Apr 26, 2013; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks before the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Three Misconceptions About The Kansas City Chiefs First Round Pick


ArmchairAddict1

With the NFL Combine in full swing it seems that “Draft Fever” has officially swept over the Chiefs Kingdom. While the start of free agency will drastically change the landscape of things in terms of team needs, the combine is the last major event that seems to alter the perceived “Big Boards” of where players are ranked. So called “draft experts” will now begin applying these rankings to the teams’ needs and coming up with their best guess of how things will shake out on draft day.

I’ll be honest, I love mock drafts. I don’t always put much stock in them, but they become an addiction for me this time of year. That having been said, I’ve had major problems with most of the pre-combine mock drafts that I’ve seen this year. Maybe I’m the one that’s off, but I feel like most of the draft experts have KC all wrong thus far. I’ve got three misconceptions that I feel many people are making about the Chiefs first round pick that I’ll address in this post. Let’s start with the one I feel strongest about…….

Misconception #1: Kelvin Benjamin Is A Likely Target If The Chiefs Draft A Wide Receiver.

Jan 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (1) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers during the second half of the 2014 BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

If you have been reading many mock drafts prior to the scouting combine, you have seen that the most frequently mocked player, let alone wide receiver, for KC has been FSU’s Kelvin Benjamin. The logic for this is pretty simple. The Chiefs need a starting WR. The average WR big board has Benjamin as the 4th best WR behind Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, and Marqise Lee. Most mock drafts have Watkins, Evans, and Lee off the board when KC picks so they go to the next WR on the list and mock him to KC. Sounds rational, right?

Well, I’ve always had major issues with the KC/Benjamin pairing but I’ve kept my mouth shut until now because I admittedly hadn’t watched a lot of Benjamin. So I thought I’d give him a chance to prove me wrong at the combine. He didn’t. Look, I think Benjamin has as much upside as any WR in the draft, he’s a physical freak. However, he really seems like a bigger Dwayne Bowe to me. A physically powerful WR that isn’t a burner, isn’t really fast out of his breaks, and has average hands. Is that what anyone has been thinking our offense has been missing? Was anyone sitting around watching KC last season going: “If only we had a WR that was a little bigger than Bowe, but not significantly faster or a better route runner, we’d be all set!” He just doesn’t seem to compliment Bowe well at all to me. Now if Bowe was on his way out and Benjamin was his replacement, that might make sense, but Bowe has a long term deal that makes it almost impossible to cut him in the next couple of seasons. So what KC needs is a compliment to Bowe.

Second, does Benjamin really strike anyone as an Andy Reid type of WR? Think about the guys he used in Philly before he left: DeSean Jackson (5’10″, 175 lbs), Jeremy Maclin (6’0″, 198 lbs), and Jason Avant (6’0″, 212 lbs). Then think about what Reid has done since he’s come to KC. He signed Donnie Avery (5’11″, 200 lbs) to be KC’s #2 WR last season and traded away Jon Baldwin (6’4″, 230 lbs) for AJ Jenkins (6’0″, 200 lbs). So explain to me why so many “experts” think he’s going to be drooling over a WR just because he’s 6’5″, 240 lbs? The real question is does Reid think he’s a fit for his system. Based on the players he’s targeted at WR over the past five years or so, it wouldn’t appear so. Then when you add to it the fact that his current #1 WR, Dwayne Bowe, is also outside the mold of Reid’s typical WR and I think the chances that Benjamin ends up a Chief is about zilch.

So who would be a good fit for Reid’s offense if KC were to draft a WR in the first round? I think Marqise Lee is probably the best fit in terms of a combination of route running, hands, and overall playmaking ability, but Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Cooks are also intriguing options based on their speed if Lee is off the board.

Misconception #2: After Wide Receiver, Tight End Is The Only Other Offensive Position KC May Target In The First Round.

