Another mock, another wide receiver.
In his latest mock draft at ESPN, Mel Kiper has the Kansas City Chiefs selecting USC WR Marqise Lee in the first round, a name that has been bandied about before to KC. The Chiefs are desperately in need of an upgrade at the position, and they're expected to address it in the 2014 NFL Draft at some point.
While the typical names mentioned are Odell Beckham, Jr. or Kelvin Benjamin, Lee would definitely serve as a nice addition to the roster. Kiper writes:
The Chiefs are going to be a good defense again in 2014 if they stay healthy, but there's still uncertainty on the offensive side of the ball, and while you can question the ceiling of Alex Smith at this point in his career, the Chiefs feel they can win with him and also won't be finding a better solution at this stage in the draft. But they can find Smith some help, and that's Lee, who brings a lot of refinement as a route runner and the ability to turn a short catch into a big play. And if he goes this low, the chip on his shoulder could also help.
Kiper stayed true to his previous prediction of the Chiefs taking a wideout, even if the name had changed from previous mocks. A few weeks ago, Kiper had the Chiefs and Benjamin linked up:
The Chiefs have Dwayne Bowe, and they like the development of former first-round pick A.J. Jenkins, but they also have a limited QB in Alex Smith, a player who needs receivers to be playmakers to make up for the fact that he's not exactly going to pick defenses apart. I thought Benjamin could use another year of seasoning at Florida State, but given his size, speed, catch radius and ability to beat defenders before the catch and run away from them after the catch, he could be a steal here. The Chiefs don't need him to be a hero in Week 1.
Both of the latest two mock drafts from Kiper differ from his initial thoughts regarding the Chiefs. In his first mock of the offseason, Kiper had the Chiefs addressing the defensive end position with Notre Dame prospect Stephon Tuitt:
The Chiefs got exposed some along the defensive line as the season progressed. A 9-0 start for the Chiefs masked the fact that Dontari Poe's play tailed off considerably, and there really isn't an above-average 3-4 DE on the roster. Tuitt has a rare combination of size and quickness, a player who will play at 300-plus pounds and drive blockers with power but can also turn, rip, bend and get around defenders with agility. He's not a "perfect fit for this scheme" as much as he's a great fit in any scheme. He sometimes reminds me a young Richard Seymour.
Depending on what the Chiefs are able to accomplish in free agency regarding both positions, it would be easy to see both positions as the first two addressed in rounds one and three.