With Mike Mayock taking the job to become general manager of the Oakland Raiders, NFL Network and NFL.com have a new lead draft analyst.
That is Daniel Jeremiah, who appears on television shows and podcasts while writing about three football columns a week. Jeremiah replaced Mayock for the NFL’s annual pre-scouting combine chat with the media on Monday.
One question to Jeremiah asked for Chiefs’ draft fits on the offensive side of the football, namely at the running back position in the middle rounds. The expectation is that the Chiefs will use their first-rounder and two second-rounders on two to three defensive players.
Jeremiah offered four running backs to watch:
Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill
JEREMIAH: “[Hill’s] one of the smaller guys with big-time juice, just ultra twitched up, he’s a home run hitter in the backfield.”
Temple’s Ryquell Armstead
JEREMIAH: “[Armstead] is going to carry 220 plus pounds and has that acceleration in the hole, no hesitation, just hits it. He is a tough, physical runner who I like. So that’s kind of the small back that’s a little bit of the bigger back.”
Appalachian State’s Jalin Moore
JEREMIAH: “Jalin Moore, who I’m going to be biased about, is from App State, who got hurt this year coming off of an injury, but some of the best balance you’ll see of any running back in this draft. He’ll make you miss. You just watch him against Penn State in that game to open the season, spinning off tackles, making people miss, lowering his shoulder. He had a late touchdown in that game that almost won the game. He’s another one that’s real interesting in those middle rounds, so there will be a lot of options there.”
Georgia’s Elijah Holyfield
JEREMIAH: “I should mention Elijah Holyfield, as well, who is a fun player to watch from Georgia. Obviously Evander Holyfield’s son, and talking to some folks down there in Georgia, they said if you came out to our practice and we told you that there’s one kid on the field whose dad was the heavyweight champion of the world, it wouldn’t take you 30 seconds to figure out who it is, just with the way he plays.”
Chiefs’ need for a running back
The Chiefs currently have two running backs on the roster—Damien Williams, who they chose to extend in late December, and Darrel Williams, who heads into the second year of his rookie contract (the Chiefs acquired Darrel as an undrafted free agent last season). Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware are unrestricted free agents, leaving holes at the position.
Drafting one of the running backs with upside mentioned above makes sense—that is, after the Chiefs address greater positions of need, such as cornerback and safety. There is value to be had in the mid-rounds like we saw when the Chiefs selected Kareem Hunt in the third round back in 2017. Hunt won the rushing title as a rookie.
The NFL Scouting Combine happens this week in Indianapolis, Indiana. The players will interview with teams and media all week, and on-field drills begin Friday, March 1, through Monday, March 4, starting Friday, Sunday and Monday at 8 a.m. Arrowhead Time and Saturday at 9 a.m. Arrowhead Time.
Which of the four running backs intrigues you the most?
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