clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chiefs Draftmas: Edge rusher Hercules Mata’afa and guard Isaiah Wynn

New, comments
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 16 Oregon State at Washington State Photo by Robert Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We all got a peak at one of our Draftmas presents on Tuesday night when it was announced that the Chiefs had traded Alex Smith for the excellent young cornerback Kendall Fuller and the 78th pick in this year’s draft.

I really wanted a second round pick. I was initially disappointed until I found out Fuller was included.

Fuller may only have two years left on his contract, but he’s a proven commodity. He’s good. He’s also younger than several players that will hear their name called in April. Spoilers, there’s a Draftmas List addition or two in that tweet above. Not today though.

Both the players in this article have a chance to be there when the Chiefs select. They obviously would have had a better chance had the Chiefs acquired an additional second. Oh well. I’m not mad.

Two more to the Draftmas List today.

Hercules Mata’afa, EDGE

6’ 2” 245 Washington State

Projected Draft Range: second round

Games watched: USC, Colorado, Stanford, Michigan State, California

Prospect grade (out of 100): 89.0

I would take him in the: first round

One sentence bio: 2017 AP Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year and all-conference at two, yes TWO positions (DT and EDGE).

One sentence scouting report: Transitioning to a more natural EDGE rusher position in the NFL, Mata’afa comes to his next opportunity with an explosive, powerful first step and knack for disruption.

One play:

Why he fits in KC: I have absolutely zero idea why Mata’afa is not getting buzz as one of the 15 best players in this draft. I’m putting him on here now, with the expectation that come April, this looks unrealistic. The hype will be coming.

Mata’afa played as an interior defensive lineman out of necessity. He will play as an outside linebacker/defensive end at the next level. His experience having to play on the interior will serve him well in his transition outside.

His first step is special. What’s more, there is plenty of power behind it as the clip above shows. Playing as an interior lineman, Mata’afa has learned to play with good leverage and hands to survive playing head up against bigger players. Combining that with the speed and power he displays makes him a potentially dominant force in the NFL someday.

While he’ll require some development as a pass rusher, his rare athleticism and use of leverage will allow him to produce while he grows into the position.

Mata’afa would solve several issues the Chiefs have on defense, and I don’t say that lightly. Not only would he be stout setting the edge in the run game, but his explosiveness should make him disruptive in the run and pass game.

Also, I get to use this gif more if he’s drafted:

Isaiah Wynn, Guard

6’ 2” 308 Georgia

Projected Draft Range: second round

Games watched: Alabama, Oklahoma, Kentucky 2016

Prospect grade (out of 100): 86.0

I would take him in the: early second round

One sentence bio: Offensive tackle for the National Runner Up who played through part of the season and the Senior Bowl (at his NFL position of guard) with a torn labrum.

One sentence scouting report: A smart, quick, athletic interior lineman who would be perfect in the Chiefs’ zone run blocking scheme.

One play:

Why he fits in KC: Why take an offensive player with one of the Chiefs early picks? There are some players and positions that would just make too much sense in Kansas City whose talent outweigh other positional need. Wynn is one of those players at guard.

It’s also not like the Chiefs don’t need a replacement at left guard. It may not be at the very top of the Draftmas List position wise, but it’s definitely still a need.

Wynn played left tackle and left guard at Georgia. He excelled at both. He displays special agility and athleticism for a man his sizes. He moves so easily and makes contact with smaller, quicker players at the second level with a high level or frequency. Wynn has showed the ability to handle fast edge rushers and powerful defensive lineman on the interior. He does this with his physical traits, but also sound technique.

The Chiefs had success with outside zone running plays this season. Wynn would only continue to make the run game a strength. The torn labrum suffered this season might actually help Wynn fall farther into the area the Chiefs are able to select him.

I believe Wynn to be one of the most NFL ready prospects in this class. He should be a plug and play starter, and I would be thrilled for him to be playing in Kansas City next season.

The Draftmas List

EDGE Dorance Armstrong, Kansas

EDGE Hercules Mata’afa, Washington State

Guard Isaiah Wynn, Georgia