Sep 29, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; New York Giants outside linebacker Spencer Paysinger (52) recovers a fumble in front of Kansas City Chiefs guard Geoff Schwartz (74) and tackle Branden Albert (76) in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 31-7. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve seen a few mock drafts that had KC taking either Jace Amaro or Eric Ebron and even more that listed them as secondary options to the player that they actually mocked. While I agree that Amaro and Ebron are both good prospects that will likely make plays at the next level, the idea of using a first round pick on a tight end doesn’t make sense to me. Right now KC’s TE depth chart would be Anthony Fasano, Travis Kelce, Sean McGrath, and the recently re-signed Richard Gordon. I’m 100% comfortable with that depth chart going into camp. The only reason I wouldn’t be is if KC is worried that Kelce will never be the same after his knee injury. Kelce has true #1 TE upside and if KC thinks he’s going to be healthy there is no reason to draft a TE in the first three rounds, let alone with the #23 pick. Fasano is a serviceable starter and more than adequate #2 TE if Kelce lives up to potential and McGrath showed some promise last season as well. Even if KC believes Amaro or Ebron are going to be Pro Bowl caliber players, I don’t think they make sense for the Chiefs given some of their other needs and players that will likely be available.

On the other hand, no one seems to even be considering the possibility of KC drafting an offensive lineman in the first round this year. KC had seven different offensive lineman that started multiple games last season: Albert, Allen, Hudson, Asamoah, Schwartz, Fisher, and Stevenson. Of those seven, only four are currently under contract for the Chiefs. You can make a strong argument that KC’s two best lineman last season were Albert and Schwartz and they’re both poised to hit the open market soon. Yes, I’m hoping KC can re-sign one or both of them, but both are going to be one of the top free agents at their position and could command a sizable contract. If KC were to lose them both via free agency it would likely mean that offensive line would jump to the top of KC’s needs list. While I’m hoping that doesn’t happen I still think that offensive line should be on the radar for KC fans when considering first round possibilities.

Misconception #3: If KC Goes Defense In The First Round It Will Be A Defensive Back.

Dec 28, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals safety Calvin Pryor (25) waves his arms to the crowd in the fourth quarter as theCardinals beat the Miami Hurricanes 36-9 to win the Russell Athletic Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

While we can all agree that upgrading the free safety position is a must for KC this offseason, I’m not sure that it’s going to be an option picking at #23 in this draft. There are only two safeties that warrant a first round selection in this year’s draft: HaHa Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor. The problem is that there are at least a half dozen teams drafting ahead of KC that have safety as a position of need. Since everyone knows that there is little to no depth in the safety draft class this year I think it’s very likely that both Clinton-Dix and Pryor will be off the board when KC selects. If I’m wrong, great, I’ll be happy with either of those guys, but I don’t think KC fans should be planning on either of them being there.

As far as the cornerback position goes, I see KC being in a similar position as with the TEs. Could there be a player available at CB at pick #23 that would be an upgrade to who KC has? Yes, there certainly could be. However, am I comfortable with Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith, and Marcus Cooper being our top three CBs next season? Yes, I’d be okay with that. I think KC needs to add some depth and competition at that position, but Smith and Flowers are starting caliber players and Cooper showed some real promise last season. Plus, KC fans need to recognize that the perceived drop off in secondary play coincided with the drop in effectiveness in KC’s pass rush. In other words, the secondary didn’t start getting picked apart until the pass rush dropped off. The two go hand in hand. If KC can revitalize their pass rush I’m guessing Smith, Flowers, and Cooper will start looking more like the players from their 9-0 start last season than the ones that appeared to struggle down the stretch.

That leads to the possibility of KC drafting a defensive lineman or edge rusher with the #23 pick. First off, KC is currently down a starting defensive lineman with Tyson Jackson about to hit free agency. While KC has Allen Bailey that could compete for that spot, I’m not sure I feel comfortable with him being handed the job. If Jackson walks, a defensive lineman could be another primary need. Plus, as teams realized how good Dontari Poe was last season, he began to see more double teams. If KC could land someone that could start in Jackson’s old spot and be an interior pass rush threat, that could be a huge score for them. Someone like Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt could be an option for KC at #23. Also, with Tamba Hali aging and becoming increasingly expensive, they could also draft an heir apparent that would provide much needed depth at that position and give Bob Sutton another weapon to play with in planning his pass rush attack.

