ESPN’s Mel Kiper has his third updated 2017 NFL mock draft for review and the Kansas City Chiefs pick is East Carolina WR Zay Jones. I’m not in love with this pick because I’m not sure where receiver stands on the Chiefs list of priorities. And even if it were higher, a receiver out of East Carolina would have a higher jump to make than someone from, say, the SEC. I say this without knowing much about Jones ... you could guess I didn’t watch much East Carolina football last year.
Jeremy Maclin had a down season in 2016, and the Chiefs' top pass-catchers were tight end Travis Kelce and rookie fifth-round pick Tyreek Hill, who's not a true No. 1 wideout. Jones has moved up my board considerably thanks to his performances at the Senior Bowl and combine, where he ran a 4.45 40 and had a 36.5-inch vertical. At 6-2, 201 pounds, he put up huge numbers for the Pirates last season with 158 catches for 1,746 yards and eight touchdowns.
The optimistic view is that you hope Maclin doesn’t have another down year and you expect to see continued progress from Tyreek Hill and Chris Conley. Travis Kelce is already a star. Along with possibly a new running back, that’s a lot of mouths to feed on offense.
Also, is receiver a premium position? The Chiefs first round picks so far have been left tackle, pass rusher and cornerback. The Chiefs brass hasn’t drafted a first round running back before. I could see this being more likely if wide receiver was a huge need but I think running back is probably a bigger need at this point.
Since we all just care about the quarterbacks anyway, the Browns took Mitch Trubisky at No. 12, the Cardinals took Deshaun Watson and No. 13 and that was it for the first round. Patrick Mahomes and DeShone Kizer remain on the board.
Thoughts? Is receiver the right pick?