Chiefs 2018 Draft: Creating An Identity

The Kansas City Chiefs defense is generally accepted to be the worst off, depth wise, of the three phases. The offense actually seems to be pretty solid, aside from a few depth needs at TE and a possible upgrade at LG. That’s a recipe for a lot of mock drafts loaded with DBs, LBs, and DL. I’d certainly be ok with that approach, but maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to ignore the offense come draft day. Why? Same thing we’ve been talking about for ages: Identity.

I’m an optimist, but if you came away from the 2017 season, thinking that Chiefs defense was just a few tweaks away from being elite, you’re crazy. A wholesale rebuild, like the one the defense needs, doesn’t happen overnight. It’s one reason the Chiefs are getting younger with their assistants on defense. Yes, you can start laying the foundation for a better defense, but there is no way that K.C. can assemble a team defining defense in one off-season (especially with Sutton at the helm). The Chiefs offense, on the other hand, is already great, and could be a few tweaks away from being the league’s best. For a team lacking a consistent identity, it might be more important to polish the offense into a juggernaut, than to shift the defense from below average, to average. In the 2018 draft, here’s how Chiefs can build some identity on offense:

OG Will Hernandez 6’3” 340lbs: The Big Push: Nothing boosts the offense like a big push up front. Something Hernandez is very adept at. While he lacks ideal length, he has great strength, and solidly build frame that can open gaps in the run game. If Chiefs are serious about upgrading their OL, they’ll have to spend an early pick to do it. If Hernandez is on the board, they’d do well to snag him.

RB/FB Kalen Ballage 6’3” 230: The Swiss Army Knife: Ballage is underrated by many, and overrated by a few, but teams would be foolish to overlook his versatility. He has the toughness, athleticism and ball skills to play RB, FB, TE or split out wide. Sherman is one of the best blocking FBs in the NFL, but Ballage can give Chiefs a huge advantage in play-calling. When Ballage steps on the field, teams better be ready for him to motion just about anywhere from where he initially lines up. He’s a mismatch threat who can add depth and unpredictability to the Chiefs offense, as well as keeping Kareem Hunt fresh for the playoffs.

TE Troy Fumagali 6’6” 248lbs: The Edge Setter: Fumagali is a well rounded TE with great size. What’s more, he’s a solid route runner and a great run blocker. Fumagali can give Chiefs a massive upgrade, over Harris, he has sure hands and should be a solid contributor to the run game. He might not be the flashiest TE in the draft, but he can bring a presence that K.C. has missed ever since Anthony Fasano left town.

WR 5’11” 197lbs Antonio Callaway: The Headache: Callaway is a really good WR. His agility and speed have drawn comparisons to Antonio Brown, though I think that’s a bit of a reach. He‘s the type of WR who can give opposing DCs headaches. Unfortunately, his off-field concerns, and persistent drug test failures, paint a picture of a guy who could be a headache for his own team as well. Reid has a history of handling rough characters pretty well, so if the Chiefs are willing to chance it, they could snag phenomenal value here late in the draft.

OT Alex Cappa 6’7” 305lbs: The Big Nasty: OL is a thankless job. You spend all day blocking big sweaty guys, then one of them slips past you and everybody hates your guts. The guys who survive at this position, thrive on one thing: nastiness. At the end of the day, the thing that keeps you playing OL is a pure love of hitting the other guy and putting him on his back every chance you get. Cappa isn’t from a big time football program, but he’s got the size, athleticism and, most importantly, demeanor, to succeed at the next level. Get this man in a weight program and the Chiefs might have their next LT.

WR/PR Ray Ray McLoud 5’10” 180lbs: The Project: McLoud was a highly touted prospect out of high school who never quite lived up to his potential. He’s a gifted PR, and can contribute on STs while the Chiefs try to turn him into a quality receiver. This is one for Toub’s squad, that could surprise and become a nice part of the offense someday. He saw a little action at CB in college, so he could be an emergency depth option at nickel-back.

WR Simmie Cobbs Jr 6’4” 220lbs: Cobbs might not be able to get a lot of separation at the NFL level, but he’s got great hands and looks to have a solid vertical. When Chris Conley went down, the Chiefs lacked a big possession WR. Cobbs can fill that role, and offer an effective option in the red zone, an area where the Kansas City offense has consistently struggled.

I definitely would like to see the Chiefs improve their defense, but if they come away with some of these characters, I can certainly live with that. Good GMs don’t pass up quality talent, even if they already have depth at the position. Veach will need to be on his A-game this year if Chiefs have any hope of improving their roster, especially with their limited resources. If the Chiefs drafted just two of these guys, I’d go for Cappa and Fumagali. Love what Fumagali can bring on day one, and I love Cappa’s attitude. Have a great week guys. Go Chiefs.

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Ransom Hawthorne

Ransom Hawthorne

Ransom Hawthorne is an electrician living in central KS. He's married and has two young boys. Born in KS, and raised in Tucson, Ransom spent his middle school years in southern Mexico.
Ransom Hawthorne

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