In past mock drafts, I have utilized the wonderfully addicting On the Clock feature from Fanspeak. I chose to avoid the simulator for this final mock draft in an effort to give a more realistic feel for draft night. Often, through the simulator, certain top-of-the-line players will fall and be drafted drastically lower than their value. So, with that being said, this mock should be more logic-based and is heavily themed off of rumors or reports around the league.
Now, there are varying needs that have been suggested for the Kansas City Chiefs in this year’s draft, but I chose to reach out to the social media realm and let a fan suggest the needs I should pinpoint in this mock. Our very own Cory Schmidt answered the call.
We will begin with these needs as the overall basis for our selections in this draft. Now, I can not promise that I will be able to hit every need, but I will certainly strengthen this roster and hope you all see the promise in my selections!
CB Carlton Davis, Auburn (37th overall via trade with Indianapolis Colts): In this mock cornerbacks Denzel Ward (Ohio State), Jaire Alexander (Louisville), Josh Jackson (Iowa), and Mike Hughes (UCF) have already been selected in the first round. Due to ammunition that would be necessary to get into the first round, I do not foresee Kansas City making that move unless a current player is involved.
Speaking of ammunition, the Chiefs have sent picks 54 (second round) and 86 (third round) to the Colts in order to move up and take Davis. The majority of “experts” do not believe that Davis will fall to the mid-second round, which is where the Chiefs currently sit.
By moving up to the 37th overall spot, general manager Brett Veach will have the opportunity to choose between two fantastic cornerbacks in Davis and Isaiah Oliver (Colorado), who in this particular mock has fallen beyond his expected draft spot, given the hype building around UCF’s Hughes. Though most have Oliver rated as a slightly better prospect, I believe that Davis is a better fit for what the Chiefs need right now. Both have similar traits and physical tools and either would have a legitimate case to be drafted here, but Davis seems more ready to start on day one and he has the versatility to play in press or zone on any given down.
Kansas City Chiefs receive the 37th overall pick
Indianapolis Colts receive 54th and 86th overall picks
NFL.com’s Pro Comparison: Richard Sherman
S Jessie Bates, Wake Forest (78th overall): This pick was fairly difficult to make. Not because of any questions in reference to Bates’ talent, but more so because Texas A&M safety Armani Watts was also available.
I chose Bates over Watts in this particular case because of his ability to be a deep cover guy at free safety, all the while also being an option as a return specialist for Dave Toub’s special teams unit. Having watched three games worth of film on both players, I believe Watts would best fill a role that is too similar to that of Eric Berry’s and he is more of a down-hill type of safety, rather than a deep cover guy, which is what the team is lacking.
Bates plays his best football when shadowing the slot receiver or playing the “bracket” safety, which is essential in a press-cover defensive scheme similar to Kansas City’s.
NFL.com’s Pro Comparison: Justin Evans
OLB Josh Sweat, Florida State (114th overall via trade with Cleveland Browns): The third selection for Veach will net a third defensive weapon for defensive coordinator Bob Sutton and the move should not disappoint.
Kansas City moves up again in this mock to get a stud of an EDGE defender. Sweat has dealt with a knee injury, which has raised some concern, but if team doctors clear the injury, he will be a future starter and instant rotation guy at the outside linebacker spot.
As part of the compensation for drafting Sweat, the Chiefs send one of their third-round selections and running back Charcandrick West to the Browns. West has been a consistent contributor in Andy Reid’s offense since being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2014, but with the signings of Damien Williams and Kerwynn Williams, West has become expendable.
Kansas City Chiefs receive the 114th overall pick
Cleveland Browns receive a 122nd overall pick and RB Charcandrick West
NFL.com’s Pro Comparison: Barkevious Mingo
C Mason Cole, Michigan (124th overall): The Chiefs need offensive line help. Any help they can get. Though he is not a left guard, this pick will put me 4-for-4 in regards to Cory’s list of needs for the team.
Cole spent a lot of his career for Michigan at the tackle position but moved to center later on and he flourished. Easily the most durable option at this point in the draft, Cole’s history at multiple positions will be very intriguing for Veach and Reid, so he could fill a need at both center or guard.
Last year’s starter at center, Mitch Morse, is coming off of a season-ending injury but spent his collegiate career for Missouri as a guard. Whether Morse or Cole start at center is irrelevant at this point, because any depth that can be added at offensive line is more than necessary.
The Kansas City Star’s Terez Paylor is a fan of Cole and had this to say in his first mock of the offseason:
You guys know I’m a sucker for centers who are smart/big/quick enough to play tackle in college. Well, Cole did that at Michigan the last two years. Granted, he did so out of necessity since the Wolverines have curiously struggled to develop offensive tackles the last few years, but I’m not penalizing him for this. Cole is a tough, smart dude who started every game his freshman year of high school — and God, nothing says “lineman” like that stat — and might have some plug-and-play ability anywhere along the three interior spots. He’s a good athlete who can run the Chiefs’ zone concepts and get out in space. He’s also aware in pass pro and plays his butt off. His technique needs work and I’d like to see him get stronger, but Cole gets the T-Rez O-Line Seal of Approval.
NFL.com’s Pro Comparison: Ryan Jensen
DT Nathan Shepherd, Fort Hays State (140th overall via trade with Indianapolis Colts): Former coworkers Veach and Colts GM Chris Ballard strike again in the draft, but this time the Colts receive a key contributor to help solidify a horrendous defense from last season.
The Chiefs send safety Daniel Sorensen and two late round picks to the Colts so that they can select their nose tackle of the future.
Sorensen had a very solid season in 2016 but fell down to earth in 2017 following Eric Berry’s season ending injury. With Kansas City adding a new starting safety in the third round of this draft, Sorensen will be expendable and, with a cap number of $5.3 million in 2018, he will likely be traded or released following June 1st.
Shepherd is a massive specimen at 6’4″ and 315 pounds. He is unpolished, having spent his collegiate career without serious defensive technique coaching. If given the opportunity, defensive line coach Britt Reid could work wonders with the combination of Shepherd, Chris Jones, Allen Bailey, and Xavier Williams.
Kansas City Chiefs receive the 140th overall pick
Indianapolis Colts receive S Daniel Sorensen and 233rd, 243rd picks
NFL.com’s Pro Comparison: Akiem Hicks
S Joshua Kalu, Nebraska (196th overall): No more trades for the Chiefs in this mock and with this being the last pick in the draft for the team, they need to add some good developmental depth.
By moving on from Sorensen, the team could use a good strong safety prospect behind Berry this season and Kalu could definitely fit the bill here. Having spent time as a cornerback while at Nebraska, Kalu has the history and versatility to cover slot guys, but has the brute toughness to get into the box and battle with running backs on a consistent basis.
He is a bit of a blank canvas, but that should excite the Chiefs defensive staff and that is why I chose him here.
Overview: The Chiefs add serious defensive help under my draft leadership, but limited offensive help. Veach has worked hard this offseason to build depth at the running back, wide receiver, and tight end positions, so adding someone at those spots would seem wasteful unless the team trades some of that depth. I moved on from West in this draft, but there is still an abundance of depth at that position, so adding someone at that spot didn’t make sense.
Either way, how do you think the Chiefs turned out in my final mock? #GoChiefs