So there you have it Addicts, three takes on the Chiefs first round draft pick that go against popular opinion. What do you think? Am I crazy? Do you think Benjamin is the right fit for KC? Would you like to see them draft a tight end in the first round? Do you think the secondary is a bigger issue than the pass rush? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and can’t wait until free agency starts so we can start to get some of these questions about what KC needs in the draft answered.

As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!

Follow me on Twitter: @LyleGraversen

Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • mnelson52

    That’s exactly what I’ve been saying all along. A good pass rushing DE could take some pressure off Hali, Houston, Poe, and all the DBs. That one position could improve the team more than any other. I too am comfortable with our TE situation. It really hurts not having a 2nd round pick though.

    • berttheclock

      Interesting the change in TEs coming out of college. Many of the current ones can catch, but, are not the best blockers in the world. Far different from the days, when, most TEs coming into the draft were block first, try to catch later types. In the mode of Jonathan Hayes, but, Tony G really began to change that, however, blocking skills for the new guys appear to be somewhat suspect.

    • toperspective

      I’m not comfortable with our current TE situation until the word goes out that Kelce is healthy. However, 100% agree that there are bigger issues to address. Not having that 2nd round pick is a killer but it’s nice that the Chiefs have a decent QB for a change. I’ll always wonder whether it was necessary to give up the additional high pick for AS or were the Chiefs just bidding against themselves?

  • berttheclock

    Brandin Cooks has far more than just speed. He is very quick for separation and he possesses GREAT hands for catching anything thrown near him. I have already sent my card for Dorsey to hand to Goodell for the first pick by the Chiefs. I’m sure there will be a “bert WHO?” emanating from One Arrowhead.

    However, Lyle, what would the Chiefs really lose if they traded their 23 to the Redskins for their 34 pick and an additional lower round pick, such as their fifth or even sixth? If they would lose Cooks, I would disagree with that trade. Several mocks have the Redskins taking Cooks at 34, but, his “Wow” factor of yesterday, may have moved him up.

    Yes, and additional pass rusher would be great, but, perhaps, that could be added in the mid rounds. I await the 40s and 3 cones for the LBs, such as Tyler Stagg, the ILB from South Dakota, who would go in the mid rounds.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      That guy really impressed at Indy over the weekend. He’s a rocked up, strong, wideout with world-class speed. He and Beckham are definitely on my wishlist now.

      • berttheclock

        I wonder where the equally fast wide out from Pittsburgh State will end up?

    • cyberry

      If we drop from 23 to 34 we would get more than a 5 or 6 pick.. When we dropped from 21 to 26 in 2011 we got a 3rd RD..(that’s how we drafted Justin Houston)… I’m hoping the Texans draft Clowney with their #1 pick then want to trade up for Carr if drops to us..that should be worth the first pick of the 3rd RD for us.. But to get the premier “DE” opposite Watt plus your future QB for your first 3 picks is a bargain..

      • berttheclock

        Excellent point. Yeah, Cleveland took Phil Taylor with that 21, but, Houston was really the steal of the draft.

  • cyberry

    It is still possible ( a bit chancy) to trade back to the early 2nd RD..and get extra 3rd rd pick…and still draft Stephon Truitt. Many have him dropping to 2nd Rd especially since he has a broken bone in his foot and can’t perform at the combine..

  • Ben Nielsen

    I like Tuitt a whole lot. He may also be a guy the Chiefs could trade down to get. The more draft picks the Chiefs can add, the better.

    • berttheclock

      I wonder how much his recent foot fracture is going to affect him. Off course, just over two months to draft time.

  • Tristian

    Lyle one of the best articles ive read on here so far. Excellent job with the people not knowing the chiefs truly. Benjamin was eay too inconsistent with a guy with his length in college. Not to mention he is a decent route runner to boot. The safety thing kills me. That’s all I see is Pryor to the chiefs in every mock. Not saying its not a need but not understanding that one. The tight end im not sure about because it all depends on how the chiefs board is set up. I mean I can see Amaro for instance dropping because of the low 40 time yesterday. What if he is thr the highest rated player on the board when the chiefs draft? You grab him and forget needing a wide receiver with the 2 TE system we are more likely to run. Itll be interesting but I agree with you in the grabbing a DE in the first round. Im fine with the corners they just need better coaching

  • berttheclock

    Lyle, one thing about a pass rushing DE. He would be icing on the cake for Sutton’s system. But, compare the hybrid 3-4 of Sutton’s to that of the 4-3 hybrid used by Quinn of the Seahawks. The Chiefs had 47 sacks, with the majority of them coming from the linebackers. The Seahawks had 44 with most of them coming from their defensive ends. The Chiefs might be better off adding an ILB who can rush the passer.

