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April Madness: the Sweet Sixteen continues

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We finish the second round of voting to determine the player you’d like to see the Chiefs take with pick 32 in the NFL Draft.

NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

April Madness continues with the second half of the Sweet Sixteen voting!

This is your chance to vote for the player you’d like to see the Kansas City Chiefs draft with pick 32 in the 2020 NFL Draft. This time, you’ll be choosing between the first-round winners from the NFL Winners and Repeat Time regions.

Remember: no thought process is right or wrong. Vote for the player you’d rather have, the one you like more or the one you think the Chiefs will take; it’s up to you.

Here’s the bracket:

Recap

In the NFL Winners region, all of the favorites won. In one of the closest battles, EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson defeated wide receiver Denzel Mims — which was somewhat surprising, because Chaisson isn’t the usual type of EDGE the Chiefs target. In the other close battle, tackle Josh Jones edged out linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither. This could be because Jones was simply seen as the better player — or because of recent reports about the Chiefs vetting offensive tackles.

I did expect defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos to put up a bigger fight against cornerback Kristian Fulton, but the position of greater need easily overcame a picture-perfect Steve Spagnuolo EDGE prospect. The biggest victory in this division came from interior offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz, as he easily dispatched fellow offensive lineman Prince Tega-Wanogho.

Aside from the matchup between one-seed safety Xavier McKinney and eight-seed tackle Austin Jackson, most Repeat Time battles were blowouts. In a bit of a surprise, Jackson put up a major fight from a position widely considered not to be a major Chiefs need. In the first round’s closest vote, McKinney barely dispatched him.

Defensive tackle Justin Madubuike and cornerback Jeff Gladney easily beat quarterback Justin Herbert and tight end Cole Kmet; for the Chiefs, the need for a quarterback or tight end early in the draft simply isn’t there. The region’s lone upset was defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw beating out wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Despite the big hole at the position in 2021, the re-signing of wideout Demarcus Robinson (and the restructuring of Sammy Watkins’ contract) seems to have really affected opinion about drafting a wide receiver in the early rounds.

NFL Winners

EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson (LSU) vs. IOL Cesar Ruiz (Michigan)

The Sweet Sixteen kicks off with a nice defense vs. offense trench matchup.

Despite a slightly built frame, Chaisson is an athletic freak of an edge rusher who possesses one of the highest upsides in the class. On any given rep, his footwork, flexibility and burst allow him to threaten the edge with ease — and he has the pass rush counters to win on the inside, too. Unfortunately, Chaisson misses two of the three physical thresholds for a Spagnuolo defensive end; as a Chief, he could be staring at full-time role as a SAM linebacker.

In this draft class, Ruiz is the cream of the crop among interior offensive linemen, bringing as much to the running game as he does to the passing game. He’s one of the rare center prospects who can be pulled around the edge or make quick, long climbs to the second level. His stout frame and high-end technique allow him to excel in one-on-one pass protection reps — and also gives him the versatility to play at guard.

Poll

Who would you rather the Chiefs take?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    K’Lavon Chaisson
    (165 votes)
  • 80%
    Cesar Ruiz
    (699 votes)
864 votes total Vote Now

CB Kristian Fulton (LSU) vs. OT Josh Jones (Houston)

Here, one of the biggest positions on the field matches up against one of the smallest.

From the beginning, Fulton has been overlooked in this cornerback class because he doesn’t offer a single flashy trait. But with quality size and athleticism — and skills in both man and zone coverage — he is a rock of a player across the board. His patience and press-mirror technique are his strengths — and they could catch a team’s attention.

Jones’ benefit probably wouldn’t be seen until 2021 at the earliest. The Chiefs’ tackles are very good, but are also nearing the end of their contracts — and potentially their careers — so looking for a replacement could be useful. Whether the team is seeking 2021 cap relief or simply a contingency plan, this tackle class is very good — and Jones is near the top. His hands and feet still need work to always operate in unison, but his good movement skills — combined his length and power — make him an excellent blocker with a high ceiling.

Poll

Who would you rather the Chiefs take?

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    Kristian Fulton
    (599 votes)
  • 27%
    Josh Jones
    (231 votes)
830 votes total Vote Now

Repeat Time

S Xavier McKinney (Alabama) vs. DT Javon Kinlaw (South Carolina)

Here’s an all-defense matchup between the the Sweet Sixteen’s first interior defensive lineman and the only safety.

Kinlaw is an athletic freak at the position, combining size and explosiveness into an incredibly difficult-to-block package. Eben though he was able to dominate some of his stiffest competition, he is still learning the proper technique for the position — and would make a high-end replacement if the Chiefs needed to re-vamp the group in 2021. He is very raw — still struggling to tie his moves together — and has a shallow toolbox. Coaching will be paramount in his development.

McKinney is a high-end safety who doesn’t come with the ball-hawking flashes you usually see in a round one prospect. He’s competent as a deep coverage player — and very good as a split field safety — but is even better close to the line of scrimmage. His ability to identify and attack blocking schemes against the run (or shallow routes in the passing game) are rivaled by no other safety in this class. There is always a concern when the first thing you say about a skill player is his intelligence — but that describes up McKinney to a T.

Poll

Who would you rather the Chiefs take?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Xavier McKinney
    (352 votes)
  • 57%
    Javon Kinlaw
    (480 votes)
832 votes total Vote Now

CB Jeff Gladney (TCU) vs DT Justin Madubuike (Texas A&M)

Our second defensive tackle steps up to the plate to face the fifth cornerback in the Sweet Sixteen.

Gladney is a little on the smaller side for most Spagnuolo cornerbacks, but that simply doesn’t show up on the film; he plays as big as anyone else. Fromthe trash talking to the big hits — and the physical play while attacking the ball — Gladney fits what the Chiefs usually seek in cornerbacks. He does all of this from an athletic package with true CB1 potential. His quick feet jump off the screen immediately; he has the ability to mirror and match even the quickest receivers.

Even though he’s been a bit overshadowed by Kinlaw because he went to the Senior Bowl, Madubuike is the best pure 3-technique defensive tackle in the class. Arguably more explosive and flexible, Madubuike has a decent arsenal of pass-rushing moves — but where he really excels is understanding leverage and how to take advantage of blockers who are threatened by his speed. In college, he wasn’t allowed to pin his ears back very well — and is small for compared to Spagnuolo’s usual defensive tackles — so he will need some work to consistently succeed in the NFL.

Poll

Who would you rather the Chiefs take?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    Jeff Gladney
    (685 votes)
  • 16%
    Justin Madubuike
    (133 votes)
818 votes total Vote Now

The Elite Eight is right around the corner!


KC Draft Guide

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