V1: Kansas City Chiefs 7-Round Mock Draft
By Nick Athan
With April upon us, the NFL Schedule and the NFL Draft will unveil themselves to the football starved world this month. Though I have no idea as to the state of the Kansas City Chiefs 2017 schedule, I can offer my take on the players and deals, I’d like them to make before and during the NFL Draft. So, with that statement, I present my first Seven-Round Mock Draft.
Round #1 (Pick #27) QB Deshaun Watson (Clemson) – He’s the best quarterback in the 2017 draft class if you add his internal drive to the evaluation process. No other soon to be NFL Quarterback, has Watson’s inner drive, work ethic or overall raw talent. Sure, his mechanics are poor at some levels but his football IQ and instincts for the feel of the ebb and flow of a football game, make him the highest rated QB on my board.
Now, I’m still skeptical the Chiefs will draft a quarterback, based solely on the fact both Head Coach, Andy Reid and General Manager, John Dorsey, have not signed contract extensions beyond 2017. The pressure to start Watson this year over incumbent, Alex Smith, will be at a fever pitch by the post season starved fan base, that has NEVER seen the Chiefs organization play a young quarterback, and ride him through the ups and downs of his development in year one. To me, Watson is worth the fan fever, and the front office angst he’d stir by being selected by the Chiefs as the sooner rather than later replacement for Smith.
First Round Options: Now the Chiefs might have to trade up to get Watson, and if they do, they likely will jump to #15 where former Kansas City Chiefs Director of Player Personnel, Chris Ballard, is now the Indianapolis Colts General Manager. The move would cost the #Chiefs one if their 2017 third round picks and their #1 pick in 2018. Therefore, If the Chiefs pass on Watson and moving up, should Florida State Running Back, Devin Cook or Stanford Running Back, Christian McCaffrey are still on the board, I suspect one of them will be the Chiefs pick. However, if Vanderbilt ILB, Zach Cunningham slides (something I don’t expect), I would not be shocked if KC adds him to their defensive arsenal. If all four of those players are gone at #27, KC’s first round pick will likely be in the second round as it was a year ago.
Round #2 (Pick 59) CB Quincey Wilson (Florida) – With the Chiefs reliance to play press coverage, Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton, would be bullish to add the Junior Gator standout cornerback. At 6’1” and 210 pounds, he’s the type of physical cornerback, that would be a strong candidate to open the season opposite All Pro Corner, Marcus Peters. He’s solid in man coverage, and can support the run, though he needs to improve his back-peddling technique. He might not be ready to start, and the Chiefs are stacked with young but unproven NFL corners already, he’s my favorite cornerback at this stage of the draft.
Round #3 (Pick 91) WR Noah Brown (Ohio State) – Though he only started one season at Ohio State, he might have some of the best receiver hands in the 2017 NFL Draft class. He won’t wow you with his speed, nor his route running, but if a 50-50 ball is in the air, chances Brown hauls in the pass. Still, he’s a project, and a risk to draft this high but the Chiefs have a pair of third round picks so they can afford to take a chance on Brown’s NFL potential.
Round #3 (Pick #104) RB Alvin Kamara (Tennessee) – Blessed with a small, but powerful body, Kamara could become a workhorse down the road for the Chiefs rushing attack. He’s a touchdown scoring machine that works best when he’s bouncing outside or has large gaps to run up the middle. The downside to his career to date, on occasion, he runs with his head down and lacks patience for holes to develop. He won’t be the next Jamaal Charles but he fits into KC’s offensive schemes.
Round #4 (Pick #132) ILB Eric Wilson (Cincinnati) – In 2016, the Bearcat inside linebacker, had his most productive season of his collegiate career by posting 60 solo tackles and three sacks. He’s a run stuffer and is far more physical attacking the line of scrimmage than current Chiefs starters not named Derrick Johnson. He has a solid motor, a nose for the football, and similar football instincts defensively as DJ did when he came out of the University of Texas in 2005.
Round #5 (Pick #170) DT Eddie Vanderdoes (UCLA) – After playing a single game in 2015 thanks to a torn ACL, he didn’t have a great bounce back year in 2016 for the Bruins. However, at 6’3” and 305 pounds, he’s a solid rotation project for the Chiefs. His addition makes sense for the Chiefs after losing, Dontari Poe to free agency. Granted he won’t do much in 2017 until his college body matures at the NFL level, but he could compete for a starters role in 2018.
Round #5 (Pick #180) S Fish Smithson (Kansas) – In 2016 the Jayhawks defender, amassed 93 tackles, broke up seven passes and corralled four interceptions and two forced fumbles. The downside, and the only reason he’s not listed higher on my draft board, the young man packs a small NFL frame. Smithson stands only 5’10” and tips the scales at 200 pounds, but he has a motor as relentless as any other safety in this draft class. Add that fire with the honor of working side by side with All Pro, Eric Berry the next couple of years, he could blossom into a solid performer when the Chiefs use their nickel package defensively.
Round #6 (Pick #218) OT Storm Norton (Toledo) – There’s no doubt at 6’8” and 310 pounds of pure girth, the small college tackle has scouts intrigued about his NFL prospects. Let’s underscore, he’s just that and needs time to develop but Kansas City has had some solid luck drafting offensive lineman in rounds six and seven. Either way you view his potential to become a solid back-up for the Chiefs in the conceivable future, this is a solid value pick.
Round #7 (Pick #245) G/T Corey Levin (Tennessee Chattanooga) – For a late round pick, Levin has the skillset to play Guard or Tackle in the NFL. Though I think the Chiefs need Levin to play Guard, his versatility, size and strength could prove a solid asset for KC’s offensive line in 2018. If the Chiefs draft Norton, then KC would have a solid 1-2 punch outside and insider to add to their depth at the offensive line position for years to come.