As a rule, I avoid mock drafts. After all, it makes no sense to guess who will fall to various picks, and it is absolutely inevitable that my homerism will get in the way of my common sense when making such determinations.
"Yeah, sure, I think Kevin White will fall to 18 and Eric Kendricks will fall to the late second round! And hey, here's Cam Erving in the third! Man, I'm great at drafting!"
I think you can see the problem there. Fortunately, as always, technology has caught up with the problem. This time it's in the form of a simulated drafts (which have probably existed for years, but since I just started using them this year I'm going to pretend they're brand new. Because ego).
The draft simulator I found myself using was that of Fanspeak, which provides multiple "big boards" to use for the simulation. And so, with that tool in mind, I decided to eschew my usual practice of eschewing mock drafts and dove right in with SIX mock drafts (through four rounds, because I have a job and kids and stuff).
Here are the results: Did I learn anything? No. Did I manage to kill an hour and have a ton of fun doing it? Absolutely.
Just a couple of quick notes. I used CBS Sports' "big board" for all but one of the drafts for the sake of continuity. They generally do a solid job from what I've observed. Additionally, it should be noted that even when using the same board, teams behaved differently from draft to draft. Not wildly differently, but just a couple different picks in the first round is enough to change EVERYTHING about a draft. That feature (changes in "other" team moves) was a pleasant surprise and made for a more dynamic experience.
Anyway, with those notes out of the way, let's look at some drafts...
Pure Best Player Available Draft
Using CBS's big board, I simply took the "best" prospect in every single round. And honestly, it wasn't QUITE the bloodbath I was afraid it would be. In fact, I have no issues with multiple picks here, especially Duke Johnson, whose tape I absolutely love.
The problem, of course, is that we ended up with two running backs when our roster already has Jamaal Charles (the guaranteed starter and star) and Knile Davis (an oft-used No. 2 RB the coaches seem to love).
Additionally, because I waited until the late third round to pick up a WR (as the "BPA" when I picked was never a WR until then) I ended up with slim pickings. I know some love Rashad Greene. I don't.
Let's try again, how about this time we go the complete opposite route and do "pure Need Draft?"
Pure Need Draft
For just a tish of background, I simply ranked team "needs" in the order I believe they exist, then drafted the guy I liked best at that need every round.
This draft annoyed me a lot more than the pure BPA draft, to be quite honest. Perriman could well turn out to be a stud, but he's not who I would have preferred in that spot. And while I think Finney could well be a day one decent starter, I had to take him WAY earlier than I would have needed to. The rest was mostly a big ball of "meh," outside of maybe Conley, who is an interesting midround pick.
I think we've learned that pure best player available and pure need are both ... well, it doesn't work.
But what if we decided to just go nuts at the biggest perceived need?
The Wide Receiver Draft
No explanation needed. All wide receivers. All the time.
Once again Perriman was the best wide receiver who fell to me, so I had to "reach" a little on him. But I think it says something about how we view the draft (favoring skill positions) that I look at this draft and don't go completely crazy. I mean, it was a giant weakness for the Chiefs last year. A COUPLE of these guys are bound to pan out, right? Right?
Far and away the worst aspect of this draft (you know, other than addressing zero team needs outside of wide receiver) is taking both Hardy and Lockett, two guys who are very likely to have similar roles in the NFL.
Again, though, I feel as though a draft like this wouldn't make the fanbase THAT angry. Who's up for some 5 wide receiver sets? (raises hand)
Because I'm evil, I found myself wondering what draft would cause the most destructive debate among Chiefs fans. What draft would make us just tear each other apart?
Obviously I had to work with what the simulator gave me, but I'm confident the following draft would have us at each others' throats for months.
Can you imagine the carnage?
Let me be the first to tell you that there ARE people who really like Hundley and would be in favor of him coming to the Chiefs. I'm not just making up crap here (well, I am, but not in that sense). The Alex Smith Wars would be ignited all over again, only this time it would be The Alex Smith Wars II, Operation Hundley. I can't even begin to think of the horrific names we'd call each other.
Oh, also, Amari Cooper was on the board when I took Hundley. CHAOS.
The DGB pick explains itself. It's been the new Alex Smith Debate around here lately to yell at each other about DGB. Seeing that re-ignited would be a ball.
Then there's the Duke Johnson pick. I'd love that pick personally, and so would a lot of other Chiefs fans. On the other side of things are people who really like Knile Davis (this has been another flash point as of late here in the comments; is Knile Davis any good?). Just imagine a guy who likes both Davis and Hundley arguing with a guy who likes Johnson and Smith. Server crash.
Taiwan Jones would make those desperate for a three-down ILB pull their hair out (though the kid has potential, I'm pretty sure "potential" would drive people crazy after those first three picks).
That last pick ... well, it's tough to find that many REALLY controversial picks.
I'm almost certain Arrowhead Pride would need to quadruple the mods following this draft. I'm also almost certain I wouldn't be THAT mad, because some people just want to watch the world burn.
All right, we've had fun and made stuff up, caused some chaos. We laughed, we cried. But what about drafts I'd ACTUALLY love? Well, for fun I did two. One with CBS's big board and one with Matt Miller's big board.
My Draft #1
I would absolutely heart this draft. Cam Erving comes in and is an immediate starter at center (I'm not in the Eric Kush fan club. Maybe I'm wrong and he's gotten way better. That'd be neat), helping solidify one area of the team I'm still very concerned about.
Maxx Williams gives the Chiefs the ability to roll with two and three tight end sets as often as they desire. He and Travis Kelce would create problems all over the field, and as I've written before, Demetrius Harris made a gigantic leap from year one to year two. Having three genuinely dangerous TEs (all of whom can also block well) would make the Chiefs a unique team.
As I've said before, I love Duke Johnson's tape. He's good at everything. He's got speed, power, good vision, nice hands, a mean streak while running ... he's the total package at running back. I'm not QUITE as down on Knile Davis as some, but Johnson would be an immediate upgrade and would provide the Chiefs with a legitimately frightening 1-2 punch at running back.
I love Tyler Lockett's tape, we all know this. I think he'll immediately be a guy who can help contribute and would be pretty comfortable with Maclin / Wilson / Lockett / Avant as our core group of WRs. This is especially true with the other moves that have been made to base the Chiefs around their TEs and RBs.
Alex Carter represents great potential value to develop in the fourth round at a position we need more depth.
I would give this draft an A. Which makes sense, since it was my draft. One more for the road...
My Draft #2
I don't like this draft QUITE as much as the first one, but it could well pay gigantic dividends.
We all know how I feel about Eric Kendricks. He's a genuine three-down ILB that would upgrade both the run and pass defense immediately. He'd be a piece that could make our defense (combined with the return of DJ and DeVito) incredibly scary.
Byron Jones has a ton of upside and is a guy I could see playing immediately in spots. Corner needs depth, and he'd provide depth as well as help out of the gate.
The rough part about this particular mock is how quickly all the WRs were being snapped up. I took Lockett earlier in this draft due to a run on WRs that left him as the only one I really like left at this point, and I couldn't risk not getting a WR.
Havenstein is a large human being who will make Donald Stephenson fight for his life. Shaq Mason is built like an anvil and plays like an angry... uh, anvil (OK, the analogy fell apart).
This draft wouldn't make me skip away quite as happily into the night, but would still be an easy A for me.
A few more hours, folks. You know it's bad when even I'm doing mock drafts. I can't wait to review the film for a bunch of new Chiefs.