Chiefs 2011 Mock Draft
Round Player Position School
1 Von Miller/Akeem Ayers OLB Texas A&M/UCLA
2 Ryan Broyles WR Oklahoma
3 Phil Taylor NT Baylor
4 Greg Romeus DE Pittsburgh
5A Lee Ziemba OT Auburn
5B (From NE) Owen Marecic FB/ILB Stanford
5C (From TB) Bruce Miller OLB/ILB Central Florida
6 Colin Baxter Center Arizona
7 Jerrod Johnson QB/ATH Texas A&M
Both would be aimed at replacing Mike Vrabel. It might be safe to assume the Chiefs won’t offer Vrabel an extension, but might want to have him on the coaching staff. He’s lost a step and it is pretty evident in his play at times. Bringing in either Miller or Ayers would help in bringing a pass rush off the edge to compliment Tamba Hali. Ayers might be a better-rounded Linebacker who could play inside if need be while Miller is a relentless pass rusher.
Round 2: Ryan Broyles (OU) Wide Receiver
Broyles is a dynamic player who may be one of the greatest Oklahoma wide receivers in recent memory. While only a junior he has put up some numbers, he currently leads the nation in receptions (118 REC, 1,452 YDS, 13 TDs). While not the biggest target his is quick and elusive a built more like a flanker which would compliment Dwayne Bowe’s physical, split end mold. Also, Broyles is a pretty solid return man which would give the Chiefs another option if Dexter McCluster isn’t at full speed or Javier Arenas may need a quick break. If Broyles chooses to leave school early he would be coming into a heavy wide receiver class highlighted by other underclassmen (i.e. Julio Jones, AJ Green) who possess more ideal size for the NFL so Broyles could still be available in 2nd round and would be a steal for the Chiefs if so.
Round 3: Phil Taylor (Baylor) Nose Tackle
This HUGE presence in the middle of the Chiefs d-line may be able to really free up linebackers such as Derrick Johnson to make and create plays. Listed at 6’4", 340 lbs Taylor could rotate with other lineman such as Shaun Smith and Ron Edwards (seeing if both were re-signed) to increase the Chiefs depth up front and give Romeo Crennel even more options to game plan with.
Round 4: Greg Romeus (Pittsburgh) Defensive End (Pass Rush Specialist)
Romeus was believed to be a potential top 15 pick prior to the 2010 college season, but tearing his ACL has really dropped his value. The Chiefs have struggled defensively on third-downs this season (i.e. @ Denver, @ SD). Romeus can line up in a three point stance and rush off the edge with the best of them when healthy. Romeo Crennel liked to bring blitzes with his defensive backs, but it may have been to make up for a lack of pressure from the front four. With Hali on one side, someone like Romeus on the other and two interior rushers like Dorsey & Gilberry the Chiefs would have a solid front four to bring pressure. The Chiefs spent a 2nd round pick last year on a player, Javier Arenas, who’s real value is on third down, so perhaps spending a 4th round pick on a pass rusher like Romeus could be warranted. Coming off an injury such as his, a player like Romeus may be a risk, but he may be worth it.
Round 5A: Lee Ziemba (Auburn) Offensive Tackle
Lee Ziemba has started every game at Auburn since his freshman year. Starting in a league like the SEC Ziemba has probably seen about the best competition you could be exposed to in college. The Chiefs could use more depth at the tackle position as Ryan O’Callaghan has been injured all year and Barry Richardson continues to prove he can play. While not the greatest or fluid athlete Ziemba has received a lot of accolades and demonstrated leadership qualities (something Scott Pioli and the Chiefs staff love). He’s more of a mauler who can drive guys off the ball, but may not have the knee bend or feet scouts look for in pass protection. He has proven he can stay healthy and play with elite competition. Ziemba may be the physical presence the Chiefs are looking for on the right side if Richardson should for some reason begin to regress.
Round 5B: Owen Marecic (Stanford) Fullback/Inside Linebacker
Marecic is about as old school as you can get when it comes to the game of football. Started both ways for Stanford and helped out on special teams as well. He could provide the Chiefs with leadership and the ability to fit in wherever needed. Many don’t see the point in keeping two fullbacks (Mike Cox & Tim Castille) on the 53 man roster. With Marecic he could provide depth to the linebacking corp, be your lead blocker, and be a better fit in goal-line situations (especially with the possible absence of Mike Vrabel in 2011). Whoever gets Marecic in the 2011 draft will have someone who can truly fill multiple roles.
Round 5C: Bruce Miller (Central Florida) Outside Linebacker
Named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 & 2010. While undersized as a defensive end at only 6’2", 245 lbs this guy is an absolute beast who has a relentless motor. Just watch his highlight tape or Central Florida play and you’ll be bound to take notice of him. His play will remind many of former Georgia defensive end David Pollack. He should project as an OLB in the 3-4, but may be able to fit in as an ILB similar to someone like Teddy Brushchi from New England. Many teams may take a shine to him and his draft stock could increase come time for the draft, but in the 5th round he could be a steal, he could even warrant a 4th or possibly 3rd round pick. This could be one of the more underrated players coming into the 2011 draft.
Round 6: Colin Baxter (Arizona) Center
Many consider him too small to play in the NFL, but many considered current Chiefs lineman like Ryan Lilja and Casey Wiegmann too small as well. Has played and started for Arizona for 4 years. Baxter was even voted Offensive MVP on a team which featured several solid playmakers on the offensive side, which speaks to his play and leadership. Casey Wiegmann has played very well this season, but he is getting older. Resigning Wiegmann for a year to help groom and advise a player like Baxter could pay dividends for some time.
Round 7: Jerrod Johnson (Texas A&M) QB/ATH
Johnson is a tremendous athlete, listed at 6’5", 245 lbs he could really thrive in a role where his athleticism is allowed to take free reign. He actually is not too bad a passer and may be somewhat underrated in that regard. Best Case Scenario: The Chiefs get a quarterback to challenge Brodie Croyle or whoever may back up Cassel in 2011. Worst Case Scenario: The Chiefs get a great athlete who may be able to run a variation of the Wildcat or could begin to work as a wide receiver where his size and speed can be better utilized. No real gamble involved.
Summarization of 2011 Chiefs Draft:
The Chiefs did a great job of getting playmakers and instant contributors in the 2010 draft. This draft can be seen as an opportunity to build some depth in the trenches along the offensive and defensive lines and into the linebacker corps. In previous drafts the Chiefs addressed the defensive front and last year answered questions about the secondary. Now in 2011, they can add defensive playmakers in the middle of that defense that can build with current players like Derrick Johnson & Tamba Hali for years to come. Offensively, the Chiefs have the ability to run with Charles and Jones, it is just a matter of keeping a healthy line to run behind which is why it is important to continue to build depth upfront (Ziemba & Baxter). With another solid draft, some key free agency signings, and holding current players & coaches in place the Chiefs have an opportunity in 2011 to possibly win another AFC West Division Title and push towards its first Super Bowl appearance in 42 years.
***All picks were based on current needs of the Chiefs thus far in the 2010 season with the assumption that they will draft between picks 20-32.