Chiefs Draft Preview: Elijah Hood, Marlon Mack and Christian McCaffrey

Chiefs Draft Preview:

Elijah Hood, Marlon Mack

and Christian McCaffrey

John Cooney

Pass2Win.com

 

The following player notes are just appetizer observations before the meat-n-potatoes of the NFL Combine and my more detailed scouting and Flash reports.

 

Elijah Hood, North Carolina
Mostly a straight-ahead rusher, the 5’11-220 RB shows strong leg drive and good pad level that compliments his rugged rushing style. Hood is a meat-n-potatoes runner that works well between the tackles. Broke over 1400 yards rushing a 17 TDs in 2015, but slipped to 800+ yards and 8 scores this year, playing through some nagging injuries, including a concussion. Estimated to run his 40 around 4.6-ish, Hood plays to that speed and no more. He possesses nifty footwork for a bigger back but will not be as effective getting to the edge in the NFL as he showed in college. Even at North Carolina, he was slightly above average outside. Shows a nice one-cut and go trait. Hood is a capable receiver in basic RB pass-catching roles such as screens, flares off the line and safety valve looks. Elijah Hood doesn’t do anything with flair or fanfare; he gets the job done in workmanlike manner. He does show enough RB skills to warrant a shot as a situational rusher in the NFL, but his potential for a starring pro role comes with a pronounced ceiling.

Marlon Mack, South Florida

Marlon Mack has done nothing but improve his game in his 3 seasons at South Florida. He’s an energetic back with quick, choppy feet, effective elusiveness and surprising burst. At times Mack will deliver a blow at contact, but more often looks for the open lane and to avoid the big hit. He runs a tad upright and when he does lower the pads he loses vision and balance. His fast feet often assist him in sliding, darting and dodging his way to an open lane, but Mack will tend to dance and redirect a bit too much on occasion. He is a very aware rusher, handles the football with smarts and anticipates his blocks well. Mack is at his best slashing just inside the tackles or bouncing to the edge and hitting the accelerator rapidly. The South Florida Bull is a fair receiver and a willing blocker, plus-traits that will help his chances in the NFL. Mack will catch tacklers off guard as he hits top gear in a step. He shows 4.5-forty wheels and should time as such in his Combine and Pro Day workouts. This is a high-energy tailback with a good RB build and a toolbox capable of contributing as a pro. Some work keeping his eyes up upon contact will help him gain extra yards that are being lost due to loss of balance. That’s coachable. Marlon Mack is one to keep tabs on.

Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
Full-service RB toolbox here. McCaffrey stands 6’-202 and should hit his forty in the 4.4s. McCaffrey does it all; runs with speed and vision, catches like a wideout, handles punts and kickoffs, will throw if needed and plays like a pro’s son, which he is. If there is one concern here it is the 590 carries he’s endured over the past 2 seasons. AS a rusher McCaffrey runs low, with excellent balance and true RB vision. He’s Shady McCoy shifty and adds chunky extra yards jump-cutting and stop-n-going through the 2nd and 3rd levels of defenses. As impressive as his elusiveness is, McCaffrey is equally impressive hitting an inside lane with speed and decisiveness, showing zero hesitation between the tackles. This is a well-schooled tailback with full-feature skills. AS a receiver McCaffrey brings wideout-like route running and hands to his position. He is a nightmare for linebackers, excelling on kick-outs,
circle-routes and sideline deep stems. Excellent technique catching the rock. McCaffrey is a day-one threat to start in the NFL. Pro blood runs through those veins, and he also has the smarts that come from good coaching, in college and at home. Winner here!

 

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  • freshmeat62

    To me Hood and Mack sound like mid to lower rd picks…maybe a 3rd rd comp pick. I like McCaffrey, but I don’t like that he sat out his bowl game. If I was considering him, the interview would be long and intensive to find where his head really is.

  • berttheclock

    Well, we have entered the equivalent of what baseball fans call the Hot Stove League. That is based on fans sitting around an old hot stove down at the local gathering place to kibbitz over what trades should be made, etc. Great time to kick around prospects and concepts.

    AP says Dorsey will stay through 2017 (unless Hunt signs him long term). Should Ballard depart for Indy, look for Dorsey to go after what he calls “gamers” that is players he sees on tape being aggressive in their play.

