The first wave of free agency is over — and the Kansas City Chiefs have yet to make any moves — or even decisions — on players like Chris Jones, Sammy Watkins and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
So we decided to try a mock draft based on the assumption those three players remain in Kansas City through 2020. Here’s what we came up with:
32. EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
Personally, I’d be thrilled to see Gross-Matos fall all the way to the last pick of the first round. Current projections indicate this opportunity could arise — and if it happens, the Chiefs should jump all over it.
This selection would primarily be about value; there are other needs that will require attention. But Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo covets defensive ends with versatility as key cogs in his defensive scheme. Gross-Matos fits Spagnuolo’s prototype for an edge rusher, got better as the season went along and boasts a strong athletic profile. His selection would be a slam dunk.
63. CB Bryce Hall, Virginia
With this pick, Thornhill-Hall 2020 would become a reality; Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill would reunite with his former Virginia teammate.
Due to an ankle injury that has kept him from working out during the pre-draft process, there are a lot of questions about Hall — and with the shutdown of football operations across the country, few of those questions are likely to be answered. So there’s a chance he could fall even further than the 63rd pick.
But when healthy, Hall is an excellent zone corner with great length, size, instincts and ball skills. He would be a welcome addition to a secondary that needs talent on the outside.
96. LB Logan Wilson, Wyoming
Should the Chiefs miss out on the first-round prospects, there are few potential WILL linebackers to get excited about.
But Craig Stout and I had the chance to get eyes on Wilson against some of the nation’s best during the Senior Bowl. Wilson has had a great draft process. He had good numbers during Combine testing and showing promise dropping into coverage at the Senior Bowl. He’s big enough to meet Spagnuolo’s requirements — and would improve coverage at the second level.
138. WR Tyler Johnson, Minnesota
There’s a lot of mystery about Johnson as an NFL prospect; some character questions have been brought up. He didn’t help himself by not participating in the East-West Shrine Bowl and declining an invitation to the NFL Combine. This lack of clarity will likely make this talented wideout fall into day three.
If everything checks out, Johnson would be a good value in the fourth round. He has a solid athletic profile, is a good route runner and can win at the catch point.
177. IOL Keith Ismael, San Diego State
Ismael isn’t getting enough love; too many valuations have him around this range.
But I think he’d compete with Austin Reiter to be the starting center in year one. Ismael isn’t the quickest, strongest or biggest center in this class, but in the Senior Bowl, he gave one of the better performances of any interior offensive lineman. He wasn’t flashy, but he was consistent in drills throughout the week.
I asked Ismael what it would be like to be drafted by the Chiefs. “It’d be a blessing,” he said. “It’s a high powered offense. Patrick Mahomes — we share the same agent. I’ve heard Kansas City’s a cool city.”
Perhaps by the end of April, Mahomes and Ismael will share more than an agent.
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