From the FanPosts -Joel
If you don't have free time, you make it somehow. Since the start of the work week, I've been making free time to run as many simulations of mock drafts over at Fanspeak.com.
Let's say worst comes to worst and the Chiefs are relegated to sitting on the sidelines of the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft (Thanks for helping get us into the playoffs, Alex... and enjoy that pick, San Francisco), and let's also assume no trades (as that's Fanspeak's setup).
Having gone through the simulation close to two dozen times, certain names kept cropping up. Mind you, the only thing scientific about this is the number of times any single player was chosen in the simulations; the selections were done my yours truly, with primary emphasis on defensive linemen, wide receivers and offensive linemen, and secondary emphasis on cornerbacks, safeties, quarterbacks, and then all other positions drafted only when they presented themselves as an exceptional value (i.e. the fabled "best player available"). Here are some of the top players at each of the six spots in the Draft where the Chiefs hold a pick:
ROUND 1 - PICK 23:
DE Kony Ealy (Missouri) was the best player in a position of need for the Chiefs six times, more than any other player at any single spot in the draft. Every so often, USC wide receiver Marqise Lee and Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard would slip down to the No. 23 spot despite being ranked about 10 spots higher in Fanspeak's rankings.
The most-frequent position available at this pick was offensive tackle: Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio, Michigan's Taylor Lewan and Notre Dame's Zack Martin all showed up at No. 23 in my simulations at least twice.
Other possibilities at No. 23: Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert, Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans, and Notre Dame DT Louis Nix.
MY MOCK PICK: It all starts with the line. Kony Ealy or Zack Martin both could reasonably be available at No. 23, and either could step in and make an impact immediately depending on how FA signings go down. If Eric Fisher is sliding over to LT with the possible departure of Branden Albert, I'd love to see Martin transition to RT and have those two anchor our line for the next decade.
ROUND 3 - PICK 23 (87 Overall):
Even when I tried to avoid his name given the publicity surrounding him, another defensive end from Mizzou wound up as the most-frequent pick in the third round: Michael Sam, who was the pick in four simulations. The other players to show up in multiple simulations were Utah DE Trevor Reilly (three times), South Carolina DT Kelcy Quarles (three times) and Colorado WR Paul Richardson (three times).
This pick could be ripe for an addition to the Chiefs' offensive line with plenty of depth to be found. The simulation offered up Mississippi State guard Gabe Jackson, Baylor guard Cyril Richardson, Stanford tackle Cameron Fleming and Clemson guard Brandon Thomas.
Other players picked at No. 87 were: LB Shayne Skov of Stanford, CB Jaylen Watkins of Florida, WR Jarvis Landry of LSU.
MY MOCK PICK: Having seen CU up close, I'm convinced Paul Richardson is an NFL star in the making. If he's still there in the third, he should be KC's pick.
ROUND 4 - PICK 24 (120 Overall):
My simulations seemed to point to the Chiefs finding a downfield target for Alex Smith with the 120th overall pick, with receivers Robert Herron (Wyoming), Brandon Coleman (Rutgers), and Martavis Bryant (Clemson) each showing up in three simulations.
This pick also seemed to be a likely spot for an exceptional value pick in a position most fans may not see as a top need for the Chiefs -- positions such as tight end (Iowa's C.J. Fiedorowicz and Georgia's Arthur Lynch), running back (Boston College's Andre Williams) and quarterback (Wyoming's Brett Smith).
Of course, the Chiefs could still land a needed addition on defense here. My simulations landed on LSU DT Anthony Johnson three times, Louisiana Tech DT Justin Ellis twice, and Boise State DE Demarcus Lawrence and Florida State safety Terrence Brooks once each.
MY MOCK PICK: Anyone who watched Boise State last year knows that Demarcus Lawrence was a beast for the Broncos, with plenty of edge speed -- but is there room for him in a scheme along with Justin Houston, Tamba Hali and everyone else? Perhaps not. The same goes for Fiedorowicz and a host of TEs already on the roster. The player who might have the most impact right away and develop into a starter would be FSU's Terrence Brooks, whose solid instincts could be improved with tutelage from Eric Berry & Co.
ROUND 5 - PICK 23 (151 Overall):
The passing game looks to be a solid bet for the Chiefs' pick at the 151st overall selection, whether it's a quarterback or someone looking to pick off the QB. Alabama's A.J. McCarron and San Jose State's David Fales both showed up twice in my simulations for the Chiefs' fifth-rounder. On the other side of the ball, Ohio State safety C.J. Barnett turned up in three simulations, and Alabama CB Deion Belue turned up in two.
Other names to consider around No. 151 include: Miami OT Seantrel Henderson, Fresno State OT Austin Wentworth, Arizona CB Shaquille Richardson, Florida State RB Devonta Freeman, Oregon DE Taylor Hart, UCLA LB Jordan Zumwalt, Clemson CB Bashaud Breeland, and North Carolina DE Kareem Martin.
MY MOCK PICK: As many interesting offensive players look to be available here, the Chiefs will need some defensive line depth. Hart may be a bit of a reach here, and Martin likely won't make it past the fourth round (assuming he falls beyond the third); while my simulations didn't flesh it out, it would be great to see Alabama's Ed Stinson at No. 151.
ROUND 6 - PICKS 17/18 AND 24 (177/178 and 184 Overall):
For the Chiefs' two picks in the sixth round, there always seemed to be plenty of talent still available at wide receiver and safety. At WR, multiple simulations turned up Tulane's Ryan Grant, Texas' Mike Davis, Saginaw Valley State's Jeff Janis and Baylor's Tevin Reese (Full disclosure: Wake Forest's Michael Campanaro turned up in two simulations, although this seems highly unlikely since he's graded out to be a fifth-rounder or early sixth-round pick).
Over at safety, K-State's Ty Zimmerman (four simulations), Tre Boston (two simulations) and Vanderbilt's Kenny Ladler (two simulations) appeared to be safe bets to still be on the board in the sixth.
Some of the more-frequent value picks in the middle of the sixth round were Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas, Clemson QB Tajh Boyd, and South Florida LB Dede Lattimore.
Other names the turned up in the quest to round out the Chiefs' draft weekend were: Towson RB Terrance West, Stanford DE Josh Mauro, UCF RB Storm Johnson, Notre Dame OLB Prince Shembo, Arkansas DT Ryan Carrethers, Vanderbilt CB Andre Hal, Colorado State TE Crockett Gilmore, and K-State OT Cornelius Lucas.
MY MOCK PICK: I don't foresee this draft ending without the Chiefs picking a QB for Andy Reid to groom. The sixth round has plenty of intriguing prospects, but none of them have the physical attributes that Logan Thomas has. For the Chiefs' second pick this round, I honestly don't expect most of the WR names mentioned above to still be around in the middle of the sixth. The best value shall dictate the Chiefs' final pick, and I'm guessing Dede Lattimore will be that player.