    In my own opinion, I hope other GMs fall in love with as many QBs in the first round as possible so that either a quality and tough OG or a very good productive gaming ILB can be taken at 27. For myself, it would come down to taking either Haason Reddick, the ILB from Temple to shore up the defense or selecting the road grading OG from Indiana, Dan Feeney. I would rather see the Chiefs taking Forrest Lamp from Western Kentucky as I believe he would be superior to Feeney and I suggest Lamp will rise to All Pro much sooner. But, Feeney would be a major improvement to the much needed interior blocking.

    I agree with freshmeat as to taking RBs in the lower rounds. Build your defense and improve your O-line with the higher picks.

    I just hope neither the Raiders nor the Broncos end up with McCaffery as he will be very tough and I would not want to see the Chiefs have to defend him twice a season.

    • freshmeat62

      We’re a match made in heaven! Of the players I saw yesterday, I agree, Riddick at ILB, and Feeney at G. I loved the way Kupp and Zay Smith catch everything thrown, but the o-line and defense are priority 1. Someone on here yesterday said take the best o-lineman on your board and put him at OG? I agree…or OT. I want a top 5 o-line. Right now the Chiefs are middle of the road at best. They don’t force their will on others. They’re usually the ones being pushed around.

      Rochell DT of Notre Dame is another to look at. One of the announcers pointed out how his ‘jab’ was pushing his o-linemen back, so I watched him, and he did. Yes I’d even take another d-lineman if it will help stop the run.

      One of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard in my life was on one of the sports talk stations on the radio Friday morning. Don’t remember who said it (my memory really is going), they said the Chiefs need to take a QB in the 1st rd, even though he might fail. He was saying the fans need the perception that the Chiefs are trying to find the QBOTF, even if they don’t. In other words “Image is everything!”. Remember that old TV commercial w/ Andre Agaasi? Even then I thought it was stupid.

      “image” is squat! “Results” are everything!

      • berttheclock

        One of the best examples is the excellent LOT from Notre Dame who went to the Cowboys and was moved to LOG. Martin has become the major force in opening holes for Elliot and is great in protecting Dak.

      • mnelson52

        I would hate to pass up a good O-lineman or ILB (thumper) just to give the image of QB need.

  • berttheclock

    The Senior Bowl, yesterday, had some moments, but, trying to judge many of the players based on how the game was dictated to be run (no blitzing, very little stunts, etc.), it appears that the most important part of judging many of the players there was during the workouts in the week before the game. This was especially true as to observing both offensive and defensive linemen. Remember back when Aaron Donald was unblockable during the workouts prior to his Senior Bowl? That is when scouts knew he would become a major force in the NFL

  • berttheclock

    Geez, bert, two posts and you never even mentioned how KU beat UK yesterday down in Calipari Huckster land.

  • berttheclock

    Speaking of the Senior Bowl, I hope the KC scouts were, finally, able to have some interviews with various players. Earlier in the week, there were reports that Mickey Loomis of the Saints had his scouts keeping players away from interviews. Remind me of how The Duke of Del Ray and the top scout for the Chiefs were able to keep such as Otis Taylor away from NFL personnel.

    • freshmeat62

      One of the greatest heists of the AFL/NFL wars!

      Page 113-114 of ‘Winning it all’ by Joe McGuff when lloyd wells ‘stole’ Otis Taylor thru the motel window. Love it. I had to go get the book and read it again.

  • Laurels and limitations

    I’m seeing that Mccaffrey’s stock has him going as a late first, early second rounder. I do like his shiftiness, ability to follow blocking lanes, and he looks as if he can carry his same speed in pads as he does in shorts but I’m not sold in RBs in the first as I believe the position is one of those that can be found in the lower rounds. The RB position has become a position held by committee moreso than a lone player.

    • berttheclock

      I view taking him by the Chiefs as an “icing on the cake” selection. He is great with YACs, but, at this juncture, there are too many other very important needs to consider.

      • Laurels and limitations

        Yup, I agree that there are just so many needs more pressing than RB right now for KC and truthfully the guy looks to run more like a ST’s ace than as an every down back.

