NFL Draft weekend has come and gone, and the Kansas City Chiefs finished the draft with six new players and now continue to add undrafted free agents (TRACKER).
Let’s take a look at the completed Chiefs’ draft class of 2019:
- Georgia wide receiver Mecole Harman (No. 56 overall)
- Virginia safety Juan Thornhill (No. 63 overall)
- Western Illinois defensive lineman Khalen Saunders (No. 84 overall)
- South Carolina cornerback Rashad Fenton (No. 201 overall)
- Utah State running back Darwin Thompson (No. 214 overall)
- Illinois offensive lineman Nick Allegretti (No. 216 overall)
And now, for some grades of the class:
The Chiefs sent three picks to the Seahawks for Frank Clark earlier this week. Clearly, they viewed him as a better fit for their new defensive scheme than Dee Ford (who they traded to San Francisco this offseason), and Clark is indeed a superior player. The guaranteed money in his new contract is reportedly all in the first three years of the deal, so it’s set up to potentially give the Chiefs some salary cap flexibility just as Patrick Mahomes’ rookie deal is due to expire. They did give up two premium picks to land Clark (No. 29 overall this year, a second-round pick next year), though, and will have to hope he stays out of trouble off the field.
Did the Chiefs signal their intentions about how they’ll address the off-field issues facing Tyreek Hill by drafting a speedy WR and kick returner, Mecole Hardman, in the second round? That seemed telling. Fellow second-rounder Juan Thornhill could help immediately in the secondary.
I came very close to handing out a B-plus for this class, but I’m still a little stuck on the value of wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who the Chiefs moved up for in the second round by trading the 167th pick away. He’s unrefined as a receiver but has a special trait to build off of with his speed. His special teams impact will be felt as well.
Regardless, the Chiefs got a day-one starter at safety in Thornhill. The Western Illinois defensive lineman Sanders should thrive in a rotational role in Steve Spagnuolo’s defense. I love the pick of Thompson in the sixth round, and he’ll prove to be a great value with his ability in space and pass catcher traits.
There are clear paths to success for almost all of their picks. They addressed the right positions to build this roster further. If Hardman shows promise over the offseason and in training camp, Chiefs fans should be very optimistic about how this class will pan out. I’m delighted with what they did throughout the course of the weekend. I look forward to seeing what we hear during rookie minicamp.
This is a tough class to grade for a team that made sweeping changes on defense. Coordinator Bob Sutton is out, and Steve Spagnuolo is moving to a 4-3. Gone are impact players Dee Ford, Justin Houston, Eric Berry and Steven Nelson. The Chiefs brought in Frank Clark, Tyrann Mathieu, Bashaud Breeland and Alex Okafor. It’s really tough to know exactly how it will play out, but it was clear something had to change on defense after Patrick Mahomes and the offense broke records all season.
The cost for Clark was exorbitant; K.C. gave up a first-round pick this year (No. 29) and a second-round pick next year, plus gave a huge contract. If he gets 10-plus sacks a season, he’ll be worth it. But that has to factor into the draft grade. We also don’t know what’s going to happen with Tyreek Hill, who is being investigated by police and might not be on the roster much longer. The Chiefs’ first pick on Friday -- wideout Mecole Hardman at No. 56 -- makes you think he is a backup plan for Hill, and they are similar players.
The Chiefs made a slight move up in the second round to get their first pick in at No. 56. They took Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman, a pure speed receiver and possible replacement for Tyreek Hill. He’s still developing, so it was surprising to see him taken before someone like Parris Campbell of Ohio State.
Getting defensive back Juan Thornill was a great move at No. 63. He can do a little of everything with a history at cornerback, safety, and even a little linebacker. Defensive tackle Khalen Saunders gives the Chiefs an incredible athlete for a defensive tackle.
Chiefs: 27th-ranked draft class
Brett Veach and Andy Reid had to change course with their draft plans after the news surrounding Tyreek Hill. They were forced to get Hardman, the only apt replacement on the board. The trade for Frank Clark took away the need to boost the edge pass rush, but they waited too long for help at corner.
What is your final grade for the Chiefs’ NFL Draft class of 2019?
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