Will Chiefs be looking for next Tony Gonzalez or Megatron in the draft?
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs fans might still be reeling too much to even watch the rest of the NFL playoffs.
So, hey, let’s talk about the NFL Draft, a subject always good to cheer up even the most depressed football fan.
The Chiefs will get the 23rd overall pick in this year’s draft and, like most teams, their draft needs are spread across the roster — safety, tight end, defensive tackle, wide receiver, inside linebacker and so on.
Here’s a look around the web at what the draftniks are predicting for the Chiefs’ top pick:
From Walterfootball.com: Eric Ebron (6 feet 4, 225 pounds), tight end, North Carolina
The website writes: "Alex Smith struggles with downfield passes, so the Chiefs may want to bring in a reliable intermediate target for him. They need to upgrade the tight end position anyway, and they can do so with one of the top players available.
"There is no denying that Ebron is an exceptional athlete with a special combination of size and strength. He flashes the ability to be a dangerous receiver and impact blocker.
"Ebron is very fast running through the secondary and is excellent attacking the middle of the field on slants and seam routes. For a West Coast offense, Ebron would be a nice weapon as a receiver. He also operates well as a slot receiver. Ebron’s agility and fluid athleticism means he can execute a variety of roles, and could even play some h-back."
From nfl.si.com: Allen Robinson (6-3, 204), wide receiver, Penn State
The website writes: "He’s similar in size to Keenan Allen, the Chargers’ star rookie. He will arrive in the NFL having a well-progressed skillset, as Allen did. The Chiefs need another trustworthy weapon for Alex Smith, and Robinson has a knack for finding room off screens and short passes, which makes him a terrific candidate to fill that role.
"Aside from possessing similar size to Allen (6-2, 211), Robinson will arrive in the NFL with an advanced game. He runs sharp routes … plus, he uses every bit of that 6-2 frame to win balls consistently in the air."
From CBSSports.com: Marquise Lee (6-0, 195), wide receiver, USC
The website writes: "Alex Smith is leading the Chiefs to wins but his lack of ideal arm strength forces Kansas City to dink and dunk their way down the field. As such, he requires difference-makers around. Lee possesses outstanding agility and acceleration, making him the big play threat Smith needs to take the next step.
"Lee struggled with injuries during his junior year and finished the season with 57 receptions for 791 yards and four touchdowns. But he is projected as a first-round pick as the No. 3 wide receiver and the No. 17 overall prospect by NFLDraftScout.com. As a sophomore, Lee won the Biletnikoff Award as the top receiver in the nation after he had 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns."
Also from CBSSports.com: Justin Gilbert (6-0, 200), cornerback, Oklahoma State
The website writes: "Gilbert is (a) big-play specialist. An extraordinary athlete with the hands, vision and speed to score any time he gets his hands on the ball, Gilbert led the Big 12 with six interceptions in 2013. He’s also returned six kickoffs for TDs during his career in Stillwater."
From optimumscouting.com: Jace Amaro (6-5, 260), tight end, Texas Tech
The website writes: "Amaro could go as high or higher than Eric Ebron, but it’s tough to find a spot where tight end is a glaring need for (any) team. The Chiefs could certainly use an upgrade at the position, and Amaro could be Andy Reid’s ‘(Brent) Celek’ here in Kansas City."
Bleacherreport.com agrees: Jace Amaro, tight end, Texas Tech
The website writes: "Amaro is an athletic, moving tight end perfect for today’s game. He can play flexed out in the slot, almost like an oversized wide receiver with the speed to beat defenses and the size to box out coverage. Amaro would be perfect for a passing attack like the one in Kansas City.
"It just so happens that the Chiefs will be looking to add weapons to the offense, and Amaro is an ideal fit at tight end. His red-zone ability and after-the-catch upside would give Alex Smith his Missouri-version of Vernon Davis to open up the Kansas City passing game."
And, from The Kansas City Star: Kelvin Benjamin (6-5, 234), wide receiver, Florida State
This wasn’t an official mock draft yet from Terez A. Paylor of The Star, but he brings up an intriguing prospect in Benjamin, who apparently is drawing comparisons to Megatron, Detroit’s star receiver Calvin Johnson.
Benjamin has a big-body NFL frame with above-average speed at 4.52 in the 40. He caught 54 passes in his sophomore season for 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns.
But as Paylor points out, Chiefs fans might not be seeing Megatron in Benjamin as much as they might be seeing Jon Baldwin because of some reported character issues. Benjamin also reportedly has a reputation for being somewhat less than a hard worker.
You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter @jflanagankc or email firstname.lastname@example.org.