NFL Draft weekend is underway, and Round 1 was insane. Tons of trades and movement wound up with the Kansas City Chiefs selecting two defensive players: Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie and Purdue edge defender George Karlaftis.
We now await the second round, where the Chiefs own two picks at selections 50 and 62. In the spirit of draft season, I wanted to predict the second round — seeing what prospects naturally fall into the Chiefs’ lap.
For The Athletic, Dane Brugler predicted the second round this morning. Check out how he thinks it could shake out. For ESPN, Steve Muench predicted what could happen in Round 2. Here’s his piece for comparison.
Before the draft picks back up on Friday evening, I wanted to predict the second round.
Here’s what I came up with:
33. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Houston defensive lineman Logan Hall
34. Minnesota Vikings - Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon
35. Tennessee Titans - Connecticut defensive tackle Travis Jones
36. New York Giants - North Dakota State wide receiver Christian Watson
37. Houston Texans - Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean
38. TRADE: The Kansas City Chiefs trade with the New York Jets to move up and draft Georgia wide receiver George Pickens
To move up, the Chiefs traded the 50th and 103rd for the 38th and 146th selections.
The Chiefs will be keeping a close eye on where Pickens’ slide may stop — and getting in front of teams like the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns may be necessary to secure him.
Pickens’ talent is that of a first-round prospect — but there appear to be legitimate concerns about the injury he suffered last year — and possibly his character or personality. That said, the Chiefs know how to value these types of prospects: they will select them in the draft but always at a good enough value where the risk is worth it. Here, a second-round pick is well worth the swing, and I believe the rest of the NFL agrees. That’s why the Chiefs had to move up to this spot.
To make the deal to come up in the second round, they move back nearly 40 spots from Round 3 into Round 4 — meaning they only have pick 62 remaining on Day 2. They have the two fourth-round selections now, then their four seventh-round selections left for them on Day 3.
Brugler has the Chiefs staying at 50 and selecting Michigan edge defender David Ojabo, while Muench predicted Kansas City to choose the offensive tackle Raimann.
39. Chicago Bears - Minnesota edge defender Boye Mafe
40. Seattle Seahawks - Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder
41. Seattle Seahawks - Central Michigan offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann
42. Indianapolis Colts - Western Michigan wide receiver Skyy Moore
43. Atlanta Falcons - Liberty quarterback Malik Willis
44. Cleveland Browns - Penn State edge rusher Arnold Ebiketie
45. Baltimore Ravens - Alabama defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis
46. Detroit Lions - Michigan edge rusher David Ojabo
47. Washington Commanders - Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker
48. Chicago Bears - Alabama wide receiver John Metchie III
49. New Orleans Saints - Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral
50. Seattle Seahawks - Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr.
51. Philadelphia Eagles - Baylor safety Jalen Pitre
52. Pittsburgh Steelers - Nebraska interior offensive lineman Cam Jurgens
53. Green Bay Packers - Cincinnati wide receiver Alec Pierce
54. New England Patriots - Kentucky edge defender Joshua Paschal
55. Arizona Cardinals - UCLA offensive lineman Sean Rhyan
56. Dallas Cowboys - Oklahoma defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey
57. Buffalo Bills - Iowa State running back Breece Hall
58. Atlanta Falcons - Georgia offensive tackle Jamaree Salyer
59. Green Bay Packers - Washington State right tackle Abraham Lucas
60. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Colorado State tight end Trey McBride
61. San Francisco 49ers - Kentucky interior offensive lineman Luke Fortner
62. Kansas City Chiefs - USC edge rusher Drake Jackson
With the fourth selection in the draft, the Chiefs make their first double-up move — selecting Jackson to pair with first-round pick George Karlaftis as edge defenders.
Jackson’s play style will directly complement the strengths and weaknesses of Karlaftis. Jackson has shown more flashes of the bend and flexibility you like to see from your edge rusher flying around the corner of the pocket. He was a very high recruit coming out of high school — and showed it off as a true freshman in 2019 with 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.
Yet, the flashy pass-rush skills didn’t progress over his three years at USC, taking his draft stock from a potential top-10 pick to this range of selections — but the potential is still there. Jackson just turned 21 in April, continuing the Chiefs’ trend of young selections in this draft.
The combination of Jackson and Karlaftis could be a thunder-and-lightning type of combination at edge rusher for the next four years.
63. Cincinnati Bengals - Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal
64. Denver Broncos - Wyoming linebacker Chad Muma
A few notes on how my predicted second round came out
- The slide of Ojabo is very intriguing. I would value securing Pickens over that selection right now, but the ceiling of Ojabo and the long-term vision makes him a very enticing prospect to make a move for.
- The possibility of doubling up on wide receiver is not out of the question; prospects like South Alabama’s Jalen Tolbert or Memphis’ Calvin Austin III were still on the board at 62.
- I really considered Muma for the Chiefs at 62, but I can’t imagine the team selecting a linebacker in three straight second rounds. However, Muma does fit the profile of the dime linebacker, filling — and upgrading — the spot that Ben Niemann filled previously.