The Kansas City Chiefs finished off their 2018 draft class by trading their two seventh-round selections to move into the sixth round. They can now turn their attention to the undrafted free agent market (TRACKER) as they try to continue to build their roster.
Let’s take a look at the Chiefs’ draft class of 2018:
Round 2 (46) LB Breeland Speaks
Speaks is a player with a good athletic profile who tested well at the NFL Combine. On the field, he flashes the traits but struggles to be consistent. His pass rushes get stalled too much for my liking, and his eye discipline needs work. Is there a lot to work with? Yes. Is he ready to contribute right away? I don’t know. There is a path for Speaks to develop into a nice interior lineman. I just didn’t like the pick that early on an overpay in draft capital.
Round 3 (75) DT Derrick Nnadi
This move is a clear indication that the Chiefs think they need to stop the run. Nnadi’s grade dropped for me because of poor athletic testing. He was a late third round grade on tape. For what he is, he’s a good player.
Round 3 (100) LB Dorian O’ Daniel
O’Daniel will likely profile as more of a box safety role for the Chiefs unless they are making significant schematic changes. O’Daniel flashes the ability to click and close on plays behind the line of scrimmage out in the slot. He’s probably better seeing everything in front of him, allowing him to get down hill.
Round 4 (124) - S Armani Watts
Armani Watts had a better grade from me before poor athletic testing. He’s got above average instincts and ball skills. He can play in a center field role and in the slot. There’s a lot to like about the skill set he adds to the Chiefs’ defense. Watts’ biggest issue is as a tackler. He has poor technique and seemed to be hesitant at times. He should still be able to carve a role out in 2018.
Round 6 (196) - CB Tremon Smith
Smith received a lot of buzz late in the draft process coming out of small-school Central Arkansas. There wasn’t enough tape to grade Smith, but what is out there shows a player with an edge on the field, fluidity to mirror and match and ball skills. There is some similarities to Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander. I like Smith and his fit on this team. He has a good chance to make the roster.
Round 6 (198) - OG Kahlil McKenzie
We’ll officially have some family rivalry in the AFC West next year. Kahlil is the son of Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie. He’ll be transitioning to the offensive line for the Chiefs. His athletic profile is similar to Falcons offensive guard Sean Harlow and former Chiefs offensive lineman Rishaw Johnson, per Mockdraftable. McKenzie is a big, physical player. He has a chance to come along nicely.
My 2018 draft class grade
Chiefs Draft: C-
There isn’t a ton of home run swings in this class. Breeland Speaks is probably the closest to that mold with the athletic upside. The Chiefs appear to be building around solid players across the board. All these players have clear paths to roles on the defense and several players have a chance to contribute early.
This is far from a flashy class, but could prove to be a culture-establishing draft for the Chiefs. I would have gone a different direction on most of these picks. The Chiefs appear to have a clear vision for what they wanted to accomplish in this class. It wasn’t built around maximizing assets with immense upside; it was more about building with specific skill sets to prop up the stars around them.
It’s disappointing from my perspective, but I at least understand what they set out to do in this class. You probably aren’t getting a player to hang your hat on from this class like Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill, but there are several solid (but unspectacular) football players in the mix at least.
What grade do you give the Chiefs’ 2018 draft class?
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