On the Wednesday episode of the Arrowhead Pride Draft Show, we gave an early peek at how uthe top 10 on our board currently sit for the KC Draft Guide. This week, we did a lot of cross-checking of prospects to get a second, third and fourth sets of eyes on players as we work towards locking grades in.
Here is how the top 10 in the KC Draft Guide is shaping up early on:
1. QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
No surprises here. He’s received the highest grade we’ve placed on a player in three years of writing the KC Draft Guide. A clean, gifted, athletic passer with a mind to match. A special player the Chiefs will have to deal with in the AFC for years to come.
2. QB Zach Wilson, BYU
Cross-checking has helped us break up the quarterbacks a little bit as of now — and Zach Wilson is currently the leader in the clubhouse for QB2. We love the creativity and vision Wilson pairs with great arm talent — it’s hard to find players who can operate off script the way he can.
3. OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
A young, massive, freak athlete for the position. Sewell opted out of the 2020 season and sat on his sophomore tape. While he’s still a work-in-progress, having yet to play organized football in his 20s (was 19 years old last season), his talent is undeniable.
4. TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
Call him a tight end, call him a receiver — we don’t care. Pitts is a special player who is better in-line than people might believe but profiles best as “move” tight end who you can also flex out on the back side of the formation, similar to the way the Chiefs utilize Travis Kelce. He is a smooth-moving, quality athlete with a big catch radius and room to grow.
5. QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
Fields put his toughness and leadership on display in the biggest moments — playing through significant injury to his midsection to lead the Buckeyes over Clemson. He’s a talented passer with arguably the best athletic profile at the position. His legs are an asset that will be at his offensive coordinator’s disposal. It will be neck and neck between him and Wilson throughout the process.
6. LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
The tape for Parsons in 2019 — the last time we saw him on a football field — was incredible. He’s a rare player at the second level with elite physical traits. The talent is not the big question for him; it’s maturity, as well as some other off-the-field matters. We grade based on tape; we do not account for injury and off-the-field matters in our guide in order to create an even playing field for players, since we do not have access to team medicals. That helps Parsons in our system.
7. WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
Another opt-out for 2020, but his 2019 tape was better than his former teammate turned 1,000-yard rookie receiver Justin Jefferson. Chase plays with strength and fluidity that is unrivaled. He is strong through contact and a dog at the catch point. Davante Adams comparisons are warranted. He’s special.
8. OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
Put on his tape against Chase Young in 2019, and you’ll see as good a performance as you will against anyone. Some are concerned Slater will have to kick inside to guard. In that case, you’re getting an elite guard. He should be able to hold up well at tackle — and a team would be smart to let him fail there first before sealing his fate inside.
9. EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan
Of all the years for the NFL Combine to be canceled, this year is especially disappointing, as we can’t see Kwity Paye test on national television.
kwity paye’s 3 cone drill..which was faster than tyreek hills. pic.twitter.com/DnnjLVY4b7— (@hiddenzay) January 21, 2021
That’s a 265-plus pound man running a faster 3-cone (6.37 seconds vs. 6.53 seconds) than Tyreek HIll. Paye has a chance to be the freakiest EDGE player the NFL has ever seen. His rumored testing times are absurd — and athletic testing is more predictive of success in the NFL at pass rusher than any position. The hit rate on pass rushers is very often associated with density and explosion, and Paye has more of that than anyone in this class.
10. EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami
If medicals and off-the-field issues were part of our grading scale — Phillips would not sniff the top 10. There are significant questions about a former No. 1 recruit in the country, who medically retired from UCLA, suffering one of multiple injuries while riding a scooter. Teams will have to do a lot of research on Phillips to feel comfortable selecting him. His tape reveals why he was the No. 1 high school player in his class. He is a dense, powerful, fluid athlete at EDGE. He can drop in coverage easier than players 40 pounds lighter than him. He’s got some ability to turn a corner but can operate through tackles with power. If he checks boxes medically and with character — he’s got a chance to be a top-shelf pass rusher.
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