with Brett Favre in Green Bay and was able to reign in his gunslinger mentality just enough to where Favre was terrific and limited those bad throws.
In what is such a deep draft, KC could also go defense in round 1. The Chiefs could use a sidekick for Marcus Peters at cornerback. How about Gareon Conley from Ohio State. Conley hasn’t gotten the recognition his teammate Marshon Lattimore has but has started way more games than his collegiate teammate. Conley is a long corner (6’2″ – 33″ arms) and has great speed (4.44 -40 time) to keep up with divisional foes Amari Cooper and Emmanuel Sanders.
If the Chiefs don’t take a quarterback in the 2nd round, I expect them to add more offensive weapons to help Alex Smith. Tyreek Hill is a nice weapon but KC doesn’t have the typical number one wide out. Andy Reid has shown he loves fast and versatile players that can catch those bubble screens and run deep routes. Ohio State running back – wide receiver Curtis Samuel has Chiefs written all over him. Samuel had 74 receptions for 865 yards and 7 touchdowns for Ohio State in 2016. He also averaged 7.9 yards per carry for 771 yards and 8 touchdowns at running back. Samuel is the perfect fit for this offense where he can immediately take over Jamaal Charles role as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Samuel also ran a 4.31 – 40 time and has shown the ability to hit the home run ball.
From the 3rd round on expect the Chiefs to just take the best players available. This roster doesn’t have a ton of holes but could really use more depth along the offensive and defensive lines. Carlos Watkins from Clemson could fill the role Dontari Poe left in the middle of the defense. Watkins isn’t a pure nose tackle but has shown the ability to create a ton of interior pressure. Watkins is a major disrupter recording 10.5 sacks in 2016 including 2 dominating performances in the bowl game victories.
In a draft that is decimated with offensive lineman, the Chiefs could look in the later rounds to find a tackle. Containing Vonn Miller, Khalil Mack, and Joey Bosa was a problem for KC last season. A small school player Javarius Leamon from South Carolina State could be worth a look. Leamon was snubbed of a combine invite despite the weak offensive line class. Leamon has terrific length (6’7″ 35″ arms) which is essential for stonewalling the tough pass rushers in the division. Despite his size, he is known as more of a finesse player and needs to improve his strength. The Chiefs will take that as they can groom him for a starting role in the future.