  • Chuck Burrell

    Thank you

  • Josh Landers

    Good article. I very much agree. I wasn’t really big on cooks as a #2 because of his height but after seeing a little tape and seeking his lightning fast 40 and seeing that he compared himself to Steve smith, I wouldn’t mind seeing that pick at all. Or Jordan Matthews. Pryor is my number 1 guy but like you said, he probably won’t be there.

    Ilb is also something we need to take a serious look at. Idk if Jordan will be back or if nico Johnson can take his place but DJ is not getting any younger. Neither is Hali for that matter.

    Honestly, I think bailey can step in for t-jax (assuming he’s not with us any longer). From what I’ve seen he looks like he’s decent against the run and a little better than Jackson at rushing the passer.

  • freshmeat62

    I too don’t think Benjamin will not be taken by the Chiefs. Watched him at the combine. He is definately Baldwin v.2.0. One of the knocks on Baldwin was he took too long of strides and wasn’t quick. If you saw his 40 yesterday, he took these long strides right out of the box and wasn’t quick. Even the broadcasters commented in how he ran the whole 40 in only 20 steps. And when he ran a deep route his 1st 3-4 steps seemed to take forever. But there are going to be a lot of good, and fast, receivers in the draft this year.

    I got an email memo from Mel Kiper yesterday stating that he’s not doing his draft report anymore. So, does anyone know of another that I can order. One thats rather reputable and doesn’t cost a lot? I know I’ve heard of others in the past, I just don’t remember who they are.

    • freshmeat62

      Sorry! Too many negatives in that first sentence. Point intended was – stay away from Benjamin.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Good work, Graversen! Reid’s drafted guys like Marvin McNutt, Riley Cooper, and Billy McMullen in the past. They’re all north of 6’3 and run in the 4.5 range. I wouldn’t say he’s opposed to receivers like Benjamin necessarily, but I think you’re right that smaller, quicker guys have had more success in his offense.

    • berttheclock

      In 2009, Reid took a six one fellow who ripped off a 4.45 40 and a 1.58 ten yard dash at the Combine. Jeremy Maclin. freshmeat spoke of why that 10 yard time is important as showing quickness and I believe it was Faulk who spoke about that time showing how quickly a wide out can be atop any defensive back, but, for some reason, the Combines don’t show that split in their early results.

  • Josh Landers

    Also, replacing Jeff Allen would not be a horrible idea IMHO.

    And I don’t think that there is even an ilb available in the first round that would be available.

    Plus, there are a TON of mid-round wr’s that could fill in as #2 probably by week 1.

    GO CHIEFS!!!

  • berttheclock

    Off thread, but, it was great to see Andy Reid’s wide receiver coach helping to run the pass drills. Great sense of humor, as well. I kept thinking “Hey, please, watch Cooks”, although Mike Evans was very impressing as well, but, I still think he will jump up the charts. Hmmm, now, how could McCarron fit in the lower rounds?

    • freshmeat62

      I like McCarron too. I’ve always liked Evans. Reminds me of a faster Jordy Nelson. Lots of good WR’s and will go deep into the draft.

  • Austin New

    I totally agree with everything except for the TE part. If somehow, Ebron was still on the board at #23, and there aren’t any WR’s that are better talent then Ebron, I think the Chiefs should take him in a heartbeat! He is a Vernon Davis clone. Most likely, he would line up as a WR 60-65% of the time just like Davis, Graham, or Gonzalez. So we could have Ebron and Kelce/Fasano on the field at the same time. It would be a great package with Bowe, Ebron, Kelce, Dressler, Fasano, Avery, and Jenkins. I would love it!

