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In two-round mock draft, ESPN’s Mel Kiper has the Chiefs go defense first

The veteran draft expert bucks the recent trend sending first-round wideouts to Kansas City.

Clemson v South Carolina Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

On Wednesday, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper produced a two-round mock draft. The 64 picks include four quarterbacks and a dozen wide receivers — along with four edge rushers taken with the first seven selections. There’s also a trade — although it doesn't involve the Kansas City Chiefs. Instead, Kiper thinks the Chiefs will stand part with the 29th and 30th picks.

29. Kansas City Chiefs: CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson

The loss in free agency of cornerback Charvarius Ward shouldn’t go unnoticed. He had developed into a really solid player. The Kansas City defense improved as the 2021 season went along, but it has to get deeper in the secondary. Booth is a smooth 6-foot corner with good ball skills who played both outside and in the slot in college.

30. Kansas City Chiefs: DE George Karlaftis, Purdue

No wide receiver? Let me explain. First, the Chiefs also have two second- and two third-round picks. They could take one (or two) wide receivers with those selections. This is a deep class, and they could find better value there. And second, defensive end is a need as well. If Karlaftis is on the board, he’d be an ideal end next to Chris Jones, who does his best work from the interior. Karlaftis didn’t always get home to quarterbacks last season (only 4.5 sacks), but he created pressure.

True to his word, Kiper then has the Chiefs take two receivers in the second round.

50. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Skyy Moore, Western Michigan

Happy now, Chiefs fans? Here’s a speedy 5-foot-10 wide receiver who will look just a little similar to Tyreek Hill. I’ve called Moore the most underrated player in this class. I love what he does after the catch — he forced 30 missed tackles last season, which ranked second in FBS among receivers — and he doesn’t drop passes. He has huge hands. He’s not going to be a straight replacement for Hill, but he’ll contribute as a rookie.

62. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama

How about one more wideout for the Chiefs? Tolbert had 2,559 receiving yards over the past two seasons. At 6-foot-1 and 194 pounds, he has the ability to run every route, and coach Andy Reid can scheme him open around the formation. This lets Kansas City try to replace Tyreek Hill with two wideouts (I also gave it Skyy Moore earlier in the round), both of whom will need some time to adjust to the NFL.

Takeaway

The last we heard from Kiper on March 22 — in a mock published before news of the Tyreek Hill trade came out — he also had the Chiefs take Karlaftis with the 30th pick. His mock draft from three weeks before had sent Minnesota edge rusher Boye Mafe to Kansas City — and back in January, he had the Chiefs select San Diego State defensive end Cameron Thomas at 30.

So unlike many other analysts, Kiper has long ago been on board with the apparent majority of Chiefs fans who want a pass rusher taken in the first round. So here, he stays in that corner — and uses the other first-round pick for a defensive back. Then in the second round, he dives into the deep wideout class — not once, but twice.

It’s certainly possible to argue with the particular players Kiper selected — but given the Chiefs’ needs (and the relative depth of those positions in this draft), it’s a pretty smart slate of picks.

National Mock Draft Picks

Pos Name School Pct
S Daxton Hill Michigan 14%
EDGE Boye Mafe Minnesota 10%
EDGE George Karlaftis Purdue 10%
WR Jahan Dotson Penn State 8%
CB Kaiir Elam Florida 7%
WR Jameson Williams Alabama 7%
DT Devonte Wyatt Georgia 5%
CB Kyler Gordon Washington 4%
CB Andrew Booth Jr. Clemson 4%
EDGE Arnold Ebiketie Penn State 4%
S Jalen Pitre Baylor 2%
WR Treylon Burks Arkansas 2%
WR George Pickens Georgia 2%
WR Christian Watson N. Dakota State 2%
WR Chris Olave Ohio State 2%
CB Roger McCreary Auburn 1%
WR Drake London USC 1%
WR Garrett Wilson Ohio State 1%
WR Skyy Moore W. Michigan 1%
DE Cameron Thomas San Diego State 1%
EDGE Jermaine Johnson II Florida State 1%
DE DeMarvin Leal Texas A&M 1%
EDGE David Ojabo Michigan 1%
DT Jordan Davis Georgia 1%
DT Logan Hall Houston 1%
DT Travis Jones Connecticut 1%
OL Bernhard Raimann Central Michigan 1%
LB Devin Lloyd Utah 1%

National Mock Draft Positions

Position Pct
Defensive back 33%
Wide receiver 29%
Edge rusher 28%
Defensive tackle 8%
Offensive line 1%
Linebacker 1%
Tight end 0%
Running back 0%

Poll

How would you feel about these four picks?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Great
    (1101 votes)
  • 45%
    OK
    (1257 votes)
  • 11%
    Less than OK
    (316 votes)
  • 3%
    Bad
    (89 votes)
2763 votes total Vote Now