On April 27th, the Chiefs will send someone to the podium to announce their 1st pick in the 2018 draft. With our 1st pick coming in the late 2nd round, a lot of talent will be off the board. To figure out what the best pick will be, we will need to break down the biggest positional needs for the team. To do this there are several deciding factors, such as immediate starting holes, lack of depth, performance questions from players currently on the roster, and depth of specific positions in the draft to see which positions can be drafted in later rounds.
Cornerback: Depth in Draft – Strong. Chiefs’ Needs – Pressing.
Roster Depth: Kendall Fuller, David Amerson, Steven Nelson, Keith Reaser, Will Redmond, Prince Charles Iworah, Sheldon Price, Makinton Doleant
Behind Kendall Fuller, there is nothing but questions about the depth of the Chiefs current corners. Amerson has the ceiling of Sean Smith, but the floor of Phillip Gaines. Nelson has shown value of a good rotational piece but lacks the talent of a solid starting cornerback. The Chiefs could, in all reality, be in the market for 2 cornerbacks in the upcoming draft. Good news is this draft is stacked with talent at corner, with potential starters being available all the way through the 4th round.
Early Rounds: Mike Hughes, Isaiah Oliver, Carlton Davis, Donte Jackson
Mid Rounds: M.J. Stewart, Duke Dawson, Kevin Toliver II, Tavarus McFadden, Rashaan Gaulden
Late Rounds: Holton Hill, D.J. Reed, Quenton Meeks, Jamarcus King
Safety: Depth in Draft – Medium. Chiefs’ Needs – Moderate / Pressing.
Roster Depth: Eric Berry, Daniel Sorensen, Eric Murray, Robert Golden, Leon McQuay III, Jordan Sterns
Eric Berry is a lock for the starting Strong Safety position. Sorensen is set to be the starter at Free Safety. With the departure of Ron Parker, the Chiefs are thin at Safety. Sorensen was good as a fill in role player, but got exposed last season being a full time starter. Behind him there is nobody that has been able to make an impact on the roster. The Chiefs recently signed Robert Golden, however he has not been able to break out as a full time role player, leaving questions on if he can adequately fill Parkers shoes.
Early Rounds: Justin Reid, Ronnie Harrison, Terrell Edmonds
Mid Rounds: DeShon Elliot, Jessie Bates, Jordan Whitehead, Armani Watts
Late Rounds: Siran Neal, Marcus Allen, Damon Webb, Tre Flowers, Marcell Harris
Edge/OLB: Depth In Draft – Medium. Chiefs Needs – Moderate / Pressing.
Roster Depth: Justin Houston, Dee Ford, Frank Zombo, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Dadi Nicolas, Tyrone Holmes
The Chiefs have one of the best pass rushers in the game who is very solid against the run. Justin Houston is coming off a down year, however he was used in coverage way too much, not to mention it was his first year back from injury. Look for him to get back at what he does best this year, getting to the QB. Beyond him we have Dee Ford as our other starter. Coming off injury, he has been underproductive throughout his career. He hasn’t found a rhythm and is poor against the run. Tanoh is the only other intriguing option. However he is very limited in experience. Next year Ford will most likely be gone, and possibly could lose his starting role this season with a solid draft pick or the development of Tanoh.
Early Rounds: Arden Key, Harold Landry
Mid Rounds: Josh Sweat, Dorance Armstrong, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
Late Rounds: Marcell Frazier, Marquis Haynes, Davin Bellamy, Justin Lawler, Kemoko Turay
DT/NT: Depth In Draft – Medium. Chiefs’ Needs – Medium.
Roster Depth: Allen Bailey, Chris Jones, Xavier Williams, Jarvis Jenkins, Mike Purcell, Justin Hamilton, Stefan Charles, Josh Augusta
The Chiefs have a solid core at DE in Chris Jones and Allen Bailey, when healthy. Bailey has had problems staying on the field. The Chiefs recently signed Xavier Williams, however, Williams has only played limited snaps as a starter. Bailey could possibly be gone after this season, so drafting for depth and someone to possibly compete with Williams would be smart.
Early Rounds: Taven Bryan, Tim Settle, Rasheem Green, Maurice Hurst
Mid Rounds: Harrison Phillips, BJ Hill, Derrick Nnadi, Kendrick Norton, Nathan Shepherd
Late Rounds: Lowell Lotulelei, Du’Vonta Lampkin, Poona Ford
Guard: Depth in Draft – Weak. Chiefs’ Needs-Strong.
Roster Depth: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Bryan Witzmann, Jordan Devey, Cameron Erving, Parker Ehinger, Kaleb Johnson, Dillon Gordon
The Chiefs have a solid offensive line consisting of All Pro Mitchell Swartz, Eric Fisher, Mitch Morse, and Duvernay-Tardif. The only weakness is at Left Guard and it is a big weakness. Witzmann was overmatched on almost every snap and Ehinger, the only other potential starter, can not stay healthy. The Chiefs need to upgrade this positon in the draft, whether it’s drafting a Guard, or drafting a Center and moving Morse to Guard.
Early Rounds: Will Hernandez
Mid Rounds: Wyatt Teller, Scott Quessenberry, Colby Gossett, Frank Ragnow
Late Rounds: Taylor Hearn, K.C. McDermott
Possibility #2: Drafting a Center and Switching Morse to Left Guard
Center Draft Depth-Strong
Early Rounds: Billy Price, Isaiah Wynn, James Daniels
Mid Rounds: Austin Corbett, Sean Welsh, Frank Ragnow, Scott Quessenberry
Late Rounds: Bradley Bozeman, Coleman Shelton, Austin Golson, Coleman Shelton
ILB: Depth In Draft – Medium. Chiefs’ Needs – Low/Moderate.
Roster Depth: Reggie Ragland, Anthony Hitchens, Terrance Smith, Ukeme Eligwe
With the Chiefs signing Hitchens, and trading for Ragland last season, they have 2 solid starting inside linebackers who will instantly upgrade what we have had the previous 2 seasons. Behind them is two unproven depth pieces that have not seen much time on the field. We could use added depth at ILB who can rotate with Ragland and Hitchens, giving them breathers while not sacrificing quality. As we’ve seen with injuries over the past, depth at ILB in the Chiefs system is crucial to success.
Early Rounds: Leighton Vander Esch, Darius Leanord, Malik Jefferson
Mid Rounds: Josey Jewell, Tegray Scales
Late Rounds: Micah Kiser, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Jack Cichy, Christian Sam
Given the number of holes the Chiefs have on their roster, and the lack of a 1st round pick, there are several ways the Chiefs could go with their 2nd round pick. There are rumors swirling around that the Chiefs could possibly trade into the 1st round, however given the number of holes the Chiefs need to fill, we can not afford to give up a lot in draft capital for 1 pick. The Chiefs have one 2nd round pick and two 3rd round picks to fill the more pressing needs. We also have two 4th round picks that can address depth on the roster or add raw talent players for the coaches to develop. With trading into the first not a realistic possibility, trading back into the 2nd for two 2nd round picks isn’t out of the question. This could actually be a smarter move, allowing us to grab two starters to fill immediate holes, while not giving up all of our draft capital.
My draft day projection is the Chiefs trading back into the 2nd round, drafting a cornerback with one pick, and an Edge, Guard/Center with the second pick.