The NFL draft board fell perfectly for the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night. Here were my takeaways from night one of the NFL Draft:
There were no significant dents in the position groups of need for the Chiefs: cornerback and wide receiver.
The first cornerback didn’t go off the board until the 30th pick, and it was Georgia’s DeAndre Baker, who showed a limited athletic profile and had some character questions heading into the process. It felt like the entire NFL was waiting for someone to blink at the cornerback position and it took Dave Gettleman trading back into the first round to kickstart it.
We’ve talked a lot on the AP Draft Show and AP Laboratory podcasts about the cornerback class having all kinds of flavors. There is a diverse variety of playing styles and athletic profiles that fit what teams want. Teams have shown patience in addressing the position. The run will start on Friday night and the Chiefs are in a position to monitor it through the night and strike with a trade up if necessary.
Cornerbacks still available that I’d be excited about two: Greedy Williams, Byron Murphy, Amani Oruwariye, Justin Layne, JoeJuan Williams, Trayvon Mullen, Rock Ya-Sin, David Long, Lonnie Johnson and Sean Bunting
That’s 11 still available, with the Chiefs merely 29 picks away. There is a very good chance one of these players is a member of the Chiefs by the end of Friday night.
Wide receiver has climbed the priority lists throughout the last few months. You expected them to address it by the end of day two, but now the need is more pressing. Only two receivers fell off the board by the end of Thursday night. All 166 pounds of “Hollywood” Brown went to Baltimore despite not getting to do much in the process due to a Lisfranc injury. N’Keal Harry went to the Patriots in the last final of the night.
Wide receivers still available that I’d be excited about in round two: DK Metcalf, AJ Brown, Kelvin Harmon, Hakeem Butler and Deebo Samuel
All these receivers were ranked in the top 50 of the KC Draft Guide. The pool is smaller than at corner, so you could see them being more aggressive at this position.
What helped the Chiefs more were some day-one surprises that shook up the draft. Offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom to Atlanta, safety Darnell Savage to Green Bay, tackle Tytus Howard to Houston, defensive end LJ Collier (in the Chiefs original first-round spot) to Seattle and tackle Kaleb McGary to Atlanta were first-round selections that I didn’t anticipate.
They helped push players at more important positions of need down the board.
Studs still available
Outside of just the cornerback and wide receiver positions, players at other positions surprisingly fell for a variety of reasons. There is talent still available at several positions.
Quality players available: tackle Jawaan Taylor, offensive lineman Cody Ford, safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, safety Nasir Adderley, quarterback Drew Lock, EDGE Jachai Polite, EDGE Chase Winovich, offensive lineman Dalton Risner, safety Juan Thornhill
Friday will be fun
There is still a ton of talent left for the picking, and the board should allow the Chiefs to be able to sit at 61 and get a quality player at a position of need. They certainly could be aggressive if they feel the value is too high, but they don’t necessarily have to. There will be a few more surprises that push players down the board.
Chiefs fans may be thrilled by the end of the second round with quality value at 61 and 63.
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