        • mnelson52

          I would love to get a good RB, but I think getting a good O-line will make the RBs we have on the roster much better. Plus a line could help on many other plays as well. I think Ware is a very good RB. He pretty much dominated the 1st half of the year but didn’t have the stamina to be an every down back. If Charles comes back healthy, that would solve the problem. If Charles doesn’t, then it still comes back to a much better O-line. I would love to see Charles back playing behind a good O-line for the 1st time in his career. Maybe we can get a good guard or an ILB in FA to make the draft a little easier. I know most will disagree but I would take 2 very good guards and an average to little above average safety for the money one elite safety would cost. I know Berry is the ultimate leader on and off the field. That is a rare quality, but someone always steps up just as they did when Berry was out with cancer.

          • Laurels and limitations

            I’m not under the influence that Andy Heck would know what to do with an elite o-line, or that he could get them to that status in the first place. I understand wanting to build a great o-line as it makes the entire offense better, but I really don’t think it will make THIS offense that much better. This offense requires players with unique abilities for it to be effective. Hill’s speed, Ware’s early season shedding of tackles, Kelce’s mismatch in size and speed on crossing patterns plus his YAC. Players with average-to-above average abilities like Maclin, Conley, West are transformed into much more average (if not worse) players due to this scheme, OC, QB, coaching and any combination thereof. A guard just isn’t going to change this imho.

    • Chiefly Bacon

      With true RBs I agree with you. Guys who can genuinely play receiver or RB are a whole different ball game. Guys like that are rare and open up the offense so much. Opposing DCs will struggle with which player to put out there on him. Put out a LB, and he can split out wide, put a S on him and he can slash off tackle behind the FB.

  • berttheclock

    For some strange reason, it is difficult to access this great site at times. This AM, it took me a long time of various “errors” coming up before I was able to access. This happened on at least 3 occasions. Perhaps, there is a Donkie troll at work jamming the site.

    • mnelson52

      I’ve only had that problem once

    • ladner morse

      what?

      • ladner morse

        Please let me know if this happens very often. Am attempting to refine the site and want to make it easier… not harder… to use. – Laddie

        • ladner morse

          Last night I was working on the site so I understand that. But today it should be better. Let me know if loading time is a problem.

  • Laurels and limitations

    I see that Jordan Willis is moving up in the draft talk also. The dude is stacked, works hard, and shows up when it matters. With the Dadi Nicholas injury, AND his being undersized I wonder if edge rusher is high on the Admin’s target this draft. I know with the current situation with personnel that it has to be, but how high is my only question.

    • Chiefly Bacon

      I like Willis, but some aren’t as high on him. Say he’s stiff and can’t bend around the edge. I need to watch some more tape.

  • Laurels and limitations

    Ah, and my QB crush deepens…from the tape I have been watching this kid has decent eyes in the back of his head also that allows him around in the pocket to extend plays. I just read this quote also and feel it is pretty apt:
    ” Seems to have great vision across field, quickly spots routes developing and gaps in coverage. Throws with anticipation.”

    in other words he throws his receivers open

    I’ve been watching a little tape on guys and I’m not seeing what translates Mahomes into the number 5 Qb in this draft. His stock will rise as the draft nears. I just hope it does with Dorsey as well.

  • ladner morse

    Ha Ha…… what a mistake that would be….

    “If it should happen that Tony Romo is eventually released to the free-agent market, the Denver Broncos may express interest in the veteran quarterback, Mike Klis of 9 News in Denver reports. A source in the Broncos’ football department did not dismiss the possibility of bringing in the Dallas Cowboys quarterback — providing the situation reaches the point where Romo is no longer Cowboys’ property.”

    http://www.theredzone.org/BlogDescription/tabid/61/EntryId/61450/Broncos-could-have-interest-in-Romo-if-he-becomes-a-free-agent/Default.aspx

    • mnelson52

      I can’t see where any team could afford to pay someone that much money to hold a clipboard. I do believe he will be released because no one wants his contract along with his history of injuries. Now if Cowboys are willing to pay some of that contract, I could see a possible trade somewhere.

    • tm1946

      If a team was one QB away from a two to three year run at dominance, Romo might be the way to go…. how did they get so good without their own QB is beyond me…. but broncos have two young QBs, took some lumps with them but had moments in the sun. Why bring in Romo and dump (mentally) the two unless they are no good – as in dated the HC’s ex wife?

      It is not about Denver or Romo, just what does he bring to them that is not on the current roster?

  • Merlin

    The CBS post senior bowl mock draft has the Chiefs taking Haason Reddick, the ILB from Temple who really impressed. He has the athleticism to fit the DJ mold. An intriguing prospect.