Chiefs’ need meets supply: ’15 NFL Draft offers great WR depth
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs general manager John Dorsey was tutored by former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf, who strongly believed in drafting a quarterback virtually every year, regardless of how secure that position may be on the team.
And Wolf did this even after he had traded for Brett Favre as the Packers continued to draft such future NFL starters as Mark Brunell, Ty Detmer, Aaron Brooks and Matt Hasselbeck.
But as Dorsey heads for his third draft with the Chiefs, it would seem likely that he will stray from his former boss’ philosophy.
True, Dorsey did pick quarterback Aaron Murray in the fifth round last season. But Dorsey doesn’t figure to spend a 2015 pick on a quarterback for two reasons: First, the Chiefs have more pressing needs almost everywhere. And second, the recent signing of Terrelle Pryor now gives the Chiefs five quarterbacks on the roster — Alex Smith, Chase Daniel, Murray, Pryor and Tyler Bray.
That’s a lot of quarterbacks, and finding reps in offseason practices for anyone not named Smith or Daniel will be difficult enough already.
So what position will Dorsey and his staff target? Well, the most glaring hole on the roster is wide receiver. We shouldn’t have to remind any fans that Chiefs wideouts didn’t catch a single touchdown pass in 2014.
But here’s some good news: Dorsey will have plenty of ammo to fill that hole as the Chiefs figure to have up to 11 draft picks, including their expected compensatory picks. And most draft experts consider this a deep draft for wide receivers, so the Chiefs should be able to land a difference-maker even at No. 18, where they pick in the first round.
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has the Chiefs landing West Virginia’s Kevin White at No. 18, and CBSSports.com has them taking Louisville’s DeVante Parker.
Alabama’s Amari Cooper is widely considered the top wide receiver prospect and will be long off the board by the time the Chiefs get on the clock. But White or Parker would be excellent fits and likely would step in as starters immediately.
White and Parker are very similar prospects — both are 6-foot-3 and right around 210 pounds. And both are strong in traffic over the middle but with enough speed to get deep (just in case Smith ever decides to throw beyond 25 yards).
If Dorsey decides to stockpile the position — he can do so with 11 picks — there could be plenty of options in the second round, including players such as Arizona State’s Jaelen Strong, Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett and former Missouri wideout Dorial Green-Beckham.
Strong is appropriately named. Though almost identical in height and weight to White and Parker, Strong is a much more physical player, according to scouts.
Somewhat surprisingly, Lockett is ranked below the top 10 among wide receiver prospects by most scouting systems. Lockett’s size (5-11, 175) likely is a strike against him, as is his habit of occasionally dropping routine throws.
But Lockett also can make the highlight-reel grab, is fearless over the middle and is an incredible weapon after the catch. He doubles as an elite return man, a market the Chiefs could literally corner by adding Lockett to the mix with De’Anthony Thomas and Knile Davis.
The real wild card is Green-Beckham, who has a world of talent but comes with plenty of off-the-field baggage. But there is that talent: Some scouting systems have him ranked in the top five for wide receivers even though he didn’t play a down last season.
Green-Beckham is an imposing target, similar in skill set to that of Dallas’ Dez Bryant. And actually, Green-Beckham is taller than Bryant by three inches at 6-5 and five pounds heavier at 225. Some scouts also compare Green-Beckham to Cincinnati’s A.J. Green.
Chiefs fans may want to keep an eye on Monday night’s college football championship game. Ohio State wideout Devin Smith (6-1, 197) has tremendous speed and is projected to be a second- or third-rounder in the draft.