Sportswriter Peter King releases one mock draft a year, which posts in his “Football Morning in America” column for NBC Sports the Monday before the draft. Given the fact that he is well connected and informed on every team in the NFL, it is always a worthwhile read.
Last year, King projected the Chiefs would trade their first-rounder for defensive end Frank Clark, a projection that came true. This year, he shared another Chiefs rumor in his pick at No. 32.
32. Kansas City—Jeff Gladney, cornerback, TCU
Craziest rumor of the first round: Chiefs want to trade up for Henry Ruggs if he falls into the twenties. Insane. Do they want every sub 4.35 guy in the National Football League? A couple of theories: There are only two very good cover corners in this draft, Okudah and Henderson, and they’d be long gone by the time the Chiefs could make a reasonable offer. Sammy Watkins is a short-termer, probably only one more year in KC, so another quick-twitch guy would fit either this year or next. Finally, fast guys with slight builds who collide with defenders tend to get hurt, so Ruggs would be good insurance for that in 2020 and a stalwart beyond that.
Anyhoo, the Chiefs’ biggest position of need right now is corner, and Gladney is a competitive and tough player who would fit in Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme.
Gladney has been a hot pick for the Chiefs this draft analysis season dating back to February. But King’s selection seems way less important than the “craziest rumor of the first round,” which involved Kansas City.
Ruggs ran a 4.27 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, the fastest time of all draft prospects and six-hundredths of a second faster than wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who was last year’s top pick and the team’s Mack Lee Hill (rookie of the year) award-winner. With Watkins back, Ruggs would get a year to develop. Then in 2021, the Chiefs could be looking at Tyreek Hill, Hardman and Ruggs as their wide receiver trio — the latter two on rookie contracts.
The idea that the Chiefs would have the best quarterback in the league — with three sub-4.35 weapons to go along with the NFL’s best tight end in Travis Kelce — is a bit mind-blowing.
Other notes: In King’s mock, The Chargers took an offensive tackle, meaning Tyrod Taylor would remain their projected Week 1 starter. King mentioned that Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn believes Taylor can be a “good NFL starter.” The AFC West landed the draft’s top two wide receivers in CeeDee Lamb (Las Vegas Raiders) and Jerry Jeudy (Denver Broncos). King had the New England Patriots trading up to No. 13 to select Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Ruggs went to the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 21.