With only two weeks left until the 2017 NFL Draft, we take another look at who the Kansas City Chiefs may draft with their 10 selections.
As the 2017 NFL Draft draws closer, there is a strong sense that the Kansas City Chiefs are taking a quarterback high in the draft. They have interviewed most of the top prospects as the look to the future beyond starter Alex Smith.
We know the Chiefs’ other needs as inside linebacker, cornerback, running back and guard. That doesn’t mean that all of those needs will be addressed in this draft as general manager John Dorsey has shown he is willing to take the best player available. In fact, guard isn’t very deep this year at all. Kansas City is a team with few holes in its quest to capture another division title. The draft could be the key to turn a division title into a Super Bowl appearance.
With that in mind, let’s get things kicked off with this latest seven-round mock draft for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Sep 17, 2016; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer (14) attempts to throw the ball against the Michigan State Spartans during the first quarter of a game at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Round 1, Pick 27: DeShone Kizer, QB – Notre Dame
Many believe that DeShone Kizer would have been a top selection in the 2018 draft had he stayed one more year in college. Declaring this year makes him the third or fourth best quarterback available. Kizer is big and athletic, if not considered fast. He can evade pressure and use his size to gain first downs, but don’t expect him to be outrunning defenders downfield.
Kizer could find himself in the perfect situation with Kansas City as he learns for at least a year. One could argue he would be gone by No. 27, but some teams have started to look at 2018. That class is expected to have some high level prospects at quarterback. Therefore, those rebuilding teams may wait just one more year to try and reach on a franchise quarterback.
Round 2, Pick 59: Raekwon McMillan, ILB – Ohio State
This is the highest yet that I have the Chiefs drafting an inside linebacker, but it is a clear need. McMillan could be a starter right out of camp with Derrick Johnson easing his way back from his Achilles injury. He likely won’t stay there, however, and will be the primary backup for Johnson and Ramik Wilson.
The Chiefs will need to build him up in coverage as he tends to struggle in man-to-man. His strength comes from play recognition and gap anticipation. He has good instincts for run defense and that is primarily what the Chiefs need from an inside linebacker this season.
Cornerback Sidney Jones of the Washington Huskies. Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Round 3, Pick 91: Sidney Jones, CB – Washington
This guy should be too good to pass up. Sidney Jones’ skills make him a top-three corner in this draft, but his achilles injury drops him into the third round. Jones will likely not be available until the playoffs should the Chiefs make a run this year.
The Chiefs aren’t in desperate need at corner as they were able to limit teams in the red zone with Terrance Mitchell and Marcus Peters as the starters. If Mitchell starts to show cracks in his game, then Jones can be groomed as his replacement and the Chiefs would have a feared tandem moving forward.
Round 3, Pick 104: Jake Butt, TE – Michigan
The Chiefs can afford to take another injury risk at the tight end position. This is a high value pick as, during his last season at Michigan, Butt was looking like a top tight end prospect prior to tearing his ACL in the Orange Bowl. He doesn’t have near the athleticism of Travis Kelce, but he would complement Kelce very well. Butt would sit in the middle of zones and let the speedier Kelce, Hill, and Jeremy Maclin take the top off of defenses.
His size would also translate to the running game as he learns to be a better blocker. Butt provides an immediate upgrade to Demetrius Harris who will likely be suspended for a few games in 2017 anyway.
Oct 22, 2016; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Chris Evans (12) loose his helmet after he is tackled by Illinois Fighting Illini defensive lineman Carroll Phillips (6) in the first half at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Phillips could be a solid backup behind Justin Houston and Dee Ford. He is nowhere near ready to be any more than that as a rookie. His strengths are his tackling ability and his speed to track down running backs who break contain. Phillips will have to gain mass and widen his repertoire of pass rush moves to be effective getting after the quarterback. Should Houston regain his full strength then Phillips will have plenty of time to improve. He will get opportunities to show his abilities against struggling offensive lines like Denver, Miami, and Los Angeles. Against stiffer competition expect him to be primarily a special teams player.
Round 5, Pick 170: Vincent Taylor, DT – Oklahoma State
Taylor is a big, but top heavy man. He may be rated higher by a lot of draft analysts, but teams might let him fall to late in Round 5 due to his lack of balance. His size gives him the right qualities for a two-gap defensive tackle.
He is quick off the snap and shows promising pass rush ability. Taylor’s hands are always active in the passing lanes so that, if he doesn’t make it to the quarterback he can still be disruptive. Taylor is another prospect not expected to start, but could work into a rotation when the Chiefs go with four down linemen.
Oct 1, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; North Carolina Tarheels running back T.J. Logan (8) catches a pass for a touchdown during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Round 5, Pick 180: T.J. Logan, RB – North Carolina
The Chiefs need a speed demon to hit the edge on sweeps and screens. Logan likely won’t be the starter, but he could be the main sub for Spencer Ware. Ware is more of a between the tackles runner while Logan has the speed and explosion to get outside. Andy Reid could use them both on the field at the same time and give Alex Smith the choice of an inside or outside run.
Knile Davis left the Chiefs in free agency and his kick return duties are up for grabs. With Tyreek Hill being more of a feature in the Chiefs offense, Logan would be a great choice to replace Davis.
Round 6 Pick #216: Cole Luke, CB – Notre Dame
The Chiefs missed on KeiVarae Russell last season, but his counterpart at Notre Dame may fare better. Luke does not have top-end speed or quickness. He does have high level awareness and, even though some receivers are faster, he can stick with them.
One of the strongest things he brings to the table is his experience. Luke saw the field as a freshman and has been starting for the past two years. His stats aren’t out of this world but Luke’s work ethic could get him a solid backup role on the Chiefs. He can step in at nickel or corner to give the starters a break.
Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (13) runs past Clemson Tigers linebacker Kendall Joseph (34) in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Stewart falls all the way to Round 6 despite his skill set. His average size limits his starting ability, or even his chances, to be a consistent target. What Stewart is best at is yards after the catch. On any given play he can break free and get into the end zone.
The Chiefs love to use wide receivers in screens and slants, which could be a good niche for Stewart. He has to compete with guys on the depth chart that have more experience in the system, but his size should be an advantage over similar player De’Anthony Thomas.
Round 7, Pick 245: Greg Pyke, OG – Georgia
Pyke is a popular mock pick for the Chiefs in the late rounds. He has played tackle as well as guard in college so his versatility is good for depth on the offensive line. The size of Pyke could be used to blow big holes up the middle for Spencer Ware. Athleticism is not his strongest trait so the likelihood of being more than third on the depth chart is weak.