With the NFL Draft opening Thursday evening, we found several final mock drafts that came with surprising players projected to the Kansas City Chiefs at pick 32.
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah posted his fourth and final mock draft on Wednesday, picking a new face (and rare position) for the first round’s final pick.
DT Ross Blacklock (TCU)
Coach Andy Reid and GM Brett Veach will always value and invest in the trenches. Blacklock is explosive and could be the replacement for franchise-tagged DT Chris Jones if the Chiefs decide to trade him.
Also on Wednesday, Pro Football Focus analyst Cris Collinsworth posted his mock with a cornerback we haven’t seen mocked to Kansas City very often.
CB Jaylon Johnson (Utah)
This was a tough decision between two cornerbacks I really like — Jaylon Johnson from Utah and Jeff Gladney from TCU. And while I would like both of these tough, hard-nosed competitors on my team, Jaylon Johnson is two inches taller at 6-foot, so he gets the nod at pick No. 32.
Gladney is a little faster (4.48) than Johnson (4.5), but Johnson will take some chances and has a very quick change of direction. He will squat and guess some, which leaves him vulnerable to double-moves at times, but he is physical at the line of scrimmage and tackled well despite battling through a torn labrum last year.
He always seems to be close to the ball even when he loses on 50-50 throws. My guess, given his risk-taking and coverage skills, is that Johnson will end up with a healthy number of interceptions. And with an offense like Kansas City’s, they can make up for a few of his risks that go awry
On Thursday, ESPN Draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. tossed out his final projection — this one with yet another rare face at a commonly-mocked position.
RB Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin)
Taylor was prolific for the Badgers, and his 4.39 40-yard dash time at the combine opened some eyes. Kansas City hasn’t picked a running back in the first round since Larry Johnson in 2003.
On Wednesday, we reported three other final mocks:
Like some others, NFL.com’s Charles Davis sees the Chiefs going with a running back.
RB D’Andre Swift (Georgia)
The Chiefs could go big and target the offensive line with the last pick in Round 1, but the allure of Swift in this offense might be too much for GM Brett Veach and coach Andy Reid to pass up. Defensive tackle Ross Blacklock from TCU makes sense here, too.
At The Undefeated, Domonique Foxworth thinks the Chiefs will go with a cornerback.
CB Jeff Gladney (TCU)
You can never have too many corners. That’s especially true for the Kansas City Chiefs, who have a high-powered offense that will force opponents to throw the ball often to try to keep up. Gladney is a cornerback with a short memory. In college, receivers found it almost impossible to get away from him. That’ll be different in the NFL, but he will make more plays than he gives up.
CBSSports.com analyst R.J. White likes a cornerback for the Chiefs, too — but a different one.
CB Trevon Diggs (Alabama)
The Chiefs are well-positioned to add some much-needed corner talent with this spot, even with the run at the position earlier in the round. Diggs can contribute immediately and eventually lock down a starting role on the outside.
So as we have seen over the last couple of months, most national analysts tend to see the Chiefs taking cornerbacks and running backs with their first pick. But what the Chiefs will do — or even if they will actually pick at that spot — remains a mystery. The answer is coming soon.