This time of the year in the NFL is like eating Halloween candy all day long every day for months on end. Not that I’d know how that feels but, I’m guessing this could be what it feels like.
More than anything, it’s a scary good time for Chiefs fans to find out the answers to some questions that’ve been looming for what seems like an age..
Which is the best player for the Chiefs to take in free agency?
Which is the best player for the Chiefs to take in the draft?
You could call it the “which is” magic because everyone has an opinion about which is the prospect that would instantaneously transform the team into a champion. So, this is truly, the season of the which.
Following is the “Three Which-Is Draft.”
The Chiefs could make a myriad of moves with their picks, and between now and the draft we’ll all be wondering which is the best pick in each round.
While such speculation is the jumping off point for many a mock, instead you’ll be given three prospects which I’d be happy with, should the Chiefs select them, at several different possible points that the Chiefs could be picking in the draft.
This will cover four rounds, seven possible drafting positions and 21 preferable prospects. While free agency is just getting under way, we’ll take a break from that to focus on draft prospects.
Here’s the Three Which-Is Draft
With the 11th pick in the draft… which is the prospect I want the Chiefs to draft most?
A. OT Riley Reiff- do I think he’ll be available? No. I think there’s about a 30 percent chance of that happening but, if he is available he would solve the Chiefs OT questions immediately. Some have stated clearly that if the Chiefs select a RT with the 11th pick, that it would be too high for a RT. That may be the case but, Reiff can play both sides so, I don’t see him stuck forever on the right side. Since he can play both sides, that flexibility would also be a reason that GM Scott Pioli is willing to spend a high first round pick on Reiff.
B. NT Dontari Poe- Poe has shot up the draft board in the space of a few weeks, but only since the Combine. The last time I checked, one of the NFL Network Draft mavens had him pegged to be drafted fifth overall. A very fancy chancy prediction. I have to admit that the tape I’ve seen on him is not stellar. However, compare Poe’s offseason progress to someone like OT Mike Adams and you can tell Adams arrived at the Combine so unprepared that he is flying down the draft board while Poe has dramatically improved. It’s hard to ignore or deny that kind of improvement or physical prowess.
C. OG David DeCastro- DeCastro is a special player. Too high for a guard? Perhaps you need to reassess your beliefs about guards in the first round. Take another peak at the post I wrote about drafting guards in the first, Chiefs Guard A Golden Ticket. DeCastro would be terrific in my book.
Last year Mr. Pioli demonstrated that he’s capable of trading down to abscond with more picks. I’m in favor of him doing that again in this draft. Chicago has two third-round choices and so if the Chiefs traded first-round picks with them they’d draft at the 19th hole and maybe pick up a third-rounder, maybe more.
With the 19th pick in the draft… which is the prospect I want the Chiefs to draft most?
A. OT Jonathan Martin- Martin is one of those players who is headed in the wrong direction on the big board. However, in Martin’s defense, it’s not because of anything repugnant he’s done, it’s because of prospects displacing him as they ascend the rankings. Jonathan began this off-season as an elite OT and I believe he still is a top ten type talent. He’s big, athletic, intelligent and has also played both left and right tackle. That would give the Chiefs some flexibility, should Albert come up lame.
B. ILB Luke Kuechly- Kuechly has been ensconced at or near the 15th pick in the draft since the NFL merged with the AFL. Besides Andrew Luck, Kuechly is the one player who’s stayed in one spot on the draft board since the season ended. Most mocks have Luke going to the Eagles at 15 but, if they don’t nab his britches the Chiefs would be wise to do so. He has a Sean Lee vibe to him, loves to communicate and is great for others to be around. He performed well at the Combine and is a real team guy. Very Pioli-genic.
C. OG Cordy Glenn- Glenn is one of those rare mammoth linemen who is also as light as a feather. 6-5, 345 and ran a 4.92 40. This would give the interior of the Chiefs line a whole new look and feel. He’s not going to get pushed around inside plus, he pulls really well in the running game
Once again, I’m very much in favor of the Chiefs trading their 11th pick. New England has the 27th pick (obtained from the Saints) and if they trade it for a pick the Chiefs could pick up, perhaps next year (essentially pulling a Belichick on Belichick), then the Chiefs could also be drafting around the 27th pick.
