Successful teams in the NFL not only get strong players in free agency and the first three rounds of the draft but find just the right guys in the late rounds of the draft, rounds 4-7. Just take a look at what Alfred Morris did for Washington last year, he helped RGIII put on an impressive rookie season, he had the second most yards in the NFL behind only AP and the Skins drafted him in the sixth round last year. These are the draft Gems that we need to find in the draft I will outline a few players per position on the positions that I feel we need to address in this draft.
First up FS, just for the record I feel that Eric Berry will be moved to FS at the start of the season and we will look for a more capable starter in the early rounds of the draft at SS, but for this article I will put it as a need depth position.
T. J. McDonald:(FS/SS)
McDonald made a mistake returning for his senior season. The 2012 draft class was very weak at safety, and as a result, McDonald definitely would have been the second-rated safety after Alabama's Mark Barron. Waiting until this year to come out has put McDonald in a tough position because he is coming out with a pretty strong Safety class which may drop him into the 4th round. A very gifted athlete…can play in-line or deep as a free safety…has a nose for the ball…solid form tackler, complete safety prospect who is a team captain this season as a junior..good straight-line speed…definitely one of the best safeties in his class…lays some big hits…has some return ability…decent blitzer…has the athletic ability to cover people man on man in the slot and the size to challenge tight ends…pretty good hands.
DA'Rick Rogers: (WR)
Rogers is fearless across the middle and makes many tough catches while taking big hits from safeties. He has fabulous concentration with great hands. Not only does Rogers have strong hands, but his superb body control allows him to make acrobatic catches. He has made many highlight-reel receptions with defenders draped all over him. Rogers also had a number of one-handed catches on balls thrown off the mark. Entering the NFL, he should project to be a reliable receiver at catching bad passes.
Kyle Long: (G/T)
Kyle Long may not fall to the 4th round but there are a lot of talented Guards and Tackles in this draft class and he might to be the victim of this. Kyle Long can fairly be labeled as an inexperienced player but his ability to play two positions in a fairly complex system shows that the learning curve may not take as long as some expect. He’s a natural fit at left tackle that has huge upside with good coaching at the next level. With his athleticism, he is an ideal fit in a zone-blocking scheme.
Marcus Lattimore: (RB)
He is a powerful runner with good size. Lacks breakaway speed. Can churn for additional yards and brush off poor tackle attempts with ease. Natural runner with above average movement skills considering his size. Consistently falls forward to maximize yardage. Good ball security and carries the ball high and tight. Good footwork. Shifty without losing much speed. Great vision and can find openings develop. Lacks a noticeable second gear. Tenacious runner in the open field.
Shamarko Thomas: (SS)
He lacks height, but makes up for it with impressive musculature. Plays like a linebacker and could excel if he plays predominantly in the box. Great tackler, hits with explosive power. Leaves his feet too often when trying to make a highlight reel hit. Reads and reacts at his best when playing downhill. Must learn to maintain leverage by not flying upfield early in the play. Undersized compared to most safety prospects.
Tyrann Mathiew: (CB)
The unique attribute that allows Mathieu to be such a force are his instincts. He does a tremendous job of readying an offense and getting in position to make plays. Mathieu is always around the ball. He is a physical hitter who plays much bigger than his size. Mathieu has a real knack to strip the ball free from ball-carriers.
In the college game, Mathieu had generally good coverage as a cornerback. He rarely was beaten deep or allowed separation. Mathieu would be best as a hybrid safety and cornerback in the NFL given his size. He could serve as a slot corner who covers smaller receivers. Mathieu could also operate well as a roving free safety on some snaps. His instincts could let him run around the field and make splash plays.
Kiko Alonso: (ILB)
Alonso’s alcohol-related issues off of the field will likely make teams wary of taking him very early; especially with the epidemic of similar arrests in the NFL in the last few years. That said, there’s still a lot of talent here, and with the right coaching; Alonso could develop into a starter and will make an impact on special teams right away.
A team willing to take a chance on the potential Alonso has could be rewarded down the road. His best fit is probably as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 after he adds the necessary weight. His athletic ability could also lend itself to a 4-3 outside spot as well. Coach up Kiko Alonso and you can make him into a linebacker who quarterbacks are pointing out to their offensive lines on a high percentage of snaps.
Khaled Holmes: (C)
Holmes has solid, albeit inconsistent, on field awareness. The football IQ needed of a team’s center is extremely underrated, centers act as quarterbacks of the offensive line. They read defenses (that’s why they have their head up before the snap) and make line audibles after reading the defense (slide protection, etc.), and they need to be able to recognize and pick up blitzes. This is something Holmes does very well on pass plays. As a center, Holmes has his head on a swivel pre-play (and during the play), and almost never fails to pick up blitzes.
Zeke Motta: (SS)
With experience at both safety positions, Motta is a forceful run defender, who, at 6’2”, 215 lbs, looks and plays like a hard-hitting linebacker. In fact, coming out of the high school as a four star recruit, linebacker was the position.
Motta perhaps isn’t a true coverage safety, with the range to play a center field role, but he is underrated athletically. Without doubt, when the term “workout warrior” is inevitably trotted out, his will be one of the first names on everyone’s lips.
A.J. Klein: (ILB)
Klein is an intense competitor on the football field and is the type of player that every NFL head coach would want on his team. He is a leader on and off the field and has a work ethic that is infectious. On the field, Klein makes up for his less than elite athleticism with impeccable instincts. He plays within the defense, but is dead set on making every tackle of the game.
He shouldn’t have to come off the field in the NFL if a team wants to play zone, although he may struggle playing man at the next level. His skill-set translates well to special teams as well, so he could be that rare 4-down linebacker that the NFL covets.
Those are just a couple of Draft Gems I think KC may or may not be looking at but if they are looking at some of them then we might very well hit on a couple of them in this draft and be set up very well for the next 4-5 years. This draft is going to be a crucial one in my opinion we have to get some good depth on this team now that we have clear cut starters. Have to get guys that will step up when need be. Go Chiefs would love to hear of anyone you guys think might be draft gems.