John Dorsey was quoted at the combine as saying, “At the end of the day, can the guy make plays?” In other words, the player is just a player, if he’s not a playmaker. Yes, the Chiefs are also looking for players with athleticism and competitiveness but, the bottom line is, they are looking for playmakers.
With that in mind, here’s The Kansas City Chiefs Playmakers Mock. Each of these players chosen have the ability to make plays and I’m offering proof to boot. You’ll find a video supporting my stance that each is a playmaker.
Just a spoiler alert, I didn’t draft a Safety so if you’re looking for one of them, look no further than your own back yard… Sanders Commings.
As several writers here at Arrowhead Addict have mentioned before, we’re using Fanspeak.com and their draft simulator. The simulator allows you to pick for your own team while they pick for all other teams. Fanspeak was used for my Playmakers Mock. Once Fanspeak make all the other selections in a given round, I perused the rest of the available prospects and assessed them for their overall ability as a playmaker and… vuala… you have the playmakers mock.
Here’s a snapshot of the outcome of the Playmakers Mock Draft:
Following is an overview of each playmaker chosen:
ROUND 1. Pick #23. CB Darqueze Dennard, 5-11, 197, Michigan State, Sr.
Darqueze Dennard is believed by many to be the best corner in the 2014 draft. DraftTek ranks him #14 overall, CBS Sports #11 and ESPN (Mel Kiper) #19. Consequently, if Dennard falls to #23 and the Chiefs select him, he’ll be an excellent pick. Not only would Dennard be one of the best players available at that point, he’d be a tremendous pick to fill a great need for the Chiefs secondary.
Darqueze Dennard has good size (5-11, 197) but, he’s not the Super-sized order many teams are looking for now in their corners. His ball skills, when the ball is in the air, are excellent. His ability to keep his head facing the QB while covering a WR is uncanny. Dennard’s speed is very good but not great, however, his ability to break on the ball once it’s thrown is excellent. So many times he becomes the receiver and the WR is forced to play defense. His body position when tackling is often the primer for others to keep their eyes on plus, the timing of his hits is like speed reading with Wreck It Ralph. He won the Jim Thorpe Award for the Most Outstanding Defensive Back in 2013 and for good reasons. Dennard not only had 10 INTs in his Michigan career but 167 tackles to go with them. Dennard is not at all afraid to stick his head in on running plays and the best aspect of his skills may be that he can play both man coverage and zone. The skills of someone like Darqueze Dennard would make him a number one corner on the Chiefs team immediately. He’d be “plug-n-play” right away. I would compare his style to Joe Haden’s. Haden is a similar size (5’11” and 190) and is quickly becoming one of the best corners in the game. Of course Dennard isn’t nearly there yet but has Haden’s upside.
Downside of Dennard: As I mentioned, Dennard isn’t the new proto-typical giant CB but is an excellent athlete with great range and smooth hips. He can be overly aggressive at times and didn’t get the opportunity to ply his trade in the best conference in college football, the SEC. However, the Big 10 is no slouch and he’s proven he can play in the adverse conditions of a northern conference where the weather isn’t always so friendly.
As Mike Mayock said, some players need to “check” certain questions off their checklist when they attend the combine and Darqueze Dennard did exactly that by running a fast 40 time of 4.42.
In the end, John Dorsey is looking for playmakers. Is Darqueze Dennard one? I say yes. Now, you be the judge.
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ROUND 3. Pick #87. ILB Christian Jones, FLorida State, Sr.
Christian Jones is a versatile linebacker who’s started inside and out this season but, at 6’3” and 232 pounds can easily slide inside where the Chiefs need a LB to both stop the run and cover TEs when necessary. What I saw at the combine was a gifted athlete who flowed from one challenge to the next seamlessly. Rob Rang of CBS Sports says of Jones,
“Tremendous athlete with has fluid footwork who flawlessly flips his hips to blanket tight ends or receivers down the field in coverage. Tall and long, which he uses well in coverage.”
Jones is a long legged hitter who’s played each of the WILL and the MIKE for a season and led his national championship team with 95 tackles including 7 tackles in the championship victory.
Jones playmaking ability is just what the doctor has ordered for a hole in the gut of the Chiefs defense that has been there for years. Make up your own mind:
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ROUND 4. Pick #120. WR Robert Herron, 5-9, 193, Wyoming, Sr.
Robert Herron is the prototypical Andy Reid wide out: small, quick and fast, someone who can get open with their own moves, catch the ball cleanly and make positive yardage up field. NFLDraftScout says Herron has a chance to drafted in the top 100 so if the Chiefs could pick him up at pick 120, they’d be getting a great value. Here are some highlights from practice during his Senior Bowl week.
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ROUND 5. Pick #151. RB Devonta Freeman, 5-9, 209, Florida State, Jr.
Devonta Freeman reminds me of a cross between Michael Turner and Jamaal Charles. I love his cut decisions and it’s those cuts that remind me of JC. When he gets to the point of contact he lowers his head and shoulders to knock the crap out of the tackler even though he’s an inch shorter than Michael Turner. Freeman is the Little Wrecking Ball the Could. However, the great benefit he can provide for the Chiefs is when he gets lost between the tackles. He’s so short it’s hard to find him and then all of the sudden he’s hitting you in the nuts. I just love that and Andy Reid will love his ability to catch the ball too. That ability to catch the ball out of the backfield may also be a legitimate reason he is selected by the Chiefs in one of the later rounds. Here’s a highlight tape of his many mini-moves.
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ROUND 6. Pick #177. DE Aaron Lynch, 6-6, 244, USF, Jr.
Aaron Lynch is a freaky athlete who started out at Notre Dame as a Freshman where he recorded 33 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, 14 QB hurries and 7.0 sacks in 2011. Next, Lynch went to South Florida and in 2013 he recorded 29 tackles and 5 sacks going from 260 lbs to 244. However, if there’s any coach who can bring out the “freaky” again in Mr. Lynch it’s our Mr. Reid. Here’s a video of Lynch vs. Florida State in 2011, he’s wearing #19.
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ROUND 7. Pick #184. CB Andre Hal, 5-10, 188, Vanderbilt, Sr.
This draft is loaded with excellent corners. Hal’s 4.40 40 yard dash should garner some consideration as late as the 7th round and if he isn’t picked, he’ll likely get an invitation from any of a couple of dozen teams wanting to shore up their CB unit. Hal was second for the second year in a row with 14 passes defended. He also had 40 tackle and for a cornerback in the SEC was tops. Sometimes I end up asking myself, “Self, how could a player fall this far in the draft?” This is one of those time.
Here’s quote from an article by called Andre Hall Holds His Own Against Texas Mike Evans
“It made little difference on the scoreboard, where Texas A&M scored a runaway win over visiting Vanderbilt on Saturday, but Vanderbilt cornerback Andre Hal did a better job covering nearly uncoverable Aggies receiver Mike Evans than just about any corner Evans has seen this season.
Evans finished with five receptions for 77 yards and a pair of touchdown catches — productive, to be sure — but for a player who has torched two SEC secondaries for more than 275 yards each this season, it wasn’t a poor showing for the Commodores’ senior.”
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We spend a lot of time hoping the Chiefs will fill their “hole” in the roster but the reality is that the Chiefs need “playmakers” as GM John Dorsey has stated. No, we may not be able to locate and draft a playmaker in every single round but, the above “mythical” draft shows that finding playmakers may not be as hard as it seems.
So, Addict fans, is there a playmaker you’d like to see the Chiefs nab come May?