With the 27th pick in the draft… which is the prospect I want the Chiefs to draft most?
A. SS Mark Baron- I don’t think Mark Baron is the best thing since sliced bread or anything but I do think he’s very, very good. Just not Berry good. All jesting aside, Baron would likely be the best pick available at that point and the Chiefs could really use another top notch safety who can displace the menace, Sabby (it would be great to not have to ever talk about him again).
B. OG Kevin Zeitler- I’m all Zeitler-geisting for this OL vunderkind. He’s a such a solid technician. I hope he doesn’t end up in the AFC West division, of course unless he’s with the Chiefs. I have a man-crush on the Wisconsin offensive line coach. That U. knows how to throw a “block” party. I hope the Chiefs have their purchase order filled out with big Z’s name at the top by the time draft day arrives.
C. DT/DE Devon Still- Here’s one possible slider. If Still slides down the board… as he has been doing for the past month… well, if he keeps sliding to the 27th pick I’d like to see the Chiefs consider him as a defensive end. At 6′-5″ and 303 lbs. he could be a great perpetrator and penetrator on passing downs and would stand up well against the run. With Dorsey and Jackson becoming two of the better run stoppers in the league, the Chiefs may not need Still. Still, I think he has a chance to be special. He has played inconsistently in college, but who knows what he becomes under Romeo. Plus, Tamba could show the rookie how a Penn State grad can adjust in a hurry. When he’s on his game, he is Suh-per Suh-esque.
With the 44th pick in the draft… which is the prospect I want the Chiefs to draft most?
A. RB Doug Martin- a Mighty Mouse type back who you could compare to Maurice Jones-Drew if anyone can compare to him. Martin is 5-9 ¼ and 223. He has quicks, moves, speed (4.43), makes good decisions at the line of scrimmage and does a great job catching the ball out of the back-field so no one will have to teach him that. I don’t think he’d be as good at taking the ball between the tackles as Trent Richardson, but he is very effective inside. Martin would help create a gruesome twosome for defenses to face when paired with Jamaal Charles, plus he could start right away. Martin averaged 5.5 yards per carry in college and also had 715 yards receiving. Martin can be special enough to make the OL look better immediately.
B. TE Coby Fleener- Fleener had a crazy good Orange Bowl: six receptions, 176 yards and three TDs. I recall one play specifically: the ball was lined up on the left hash mark, snapped to Andrew Luck in the shotgun with Fleener lined up on the left side. He is jammed as he comes off the line, then hit again five yards down field, cuts to his right, sprints all he way across the field, easily gets separation form the LB and makes the catch going out of bounds on a broken play for Luck. He showed me a lot in that one play. Athleticism. Speed. Extending his route. Good hands. His style reminds me more of Aaron Hernandez and less of Gronkowski although Fleener is 6′-6″ like Gronk. He and Moeaki would be very good together, but the Chiefs would still need a TE thumper for blocking.
C. C Peter Konz- Konz is 6′-5″ and 314 lbs. He’d bring some size and power to the center position that the Chiefs haven’t seen in some time. Konz is a Wisconsin product and as you know by now I’m fanatical about those boys from Cheesehead U. You don’t often get the opportunity to draft the best player at their position with the 44th pick in the draft. In fact, Konz may be the only center worth mentioning in this draft, which is not an indictment on Konz as much as it is of the other centers coming out in this draft. Konz only had 18 reps of 225 pounds at the Combine and that may keep him out of the first round. But, pop in some tape, and you’ll see one dominant performance after another. Konz was a three-year starter and he knows how to play the center position.
With the 74th pick in the draft (acquired in a possible trade with the Bears)… which is the prospect I want the Chiefs to draft most?
A. OG Amini Silatolu- Silatolu is from a Division II school, but that school had the number one offense in the country. At 6′-4″ and 311 lbs., Silatolu is a good athlete who had a good showing at the Combine by moving well in the drills. He played nine games at OT and is versatile enough to move anywhere along the OL. Intangibles with upside. Good combo.
