Everybody has their own expectations for the draft. Some think the Chiefs need to get a pass rusher at all cost, others are staunchly BPA (best player available). While it’s still too early to know which players will go where, I did three quick mock drafts to give fans an idea of the different approaches K.C. could take. After all, how can you be disappointed later if you don’t make up you mind now right?
The Crowd Please-r: If Chiefs want the best shot at winning, right away, in 2018, they’ll have a lot of holes to fill. In this draft, I tried to take my best shot at filling as many holes as possible for this year, without regard for future concerns or salary cap:
- NT Vita Vea
- TE Troy Fumagalli
- OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
- OG Cody O’Connell
- DE PJ Hall
- CB Darius Phillips
- S Trey Marshall
This draft shores up Chiefs defense in the trenches, as well as adding a run stopping OLB, nickle back, and depth safety. Such a heavy focus on defense limits Chiefs ability to shore up the offense, but they snag giant player Cody O’Connell and one of the top TEs in Fumagalli. Fumagalli is a great run blocking TE, with solid hands and could give Chiefs an Anthony Fasano type player. O’Connell is a little tricky to place, he’s not fast enough to be a tackle, or small enough to be a guard, but while Chiefs work on him as a future RT, they can use him and a massive OG on obvious run plays, or as a terrifying blocker in jumbo packages.
BPA Baby: Best player available is always the approach you’d like to take, but rarely have the luxury to take. In a rebuild year, Chiefs don’t need to restrain themselves, they can take the best players, because they don’t have to field a complete team this year. If they believe this, their draft could look something like this.
- OG Will Hernandez
- WR Parris Campbell
- CB Danny Johnson
- DL PJ Hall
- OLB Justin Lawler
- CB Darius Phillips
- QB J.T. Barrett
All of these players are guys that can get easily overlooked by teams, but have massive potential. Hernandez is a strong blocking guard from a smaller school. Cambell didn’t post great stats, due to his QB, but he’s fast, talented WR with #1 upside. Danny Johnson’s short for a CB, but he’s fast, with good hands, great instincts, and could instantly step in as Chiefs new PR. PJ Hall is small of an interior lineman, but he plays with a chip on his shoulder and the OL in his review mirror. He’s wracked double digit sacks every year except this year, when teams smartly double teamed him on pretty much every play. He still managed a hearty 6 sacks and 19 TFL. The rest of the list is pretty similar, big names from small programs and small names from big programs. Chiefs have made their money in the past by not overlooking guys like these, and they should continue to do so.
The Full Rebuild Draft: If Chiefs are looking at a total overhaul of their roster, they’ll need to get younger on defense, but also address salary cap issues and maybe even trade some players to amass more picks. Here’s the strange-looking full rebuild draft:
- QB Baker Mayfield
- CB Holton Hill
- OG Frank Ragnow
- CB Darius Phillips
- OLB/ILB Fred Warner
In this draft, I had Chiefs trade down to pick up an extra third round pick, so the top 3 guys are all 3rd round picks. It might seem crazy drafting another QB, right after Mahomes, but we’ve all seen the draft resources that QB trades can bring. Bradford brought a first round pick and Pats traded Jacoby Brissett for former first round WR Philip Dorsett. To get back on top, Chiefs need to take some gambles and have them pay off. If Chiefs can snag Baker Mayfield and assuage concerns about his character, they could have a bidding war, in the near future, for a very talented young QB. He’ll also give them an insurance policy, and a cheap back up, till then.
Holton Hill and Frank Ragnow are both really talented players with some concerns. Hill’s concerns are character related, while Ragnow’s stem from an ankle injury. Philips is a Steven Nelson type CB. Shorter than ideal, but fast, fluid and fine. Fred Warner is a solid LB and can add to Chiefs depth there.
The downside to this last draft, is that it doesn’t address a lot of needs. NT and Edge rusher remain big holes to fill, but Chiefs could benefit from a down season, so they could reload on young talent. Unless you have an elite QB, or a great GM, you’re often going to play yourself into a mediocre roster. Looking at the Chiefs’ depth and QB, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Chiefs will soon rely on the Veach/Mahomes combo for the future.
Given Chiefs current situation and their recent playoff collapse, which approach do you want to see? Should Chiefs plug holes and keep trying to win a championship, or should they step back and rebuild? If they rebuild, should they just focus on getting the best talent they can, or make some trades and take some risks in hopes of speeding up the process? Let me know in the comments.
Bonus Thought: For me, I’d like to see pure BPA. Don’t worry about winning a ton of games this year, if it happens fine, if it doesn’t, that’s ok. Just jam as much talent as you can on the roster. In a year or two, a lot of the salary cap issues can be cleared up and you can fill holes then.
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