With the 23rd pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select…
We’re 85 days away from finding out who Kansas City’s top draft choice will be. The staff here at Arrowhead Addict is already steeped in draft conversations. A few weeks ago, we held our very own mock draft. In case you missed it, have a quick look at the final results. The debates are ramping up about who the Chiefs should take with the 23rd overall pick. The Chiefs will have options, but I’d like to share my personal favorites with you today.
Keep in mind that it’s still quite early in the draft season. The NFL Combine won’t take place for another couple of weeks (scheduled for February 22-25 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis). There are also individual pro days to consider. It’s possible that the Chess pieces might move a bit over the next two months.
As of today, here are the four players I have at the top of my big board:
1. Calvin Pryor (S), Louisville
The three-year man out of Louisville is one of the most complete safeties in this entire draft class. He may well be the top prospect at his position in 2014. Several draftniks think he could come off of the board ahead of Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. In his final season with the Cardinals, Pryor received All-American Athletic Conference First Team honors. He was a second team All-Big East selection in 2012. Along with Hakeem Smith, the two players made for one of the best safety tandems in college football last year.
Pryor’s the kind of player who would fit in perfectly next to Eric Berry. He’s a hard-hitting defensive back with a physical presence that can bolster a run defense. Pryor hasn’t been called on in man coverage all that often, but he’s an instinctive ball-hawk who can shine given the opportunity. In addition to his game, he also has a great combination of size and speed.
2. Kelvin Benjamin (WR), Florida State
Kelvin Benjamin seems to be a virtual favorite for Kansas City. He’s come up in multiple mock drafts, across the web, as their No. 1 pick. Next to safety, the wide receiver position is one of the Chiefs’ biggest problem areas. The starting spot opposite of Dwayne Bowe is still very much in question. Donnie Avery was mostly a disappointment for the Chiefs in 2013 and Dexter McCluster, barring a new contract, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. Kansas City has only a trio of unknowns left in the cupboard (Junior Hemingway, A.J. Jenkins, and Weston Dressler).
This may not inspire confidence, but Benjamin reminds me of former Chiefs No. 1 pick Jon Baldwin. He stands a towering 6’5″ and weighs 234 pounds. He’s another receiver with the ability to track, high-point, and snatch a jump ball away from a defender. Benjamin made exactly that kind of catch to seal the BCS Championship for the Seminoles in early-January. Unlike Baldwin though, he plays the game much more physically and offers more as a run blocker.
3. Jace Amaro (TE), Texas Tech
There’s some question about whether or not Amaro will still be available when Kansas City goes on the clock. If he is, despite several recent investments into the tight end position, the Chiefs would be hard-pressed not to take him at 23. It’s no secret that Alex Smith loves having a reliable tight end as an offensive option. Anthony Fasano, Sean McGrath, and Travis Kelce provided anything but reliability in year one. It’s almost scary to think what a physical specimen like Amaro could mean for an offense that made major strides over the final eight games of the season (including the 44-point postseason performance).
Last year, Amaro had an eye-popping 106 receptions for the Red Raiders. He posted 1,352 receiving yards, a 12.8 yard per catch average, and 7 touchdowns. If Fasano and Kelce can stay healthy in 2014, the addition of Amaro would make tight end one of the deepest and richest position groups on the team. Amaro compares favorably to Rob Gronkowski and Jermichael Finley, but hopefully only in stature and style of play (the two veteran tight ends haven’t been the picture of health in the NFL).
4. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S), Alabama
I’m doubling down on safety options since I believe it to be the Chiefs’ single biggest problem area this offseason. Kendrick Lewis, Quintin Demps, and Husain Abdullah are all pending free agents come March. By then, it’s reasonable to think one or more of them may be re-signed, but the latter two have previously been nothing more than roleplayers in the NFL. Sanders Commings will return from injury in 2014, but it’s impossible to know if he can contribute in year two having missed all of his rookie campaign.
Hasean Clinton-Dix, in some NFL circles, is regarded as the best safety available in this draft class. He and Calvin Pryor are likely to be the only two safeties taken in the first round. There’s a pretty significant dropoff after Clinton-Dix and Pryor so if one or both of them are available, I think they’re likely picks for Kansas City. Clinton-Dix is an incredible athlete who is yet another product of the Crimson Tide football factory.
What do you think about the aforementioned prospects as potential picks for Kansas City? Who else deserves big board consideration for the Chiefs in the first round? Will John Dorsey get good value from the 23rd pick or should he consider trading back? Use the comment section below to chime in. As always, we appreciate your readership and support!
Until next time, Addicts!