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Mel Kiper has the Chiefs picking EDGE in 2021’s first round

There’s still one game left in the Chiefs’ season, but mock drafts are already happening.

Auburn vs Georgia Photo by Tony Walsh/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Now that all the 2021 NFL Draft positions — except for the last two — have been determined, it’s officially mock draft season. On ESPN, analyst Mel Kiper has released a new first-round mock — in which the Kansas City Chiefs pick an EDGE with the last pick.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Azeez Ojulari, OLB/DE, Georgia

Six sacks for Frank Clark. Three for Alex Okafor. One for Tanoh Kpassagnon. The Chiefs went 14-2 without much of a pass rush from the outside (Chris Jones is still a dominant interior rusher). Ojulari capped his Georgia career with three sacks in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and had 8.5 on the season. He also forced four fumbles. At 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, he might be a better fit for a 3-4 defense, but he can get after quarterbacks with the best of them in this class. And a smart defensive coordinator will move him around on defense and let him loose.

It appears that Kiper is pretty good at looking up sack stats — but considering that it’s looking more and more likely that the Chiefs will be without both of their starting tackles next season, suggesting that Kansas City will go with an EDGE at the end of the first round might not be a wise prognostication.

It’s reasonable to think Kansas City left tackle Eric Fisher — who suffered a torn Achilles tendon on Sunday — could miss time in the 2021 season. And since he has what now appears to be a chronic back injury, whether right tackle Mitchell Schwartz can return in 2021 is open to question, too. But even if one (or even both) will be able to play next season, it’s still time to start thinking about their replacements.

Kiper thinks that tackles Penei Sewell of Oregon, Rashawn Slater of Northwestern, Christian Darrisaw of Virginia Tech, Alijah Vera-Tucker of USC and Teven Jenkins from Oklahoma State will be off the board by the time the Chiefs pick.

Let’s say Kiper has that part right. Samuel Cosmi of Texas, Wyatt Davis of Ohio State, Jalen Mayfield of Michigan, Alex Leatherwood of Alabama, Liam Eichenberg of Notre Dame and Wyatt Davis from Ohio State would all available to the Chiefs.

But at least Kiper has the correct pick number for the Chiefs.