B. KR/CB Jayron Hosley- The Chiefs could use another balls-to-the-wall return man and Hosley has 4.34 speed so he should help. Hosley is 5′-10″ and 187 lbs. but can sky on balls thrown up for grabs. There’s no vertical jump numbers for him, but you can tell when watching him play that he can get up over 40 inches. VTech alum Brandon Flowers can show JayHo the ropes. Hosley is quick and fast and well suited to play the nickel against smaller receivers.
C. FS George Iloka- Iloka is 6′-3″ and 216 lbs. and would match up well with many of the dynamic TEs now in the league. He ran a 4.47 40. The knock on him is he that he plays soft but, Romeo can be his Viagra.
With the 75th pick in the draft… which is the prospect I want the Chiefs to draft most?
A. NT Alameda Ta’amu- A.T. is 6′-3″ and 348 lbs. and did 35 reps at 225. He’s a wide body and if the Chiefs accumulate enough of these Hummer-width nose tackles maybe one will stick. Ranks 10th among all DTs and would be a good value at 75.
B. ILB Mychal Kendricks- Kendricks ran a 4.38 at the Combine. That kind of speed on the inside is unheard of and could be used to help cover some of the league’s faster hybrid tight ends. If Kendricks can play the run as well as he did this year (99 tackles) then the Chiefs may have an ILB who could stay on the field for all 3 downs.
C. RB Robert Turbin- I like Turbin’s attitude, work ethic and he runs with his pads low. You get a feel for a player’s personality, ones you think would fit in with the players the Chiefs now have on their roster and Turbin is one of those “fits.” His 1517 yards for the year and 6.1 yards per carry are impressive, but he played what I think is less than top-notch competition in the WAC. However, Utah did finish sixth in the nation in rushing and that’s worth a look and if you do look, I think you’ll like what you see. At 5′-10″ and 222 lbs., he has some sweet moves and some power to boot.
With the 108th pick in the draft… which is the prospect would I be most happy with?
A. TE Michael Egnew- I don’t know if fans in Kansas City are unwilling to look at Egnew as a legitimate TE prospect for the Chiefs because of MU’s proximity to KC, but Egnew impressed me at the Combine and I think he’s a solid prospect with loads of upside. He’s 6-5 and has good hands. He ran a 4.52 and in 2010 he was a consensus All-American. Is there something I’m missing here? From what I’ve seen he has a greater upside than Fleener. He does a good job of blocking down field and makes crisp, sharp cuts on his routes. He has the flexible hips of a much smaller receiver and if he’s still there at number 108, I say we sprint the card up to Goodell.
B. OG Brandon Brooks- Brooks wasn’t invited to the Combine but had really good — even jaw dropping if you will — numbers when he performed at his pro day. Thirty-six reps at 225 and even more impressive, he ran a 4.92 40. You should know that Brandon is 6′-5″ and 346 pounds. You should also know that he doesn’t have a lot of belly fat like many others who come in at that weight. He’ll be drafted in the third or fourth round, but his stock is going up and who knows, maybe he’s one of those guys who zooms up the draft board since he wasn’t at the Combine. If he’s there at 108, I hope the Chiefs have done their homework on this gifted giant.
C. DT/DE Kheeston Randall- Randall plays with good leverage and does a good job of keeping his pads lower than his opponent. Then Randall often wins the hand-to-hand combat and gets off of his blocker with ease. Randall’s challenges come when he doesn’t read the play correctly or over runs the back. However, I’m impressed enough with his moves to get into the backfield that I think he’d make a great DE on passing downs and could help the Chiefs improve their rush. At 6-5, 293, 4.88 in the 40 and 28 reps at 225, he has the physical tools. I’d be pretty excited if the Chiefs picked him up.
That’s the “Three Which-Is Draft“… through the fourth round.
Which is the prospect you’d like to see the Chiefs draft most? In which round?
Of course you know which prospects the Chiefs draft is dependent upon which free agents they sign. It’s all very whichy.