Every day, we get closer to the NFL Draft, and every day, we get more information about how things could go in the draft. There are no definitive answers this time of year, but if you pay close enough attention, you start to see trends that can’t be ignored.
This week, EDGE players Brian Burns and Clelin Ferrell have been getting mocked in the first half of round one. This feels much more appropriate than the early to late 20s we have been seeing for both of these players.
For the Chiefs to move up to the early 20s to acquire a long, athletic pass-rusher like the two just mentioned, it would likely take their third-round pick. A second could only get them to the late teens.
What if that’s the highest they’re willing to go?
If there isn’t a pass rusher in an acceptable range, the Chiefs may not find it worth it to move up the board. What then? We were asked on this week’s episode of the AP Laboratory who we thought would be the best player available to the Chiefs at pick 29. We all gave different answers, and they don’t solve the most significant needs for the Chiefs.
Matt: DL Jeffery Simmons
A top-10 talent for us in the KC Draft Guide (you can get it for 33 percent off through March with this link!), Simmons is likely to still be there due to a torn ACL during his draft preparation. He may not be able to play his entire rookie year, but the value through his contract could be excellent that late in the first round. You just aren’t getting immediate help and he likely will spend most of his first year catching up. There are some off-field issues with an assault charge while protecting his sister from high school, but he’s been a model citizen since and it’s not expected that it will drop him much for teams.
Craig: S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
The Florida defensive back earned a round-one grade from us in the KC Draft Guide, one of the 15 we have handed out so far in this process. He has played as an outside corner, a deep safety and in the nickel. He’s improved immensely as a tackler, has a tremendous athletic profile and ball skills to go with it. With such a diverse defensive background he could be intriguing. The presence of Tyrann Mathieu and Kendall Fuller in the slot in sub-packages could make his skills a little redundant.
Kent: S Nasir Adderley
Adderley is currently the 25th player in the draft in the KC Draft Guide. He would be best served to play as a single-high safety where his ball skills can play. He is aggressive, physical and plays extremely hard. He has had an underwhelming draft process due to injury but is still a promising player with some of the most fun tape in the class.
Where would they go?
If these were the best players available at 29, it would be a difficult situation to navigate for the Chiefs. While all of these players would certainly help the defense, they still don’t help address the most significant short and long-term pain points on the current roster. A trade-up for the likes of Greedy Williams and Byron Murphy doesn’t make a ton of sense to me for various reasons like length/size for Murphy and fit for Greedy (Does he tackle well enough?). You could undoubtedly talk me into the safeties or Simmons, but I wonder if this isn’t the situation where the Chiefs trade back, add some additional selections and then play in that second tier of cornerbacks like Justin Layne and Joejuan Williams who fit the length, athleticism profile that Steve Spagnuolo desires.
We often talk about how Brett Veach is aggressive and zeroes in on players he loves and doesn’t wait to acquire them. He aggressively maneuvered the board last year and ended up making only one selection in the original slots he had coming into the draft weekend. If Simmons, Gardner-Johnson and Adderley were indeed the best players on the board, I wonder if he could show enough restraint to move back and address position of need in a lower tier. He could then use the asset(s) he acquired from trading back to move up from 61 and end up with two top-50 players and still have selections 63 and 92.
What if the Chiefs ended up with CB Justin Layne, WR Hakeem Butler and EDGE Charles Omenihu in the first two rounds? How would you feel about that? I’d be happy.
There’s still a lot of time, and things could certainly change, but as we sit right now, I think the Chiefs could be best suited to do the opposite of what we expect from Veach.
KC Draft Guide
We have writeups on Simmons, Gardner-Johnson, Adderley Chiefs in the first ever edition of the KC Draft Guide, which releases on April 8. Through the end of March, promo code ‘madness’ will get you the guide for 33 percent off!
We’ll have over 200 prospect write-ups, specifically about how prospects fit the Chiefs. There will be big boards, more than 300 grades on players, mock drafts, positional rankings and features all specific to the Chiefs. You can pre-order the guide for only $6.69 by clicking here or entering ‘madness’ in the promotional code field below!