    • Bigchief

      Agree

  • jimbob jo

    what the chiefs need are corners that can play the recievers face and kee up when they turn up field

  • Priest4Prez

    I’m not too crazy about having a first round pick so low down the line; it could end up being a more expensive second round pick. Poe worked out, sure, but the recent history still suggests the Chiefs are unlucky with defensive linemen. If there’s no credible WR or FS starters at the 23rd pick, trade it away for a 2nd and maybe an additional 4th. It sounds like this will be a draft for depth more than anything

    • freshmeat62

      The quality of player taken by previous administrations has no bearing on what Dorsey/Reid will do. Completely different mindsets.

      • Calchiefsfan

        The quality of player analysis for Dorsey and his team appears to be far superior to that of Pioli’s. At least at first glance. I hope that holds true in his second year.

  • freshmeat62

    Is anyone else as tired as me of the clowney and sam show? That 1st segment was way too much about those 2. And then in the 2nd seg, more clowney and sam. Enough already!!!

    • toperspective

      Yep. The “great” news is that the draft has been delayed this years so we’ll get to hear the same stories day after day after day for an additional two weeks.

  • steveyea

    Dorsey takes best player available, so maybe all discussion about areas of need is wrong, and all should focus on who will be best at 23, unless, because is such deep draft, value offer comes to trade down to get more picks.

  • Montez K.

    I know DT is not at the top of our list of needs but DT Aaron Donald was a man amongst boys this morning…He is a the gem in this year’s class. 28 tackles for loss last year, nuff said. Hageman looks like a beast too!

  • Montez K.

    Of the receivers Brandin Cooks and Marqise Lee seem like the best fit for us…Odell Beckham looked good too but I think we’ve had enough of the LSU thing…I also thought Jeff Janis looked like a steal. I admit that I had a daydream of Eric Decker raping the Chiefs secondary last year for 4 TDs though when I watched him. shiver*

  • Canad-Ian

    I would love to see Clinton-Dix, Pryor, Aaron Donald, Tuitt, Ealy… Defense defense defense. I wish KC could become a team like Steelers, Ravens etc where even if their D isn’t good for a year or two people know it’s only a matter of time before they’re great again. Also I’m having a hard time thinking of the other 16 games and can only focus on the D getting burned in the Colts game.

    • Canad-Ian

      I meant to add: If there’s no good defensive value but high offensive line value remaining I’d love to add O-Line

  • Hawthorne

    Dee Ford, Aaron Donald, Stephon Tuitt are all great options that might be there at 23.

  • cfjDTD

    Great article man! A lot of questions and answers there. I look forward to reading more of your stuff.

  • Brian Dempsey

    Good article, indeed. I’ve been telling people the biggest need on Defense is a 3-4 DE that can attack the QB with FS a close 2nd. Let’s be honest — Lewis wasn’t the only guy that struggled with pass coverage in the playoff loss, as Berry had his share of low moments, as well.

    My personal preference is Stephon Tuitt because it’s very rare to see a guy who had 20.5 sacks in 28 starts, that did it as a true 3-4 DE. Plus, he won’t turn 21 years old until after the draft & his upside and long-term potential is way up there. I really don’t believe the foot injury is going to drop his stock any more than it did for Julio Jones back in 2011 — same type of injury & the same type of scenario where they get the surgery done and are healthy on draft day and ready to go to work for whatever team drafts them.

    Hageman is another guy to consider also if he’s there at #23, but Tuitt is the better fit because he already has experience playing as a 3-4 DE.

    As for trading down, I personally believe the Chiefs may be stuck there at #23 just like they were stuck at #1 last year, but then again, just maybe a player falls to the #23 that maybe a team like the Pats at #29 or the 49ers at #30 want to trade up for. Time will tell.

  • Rich Cooper

    To be honest if Truitt or D line is our pick I hope we can trade down and get an extra pick. I’m pretty tired of first round line picks. Sorry but we need play makers whether Def or Off. My preference is wr ×2 at the very least in the first 4 rds. Cooks & Washington or Moncrief.. tired of pedestrian receiving corp.