When the Seattle Seahawks were on the clock at pick No. 20, two-thirds of the first round had passed, and the board had played out favorably for the Kansas City Chiefs. Zero wide receivers and tight ends had been taken, and popular Chiefs target left tackle Anton Harrison was also on the board.
And then, picks 20-23 rolled in, with four straight wide receivers taken off the board (Jaxson Smith-Njigba, Quentin Johnston, Zay Flowers and Jordan Addison). Then the Buffalo Bills took Dalton Kincaid at pick 25, and the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Anton Harrison with pick 27.
Once this run on skill positions was exhausted, NFL teams turned to the defensive side of the trenches. Picks 28-31 were all defensive linemen, including the Chiefs' first-round selection, a Kansas City native, pass rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah, who the Chiefs selected with the final pick of the first round.
There were a lot of draft analysts and fans who expected the Chiefs to trade up from pick 31 and nab an offensive weapon, and as it turns out, that was the plan. The Chiefs just couldn't find a dance partner.
The Chiefs have two picks coming up on Day 2 of the draft — No. 63 and No. 95. Let's look at a few directions the Chiefs could go:
How the board looks
The Chiefs' next selection is in 32 picks at the tail end of Round 2 at No. 63.
With edge rusher out of the way, if the Chiefs decide to stay put at 63, then the best-case scenario is that there is another run on edge rushers, letting players like Georgia Tech’s Keion White, Northwestern’s Adetomiwa Adebawore, USC’s Tuli Tuipulotu and LSU’s BJ Ojulari be taken elsewhere. There are enough edge rushers to eat up a good chunk of the second round.
After that, it would be beneficial if quarterbacks Will Levis and Hendon Hooker get selected, as well as multiple interior offensive linemen.
Defensive back is another area where the Chiefs may not mind seeing a few names come off the board— guys like Brian Branch from Alabama, Joey Porter Jr. from Penn State, Cam Smith from South Carolina and Miami’s Tyrique Stevenson.
The Chiefs’ remaining needs include wide receiver, defensive tackle and offensive tackle.
Browsing the remaining wide receiver targets, look for the Chiefs to target and possibly move up for one of these second-tier wide receivers. This includes some exciting prospects such as Tennessee's Cedric Tillman, Jonathan Mingo from Ole Miss and Joshua Downs from North Carolina.
If the Chiefs decide to wait until pick No. 95, then Marvin Mims, A.T. Perry and Tyler Scott all make sense for the Chiefs.
Apart from receiver, the Chiefs need some large bodies on the defensive line to take up space and keep teams like the Philadelphia Eagles from just lining up in a rugby scrum and forcing their will upon them. Those are players such as Wisconsin defensive tackle Keeanu Benton, Kobie Turner from Wake Forest, Zacch Pickens from South Carolina or Moro Ojomo from Texas.
If these names start to fly off the board, look for the Chiefs to be aggressive and trade up for a player they really like.
A home run swing
I think the Chiefs are going to swing for the fences with an upside pick at wide receiver, targeting Jonathan Mingo as their pick in Round 2. There is a chance they need to move up to land him, but in the long run, I think it would be worth it to see if his upside is as high as everyone says it is.
Our own Nate Christensen broke down Mingo earlier this month. Here is what he had to say about him:
In Kansas City, Mingo will be a perfect X-receiver. Head coach Andy Reid loves his these kinds of wideouts to have versatility and vertical speed — and Mingo provides both. He could also easily rotate into the slot to serve as a blocker — just as former Chiefs receiver Sammy Watkins did. When he was healthy, Watkins made a living on vertical routes and intermediate routes over the middle of the field. Mingo can run those immediately.
Mingo should even be an even better vertical receiver than Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Mingo’s route tree is already beyond what the veteran can do — so over the long term, Mingo would be an ideal replacement for him.
Don't be shocked
The Chiefs might consider trading away draft assets to move up in both rounds. There is a distinct pocket of players currently on the board that could still start and contribute quickly for Kansas City, if there is a specific player that Veach is targeting, he might use his third-round selection to move up and get his guy.
It's also worth monitoring how far the remaining offensive tackles are in this draft slide. If Dawond Jones (Ohio St.) or Jaelyn Duncan (Maryland) are there around pick No. 50, I think you have to move up to get them and solidify the line.
The bottom line
After a wild first round that didn't go as anyone expected, there are still a lot of good players left to be had. If Brett Veach can use selective aggression. The Chiefs still have nine more picks in this draft.
If they can walk away with five players who can contribute on Day 1, this will be another stellar draft for Brett Veach.