Being at the Senior Bowl after a Chiefs win in the AFC championship is much more enjoyable than what we experienced last year coming off the Patriots loss. Condolences are now congratulations. Interviewing prospects, the buzz about the team is obvious. From Patrick Mahomes to Tyrann Mathieu to Frank Clark, players hold a lot of respect for the core pieces of this Chiefs team. There is all kinds of talk about the family feel within the organization. Players with teammates currently on the Chiefs are hearing good things. The word is getting out about this organization, and the current culture is part of what helped get them over the hump and into the Super Bowl.
Here are five potential Chiefs targets from day one of the Senior Bowl who performed well:
DE Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina
The Chiefs covet defensive ends with the ability to kick inside on passing downs similar to what you’ve seen with players like Tanoh Kpassgnon. Strowbridge flashed a well-developed pass-rush plan from interior alignment, surprising burst and powerful hands. He has the density the Chiefs like at EDGE, weighing in at 267 pounds.
IOL Matt Hennessy, Temple
It was an up-and-down day for most centers, but Hennessy showed the ability to recover when over-setting in one-on-one drills and regain control. He may not be the most athletic center in this class, but he anchors as good as any center here this weekend. Pair that with strong hands and enough movement skills, and Hennessy could fit in nicely along the interior.
DE Trevis Gipson, Tulsa
Another defensive end that fits the Steve Spagnuolo model, Gipson helped his stock by displaying a more versatile rush plan than what he showed at Tulsa. He was able to win with power on a bull rush into tackle Ben Bartch. He showed an inside rip move earlier in the day to pair with good burst. If Gipson continues this throughout the week, his stock will rise.
CB Dane Jackson, Pittsburgh
Jackson came in a little bit smaller than anticipated, but his on-field performance certainly endeared him to us. He competed every rep and played physical at the line of scrimmage regardless of the size of receiver. He did a good job making plays on the football and had a few pass breakups on the day. He’ll need to show improvement in off-coverage, where his worse reps came from in one-on-ones. He profiles as a day two prospect. Should the Chiefs wait that long this draft, Jackson could be a candidate.
LB Logan Wilson, Wyoming
For those looking for the Chiefs to find a coverage linebacker, day one of the Senior Bowl was not comforting. Players like Akeem Davis-Gaither showed the ability to cover, but also weighed less than 220 pounds and bringing concern of his ability to play in the box along with it. Wilson weighed in at 241 pounds and for his size showed enough coverage ability to improve the position. Wilson could drop a few pounds to gain a little additional quickness, and be serviceable enough in coverage while keeping the body type Spagnuolo has employed at linebacker on the field.
Arrowhead Pride Laboratory
We played an interview with Charlie Heck — son of Chiefs offensive line coach Andy Heck — and talked about what we heard from Senior Bowl players about the Chiefs in a special episode of the AP Laboratory.