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Mel Kiper mock draft 4.0: Chiefs go running back in first round, defensive back in second

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The ESPN analyst changed his tune in his fourth mock of this year’s NFL Draft.

ESPN NFL college/draft analyst Mel Kiper released version 4.0 of his 2020 mock draft on Tuesday, which included two rounds of picks. After sending interior offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz to the Kansas City Chiefs twice in a row, Kiper changed his tune, selecting a running back for Kansas City at No. 32 overall.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Alabama vs Georgia Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

KIPER: As McShay pointed out in his two-round Mock Draft, there aren’t many teams picking in the first round that have a hole at running back. Miami, maybe? Atlanta would have been a possibility, but then it brought in Todd Gurley. That’s why Swift to Kansas City makes sense here. Andy Reid would get the most of him in the passing game, and Swift could break off chunks of yardage on the ground. Cornerback and guard are also options for the Super Bowl champs.

Given Andy Reid’s historical success with mid-round players at the position, the Chiefs selecting a running back in the first round already seemed like a stretch. Their signing of DeAndre Washington last week only helped to accentuate that thought. In my opinion, Kiper’s best point was his final one — that the Chiefs need secondary and interior help. If Ruiz — whom he liked for the Chiefs — is taken by the Seattle Seahawks five picks earlier, I think the Chiefs trade down before selecting a running back... even one as talented as Swift.

As they stand Tuesday, the Chiefs have Damien Williams, Washington, Darwin Thompson, Darrel Williams, Elijah McGuire, Mike Weber and Marcus Marshall at the position.

63. Kansas City Chiefs: Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

KIPER: The lanky 6-foot-2 Dantzler was getting some first-round buzz last season, but he disappointed at the combine with a 4.64 40, and he could still drop to Round 3. I’d take him here, though, especially for a Kansas City team that lost Kendall Fuller and needs to add more competition in the secondary. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chiefs added another wideout to their corps with this pick.

Now this is a pick that Kansas City fans can get behind.

Our own Matt Lane wrote about Dantzler as part of our “23 Days of Draftmas” series earlier this month.

LANE: His ability to hang with NFL-caliber wide receivers when it mattered, whether inside or outside, can’t go unnoticed. Even with shorter arms, at 6 feet 2 and with great ball tracking ability, Dantzler is at his best on the outside when allowed to press wide receivers near the line of scrimmage and then work with them vertically. He shows natural instincts, attacking the ball at its highest point, and he won’t let wide receivers get off the line of scrimmage without having to work.

As the roster stands today, the case could be made that the Chiefs’ thinnest position is at cornerback. Dantzler sounds like a player who could be a starter tomorrow — similar in a sense to what second-rounder Juan Thornhill was able to accomplish in 2019. At worst, it sounds like Dantzler would challenge Charvarius Ward or Rashad Fenton for day-one snaps, only to end up as developmental depth.

This is a good option for the Chiefs at 63.