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Feb 23, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Missouri Tigers wide receiver L

2014 NFL Combine: Quick Thoughts on the Offensive Players


Over the weekend we got the chance to watch all of the offensive players go through drills and testing, and there were some players who really stood out with their performances. Here’s a quick run through of some of the things I noticed over the weekend.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

- Kansas State’s Cornelius Lucas did not participate in the combine drills due to a stress fracture in his left foot. This was disappointing as he would be an interesting replacement for Donald Stephenson as the team’s swing tackle. Lucas did do measurements and appears to have shed some weight while also coming in as a true 6-8 lineman with a 36 3/4-inch reach. He’s best at pass protection and his biggest issues are more technique related than talent.

- Joel Bitonio of Nevada graded really well at the combine. He finished in the top five for the 40-yard dash, vertical leap, broad jump, three cone drill, and 20-yard shuttle. Kansas City has some interior offensive line issues and Bitonio could be a good guy to fill one of the holes.

- Man, the Chiefs picked a bad year to have the number one overall pick. There are at least three – if not five – left tackles who look to be more polished than Eric Fisher in this draft. In fact, Fisher probably doesn’t even get drafted in the first round this year if he were in this class.

- Missouri’s Justin Britt had a solid combine but probably didn’t do enough to get him out of the sixth round.

- Mayock on Dakota Dozier: “He’s one of those guys who I think is going to be a really good professional.” Several points in the broadcast by multiple people say the word “versatility” in reference to Dozier. KC needs that with potential losses of Branden Albert, Geoff Schwartz, and Jon Asamoah.

- There appears to be a lot of good depth to this offensive lineman class. Adding some picks in the fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds would be a good idea for the Chiefs.

TIGHT END

- Whatever thoughts of Eric Ebron dropping to the Chiefs at 23 were laid to rest at this combine. He’s the clear number one tight end in this draft.

- Reggie Jordan proved he has the athleticism to play in the NFL. The Missouri Western product is intriguing because the Chiefs should know him really well given his proximity to Kansas City and because the MWSU is where the Chiefs hold their training camp. Tight end isn’t really very high on the Chiefs list of needs, but if KC can add some picks at the back end of the draft then Jordan should be a guy they consider.

- Troy Niklas is huge and athletic. He’s basically the Kelvin Benjamin of the tight end class: raw, but could be outstanding if he hits.

RUNNING BACK

- Dri Archer ran a 4.26 40, 6.86 3 cone, and 4.06 shuttle. He may be the guy Scott Pioli thought he was getting in Dexter McCluster.

- Henry Josey tested really well. He finished in the top five in the 40 and both shuttles, did 20 reps on the bench press (very solid), and performed well in the three cone. There’s no question he’s healthy based on those times.

Josey also looked good in the drills, particularly in passing drills. The way running backs value in the draft has changed, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s available late in the draft. Josey would make a lot of sense as the Chiefs’ third running back if KC thinks he can play on special teams coverage units.

- It is really hard watching DeAnthony Thomas and not think he would be a devastating returner for Kansas City. I could easily see him being the replacement for Dexter McCluster’s role in the offense if the Chiefs took him.

WIDE RECEIVER

- The depth at wide receiver in this draft is insane. So much so that the Chiefs could probably get a first round caliber wide receiver in the third round and spend their first round pick on something with less depth like a pass rushing defensive lineman or a free safety.

- Guys who looked really good that we haven’t talked a lot about included Brandin Cooks, Donte Moncrief, Martavis Bryant, Quincy Enunwa, and Kevin Norwood.

- Two small school guys – Jeff Janis and John Brown – each had big days at the combine. Adding two more names to the list of draftable wide receivers.

- The size/speed combinations in this draft are nutty. Some notable ones:

L’Damian Washington: 6-4, 4.46

Bryant: 6-3, 4.42

Janis: 6-3 , 4.42

Moncrief: 6-2, 4.40

Enunwa: 6-2, 4.45

Norwood: 6-2, 4.48

Paul Richardson: 6-0, 4.40

- Kelvin Benjamin measured at 6-5, 240 pounds, ran a 4.61 40, 7.33 3 cone, and 4.39 20-yard shuttle. All very good numbers for a guy his size. The problem here is he is a project – a very expensive project. While the ceiling is higher for a guy like him, it isn’t so much higher than a guy like Bryant who will be available in the middle rounds. Should the Chiefs select a wide receiver, it makes more sense for them to take a polished guy like Cooks, Marqise Lee, or Odell Beckham.

FINAL THOUGHT

Watching the combine confirms the crazy raw depth of this draft, and it goes far beyond just day one and two. There are going to be some really good football players available in rounds five, six, and seven that could do wonders for the Chiefs’ roster depth. Knowing and confirming this idea furthers the need for the Chiefs to trade down a few times in the draft in order to pick up more selections. There are too many guys in this draft who could fill roster needs at a very affordable price.

Tags: 2014 NFL Combine Kansas City Chiefs Popular

  • Michael Shaw

    Ben, The trade down idea has one major problem in my book………who would we trade with? We don’t have a second rounder and we draft too far down this year due to a good year, so I just don’t see anyone trading with us. Is there a player on our roster you think we could trade away without damaging the team too much to get more picks or even get our 2nd rounder back?

    • berttheclock

      I believe the best chance for a trade down is with the Redskins. They do not have a 1st round pick and would like one. They are trying to swap Cousins for a 2nd round pick. So, should they trade up with the Chiefs, they would lose their 34 spot, but, might pick one up in a Cousins trade with another team. A 34 and a 3rd round pick from the Redskins might really work for the Chiefs. They only other team I envision might be the Niners, who have the 56th and 61st slots in the 2nd round. That might be far too low for the Chiefs, but, they could pick up extra lower picks of which the Niners’ have plenty. I had thought of Tampa Bay for an Albert trade, but, why would TB do that when, they know Albert will be available in Free Agency. on March 11.

    • Ben Nielsen

      KC’s trade partner will develop based on how the first 22 picks go. Not having a second round pick shouldn’t mean anything. If anything, picking 23rd overall may help the Chiefs in a trade.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Depends on how the top 22 picks fall. Several teams have both wide receiver and safety on their list of needs. Safety is scarce. Wide receiver is plentiful. I think a talented wideout is going to fall a bit. You could get some real interest from a team like New England at 29.

    • Michael Shaw

      Stacy and Ben, do you think I am out of my mind to say that our team might want to try to package our #1 and Dwayne Bowe to the Pats for their #1, #2 and either a #3 or #4???? That would give us more to draft with to possibly get both a good safety and a good WR AND alleviates some cap room to get anything we don’t feel comfortable getting in the draft during the “second” free agency period??? I mean Bowe makes that passing attach down right scary since he likely fits their scheme better than he fits Andy Reed’s, right or wrong.

  • berttheclock

    Excellent point about Archer as it looks as though he will become a slot, return guy, and an occasional running back. 4.26 is, as they say, a 4.26. Some team is going to get very lucky.

  • Roger Mihalko

    I think with the Salary cap going up to estimated 132 million, potential restructures of some contracts, it gives a good base to trade down. The second and third rounds sound like where the meat of the draft is going to happen. Is it possible to get a second round and a later round (4th or lower) for the #23 pick?

    Are there any trades for some more picks in the lower rounds?

    More picks the better to address the spots, get as much as you can from the draft…. then if one or the other spots don’t look good you can get a free agent with the cap space.

    this is my order of need:(basically load up on Defense for competition and depth)

    Safety(s), Defense End, Inside Linebacker, Outside linebacker, Cornerback(s), Wideout(s), If anything is left O-Line.