A very Merry Draftmas to all of you. This might be like playing Christmas music in October to some, but for me, it’s never too early to start talking about the NFL Draft.
There’s a lot of similarities to how a kid reacts to Christmas and how NFL nerds react to the draft. There are months of anticipation, building lists of what you want, using your imagination for what a gift (or player) will be like, trying to find out what you’re getting and flat out asking your parents (or NFL insiders).
I just so happen to be one of those guys. The draft is one of my favorite parts of the NFL calendar. I went to the 2013 and 2014 drafts. My first post on Arrowhead Pride was about one of my experiences attending. I’ve been watching since I was little. I’ve got unique stories and memories from several years.
A friend and I started our own NFL Draft book club last year. We take turns adding players to the watch list and both watch them at the same time. It gives us someone to talk to about each prospect and helps us organize our nerdom. We watched 130 prospects last year and each ranked our top 100. This year, we’re already nearly 50 players deep.
This year, we built a grading scale to better organize our thoughts on prospects. We have less than 100 days until the annual selection meeting. Until draft day, I’ll be building my Draftmas List for the Chiefs, players I would love to see make Arrowhead their home.
It’s going to be a little tricky this year, obviously, as the Chiefs don’t have a first-round pick. I want this to be practical, so you won’t see some of the top names in the draft in this article. As fun as it’d be to have Saquon Barkley or Minkah Fitzpatrick in Kansas City, it’s just not practical. I’ll be taking expected draft range into consideration in this article.
My goal is to have written about one or two prospects the Chiefs wind up taking. So when the card gets turned in, you’ll have something from Arrowhead Pride to refer to about the prospect moments after the player is selected.
Let’s add the first name to the Draftmas List. We’re going to start with some local flavor.
Dorance Armstrong, EDGE
6’3” | 250 lbs. | Kansas
Projected Draft Range: second round
Games watched: Texas Tech 2016, Texas Tech 2017, West Virginia, Ohio
Prospect grade (out of 100): 81.5
I would take him in the: second round
One sentence bio: 2017 preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year who was under-recruited in high school due to a lighter frame that will be only 20 on draft day.
One sentence scouting report: Raw, but freakish EDGE prospect whose character, work ethic and motor make him the perfect developmental prospect.
Dorance Armstong is more athlete than pass rusher right now, but he has the character, work ethic and motor to develop into a good football player. pic.twitter.com/14fbRRNY8Q— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) January 23, 2018
Why he fits in KC: Without a first-round pick, the Chiefs need to get creative with their draft capital. While Armstrong is not a finished product, his athletic traits are those of someone who normally gets taken in the first round. The Chiefs have an opportunity, with some time invested by the coaching staff, to get the most out of Armstrong.
Prospects with rare athleticism, high motors and high character are the projects worth investing in. Armstrong is just that. He is the kind of project that could be used in sub packages early and grow within the process. He would be an immediate presence on special teams and can be asked to play a variety of roles early in that space. While he needs to develop his repertoire of pass-rush moves and be more consistent with technique and assignment, he should be able to provide some production while he’s learning.
I would argue pass rush is the biggest need for the team this offseason. Armstrong would be a great addition.