With the assistance of Fanspeak’s seven-round mock draft simulator, I took control of the Kansas City Chiefs General Manager responsibilities. There were no trades involved in this mock, so the selections and pick placements may not be accurate when the draft begins. For this particular exercise, I chose to use Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller’s draft board and selected the “difficult” setting just before beginning the mock. (For anyone who has not tried this simulator, I would strongly suggest giving it a go. A lot of fun and insight into the guys who may be available when the Chiefs are on the clock later this month.)
Without further ado, who do the Chiefs add to their roster?
Round 2, Pick 22: DL Maurice Hurst, Michigan
As a junior, Hurst gathered 34 tackles, 11.5 for loss, and 4.5 sacks, but is a consistent disruptive presence on nearly every defensive play.
According to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein has Hurst listed as a candidate to be an instant starter for his eventual NFL employers and notes that he may only be a three-technique defensive tackle in a 4-3, but, with that being said, don’t hesitate to believe that the Chiefs would turn away from drafting him.
Standing 6’2″ and weighing in around 290 lbs., Hurst could be the perfect compliment to Chris Jones at the defensive end position, while also being able to drop to the inside tackle spot in nickel and dime packages. These packages have become a bigger part of NFL defenses from year-to-year, so his value will go beyond the standard 3-4 defensive scheme that the Chiefs use.
In reference to Hurst, Pro Football Focus, Analyst Mike Renner, had this to say, “The prototypical 3-technique defensive tackle, Hurst offers a pass-rushing toolbox that no other interior player in this class can come close to matching. His four-year career of grades is unlike anything we’ve ever seen at the defensive tackle position, proving his durability and sustainability at the position.”
Round 3, Pick 14: S Justin Reid, Stanford
Despite falling into our lap in the third-round, most do not expect Reid to fall this far. According to most draft experts, he would likely be a late first or second-round selection, but in this mock, there was no way I could pass on the chance to add an instantly starting safety.
Reid is the brother of former San Francisco 49ers safety, Eric Reid, who is currently a free agent. The younger brother is similar in physicality and aggressiveness, though the latter will get him in trouble, but the same was once said for former Chiefs All Pro cornerback, Marcus Peters.
The former Stanford Cardinal finished this year’s combine with a 4.4 second 40-yard dash and 36.5 vertical jump, both of which backup the stud of a player that he is when you watch his tape.
Round 3, Pick 22: CB Anthony Averett, Alabama
I have had a draft crush on Averett ever since the first glance at his senior tape for the Tide. Now, this is a bit of a surprise to even me, because I am not known to be a big ‘Bama believer in most cases (please don’t tell Reggie Ragland), but this guy is a stud.
Averett began his college career at the bottom of an incredibly deep cornerback room at Alabama, and when he did get his chance, minor injuries limited his availability. In 2016, Averett started 13 games and gathered 48 tackles, a sack, and eight pass breakups. His senior campaign saw him duplicate these numbers and add an interception.
He is not an interception machine, by any means, but this kid has overcome a lot of obstacles and is a high effort guy. Often being picked on, Averett showed the speed and awareness to stay with his receivers, while also showing the willingness to get in the mix for tackles (the anti-Peters, if you will).
Round 4, Pick 22: LB Davin Bellamy, Georgia
If you want to find the next Justin Houston in this draft, this is your guy. Nothing against the likes of the guy just 45 minutes west of Arrowhead Stadium (Dorance Armstrong), who is a guy that I love by the way, but Bellamy is the proto-type, NFL-ready Outside Linebacker.
Houston and Bellamy come from the same stomping grounds and their pass-rush styles are almost identical.
As a junior, Bellamy accounted for 51 tackles, nine for loss, five sacks, and 17 quarterback hurries. Now, keep in mind, Georgia was a powerhouse of a defense last season and Bellamy was easily the best pass-rusher on the team.
Should the Chiefs land a guy of this caliber in the fourth-round, it would present a dream scenario. Dee Ford’s health is still a question and most believe that he should be ready for training camp, but who knows. Combine Ford’s last season under contract with the team and Houston’s $21 million cap hit for 2019, the Chiefs definitely have a sneaky need at the outside linebacker spot.
Round 4, Pick 24: C Mason Cole, Michigan
Yes, I selected a Center. Yes, most will think I’m crazy. And yes, this is a need for the Chiefs.
Let me explain… The Chiefs have experienced absolutely horrendous play from the left guard position for years now, and I do not want to see another year of Bryan Witzmann and the Band Aid Crew in 2018. With that being said, I selected the best lineman available at this spot in Michigan’s Mason Cole.
According to Pro Football Focus, Cole rated the second-best run blocking offensive lineman in the Big 10 last season (enter Kareem Hunt’s approval right here). Cole is a mammoth of an interior lineman and has the versatility to play all positions between the tackles. He even spot-started at tackle for the Wolverines, but I would imagine him remaining on the interior, once drafted, due to his lack of size.
The Chiefs could easily use him at the guard spot, but I would envision Andy Reid allowing Cole to work in at the center position and allow Mitch Morse, assuming he’s fully healthy, to work at the left guard position. This is a position that Morse played for the majority of his collegiate career at the University of Missouri. However, Morse should get some added competition for the left guard spot, which explains the next selection…
Round 6, Pick 22: G Timon Parris, Stony Brook
Remember when everyone knew who Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was? Well this guy is basically him – under-recruited out of high school and, again, under-valued heading into the draft.
Parris is a very athletic tackle who displays the length (6’5″) and nimble feet that Reid loves in his offensive lineman. Now, it is unclear whether he would be used as a tackle or a guard in Kansas City’s offensive scheme, but regardless, he would be a bit of a project and a developmental guy. His role would be comparable to that of LDT or Zach Fulton in year one.
Despite the fact that Parris will need technique improvement and, in general, better coaching, he has the physical tools to be an NFL starter.
Round 7, Pick 15: OT Will Richardson, N.C. State
Richardson is a very strong and physically dominant tackle, who, in this particular mock, fell drastically. This particular class is loaded with offensive tackle depth, but it is very unlikely that Richardson falls this far into day three of the draft.
Should he become available at this spot, he is an absolute steal. As mentioned before, Parris is a strong candidate to be a guard in the NFL, but Richardson is the absolute opposite. If I were to come up with a comparison for Richardson, I would lean heavily towards a Brandon Albert-type prior to the injury issues.
Now, after watching his tape, I would prefer that he stick to the right side of the offensive line, so he would not be an eventual replacement for Eric Fisher, who could be a cap casualty down the line, but with development, anything can happen.
Round 7, Pick 25: CB Michael Joseph, Dubuque
The Division 3 stud fell into my lap in this one. Having racked up 56 tackles, eight interceptions, and eight pass breakups last season, Joseph is the perfect candidate to become what the Chiefs thought Philip Gaines would become.
Gaines fell from grace because of too many injuries, not to mention consistently getting toasted on receivers’ deep routes across the middle of the field. Joseph does not have that problem.
Standing in a thin frame (6’1″, 187 lbs.), Joseph could be an exceptional nickel and dime contributor or, at worst, be a practice squad stash for a season. Despite not having the biggest name or the greatest follower-base, the former Iowa Conference Defensive Player of the Year has the tools to become a player with a similar playing style to that of new Chiefs corner back, Kendall Fuller.