Everyone knows the Chiefs need a cornerback following the departure of starter Sean Smith. In the first round of the SB Nation NFL writers mock draft, Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride ignored the need to choose defensive tackle Vernon Butler. It was a calculated gamble that paid off.
"I'm not a medical expert, but I can tell you Justin Houston will be playing this season," Dorsey said. "When is a good [question]. Not being a medical expert, I really can't definitively tell you that answer. But our doctors have reassured us that he will play this season."
The Chiefs are still in need of a wide receiver to take the pressure off Maclin. They could use some bodies to shore up the secondary, too. Pass rushers are always at a premium, and depth on the offensive line would help. "I mean, it looks like it’s a deep draft to me," said Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who has been sidelined by his own knee replacement surgery. "It seems just that there are some good football players in this draft at a lot of positions, which that’s not always the case. This one here feels pretty healthy though."
I'm not going to say that if you don't get a pass rush prospect in the first two rounds that you may as well not even bother, but the number of edge players* with eight or more sacks in a season over the past five years is heavily skewed toward the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. Check it out. Here's the full list, with the players listed next to the teams they played for and they years in which they got 8.0+ sacks.
Think premium positions: The four so-called premium positions in the NFL are quarterback, left tackle, pass-rusher and cornerback. It’s no coincidence Dorsey’s three first-round picks have played one of these spots. Cornerback would also align with an immediate need.
Marcus Peters' promising rookie season alleviates the loss of Sean Smith to some extent, but the Chiefs still need help in the secondary. The nickel spot can be manned by Phillip Gaines, but he can't be relied upon as a starter. Need, value, and scheme come together perfectly in this scenario, as Alexander falls into Kansas City's lap. He's an ideal fit in Bob Sutton's press-man defense, where he can use his physicality to his advantage.
If the Chiefs are trying to win now (they are), and believe they have a strong locker room culture to nurture a sometimes-troubled player (they probably do), rotating a player like Nkemdiche into an already-strong defensive front makes a lot of sense. It would also hedge their bets if Dontari Poe's back flares up again this season, or he chooses to bolt in free-agency in 2017.