We are on Day 3 of this year’s NFL Draft. The Kansas City Chiefs have been busy the first few days, but they still have six picks remaining for Saturday: picks 135, 158, 233, 243, 251, and 259 (one fourth, one fifth and four seventh-round selections).
There are a handful of prospects to keep a close eye on for Day 3. I listed them here:
Erik Ezukanma | Wide receiver | Texas Tech
The 6-foot-2, 209-pound receiver has met with the Chiefs in the pre-draft process. He was always projected to fall into Day 3 before being selected.
Staff writer Jared Sapp wrote a draft profile on Ezukanma. Here’s were his thoughts after diving into his play:
“After trading Hill, the Chiefs appear to be making a shift to larger, more physical receivers. Ezukanma should quickly become a dependable target on short, X-receiver outside routes; against top running defenses, he would present a good passing option in crucial short-yardage situations.
Reid has traditionally found a way to put his own spin on the league’s latest offensive trends. It is very possible he is intrigued by the success of Samuel and Patterson have found — and now wants to find a similar player of his own. Ezukanma would be a good candidate to follow Reid’s preferred development route, which initially focuses a player on a specific role and then expands it as he improves — just as Hill did during his first two seasons.”
D’Vonte Price | Florida International | Running back
Projected to go closer to the end of the draft, Price is a good-sized back that blends in very impressive athleticism; he ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the combine, after measuring in at 6 feet 1 and 210 pounds.
He also flashed as a pass-catcher, which is the part that intrigues me. Price didn’t have tons of receiving production, but he looked natural catching the ball and turning upfield. Combine that with his open-field athleticism and size — and he can provide a style of play that Darrel Williams brought to the team last year.
Tyree Johnson | Texas A&M | Edge rusher
At 6 feet 2 and 248 pounds, Johnson won’t be mistaken for a traditional defensive end in Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme — but with a late-round selection, he might be worth the swing to find some pass-rush juice.
Johnson flies off the line of scrimmage at the snap, showing the elusiveness and bend around a corner that you can’t teach. He can really make an offensive tackle sweat trying to keep up with his speed, and he turned that into 16.5 sacks over three seasons — including a team-leading 8.5 last year.
He would need to develop a more diverse pass-rush plan, but his skills are intriguing.
Braxton Jones | Southern Utah | Offensive tackle
Jones stands at 6 feet 5 and 310 pounds, with arm length and wingspan as long as anybody’s in the class. He can move pretty well for his size too; he ran a 4.97-second 40-yard dash — which is in the 93rd-percentile for offensive linemen historically.
That athleticism shows up in his play, where he couples the great size with the foot quickness to get back in his pass set and not get taken advantage of around the corner.
That said, he is a project; he struggles to win the leverage battle due to his height at times, which is going to be even harder to overcome in the NFL.
A local prospect at tight end
I’m trying to be impartial, but I really think the Chiefs could be looking at tight end on Day 3 — and why not add one of the local prospects?
UAB’s Gerrit Prince and Pittsburgh’s Lucas Krull have both been linked to the Chiefs in the pre-draft process, whether it’s Krull’s top-30 visit or a private workout for Prince.
It depends on what the Chiefs want from the position. Prince would bring a speed element that can take advantage of personnel mismatches, having the ability to run away from safeties and linebackers whether it’s vertically up the seam or horizontally on quick out passes.
Krull has impressive athleticism and size at 6 feet 6 and 253 pounds and uses that frame to be a big target for his quarterback and have a large catch radius. He’s also a super competitive dude, and that shows up in his blocking and run after catch.
When it comes down to it, give me Gerrit’s big-play ability.
Other tight ends to look for: Wisconsin’s Jake Ferguson, Nevada’s Cole Turner, or Indiana’s Peyton Hendershot as players with high ceilings as receivers.