We promise we are not trying to become “Mock Draft Addict” but this one was hard to pass up.
Mel Kiper released a three-round mock draft (Insider subscription required) this morning and it is full of curious selections. Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be a Kiper mock unless there were not a few strange decisions. For instance, he has Jace Amaro falling all the way to 49 overall, Dri Archer as a third round pick, and declares Jacksonville’s number one need as quarterback and then promptly has them taking a linebacker third overall. Just a lot of weirdness going on.
Anyway, he made two picks for the Chiefs. Here they are plus his comment about the Chiefs.
1st Round: Kelvin Benjamin
3rd Round: Deone Bucannon
I know Andy Reid believes A.J. Jenkins can play a bigger role in this offense in 2014 and provide some depth, but it’s hard to pass on the chance to let Reid develop a talent like Benjamin, a huge target. If either Pryor of Clinton-Dix somehow fell to this point, I’d have looked hard at safety, but Bucannon is available in Round 3. If it was Reid and John Dorsey making the pick, I wouldn’t put a QB out of the question with that pick in Round 3 — Reid has taken QBs as commodities before — but I got to handle this one.
Let’s ignore the oddness of saying “I know Andy Reid believes A.J. Jenkins can play a bigger role” and then complete ignores his own knowledge by taking a wide receiver who does not fit the system and go to the picks.
Benjamin has upside and is very raw. If the idea is to use a first round pick on a wide receiver in order to improve the position for both now and the future then Benjamin isn’t the guy. The Chiefs may as well go Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt) if they are in “must draft wide receiver mode” and are looking for instant and future impact.
Plus, there’s the part where Kiper says this just a few picks after the Chiefs:
“I’m not willing to chase wide receiver early in a deep draft at that position, particularly with some high-ceiling talent available.”
It is more likely the Chiefs go with a pass rusher with upside or an offensive lineman here than Benjamin. Ra’Shede Hageman comes to mind. As does Kony Ealy, who Kiper has going in the THIRD ROUND in this draft.
Then there is the Deone Bucannon pick, which would makes sense if this were the fifth round. However, we’re in the third round – a round that somehow had Kony Ealy in it.
Bucannon was a combine wonder, ranking as a top performer in all but one category for defensive backs. He’s considered to be an aggressive, physical safety with coverage limitations. His strengths would be a inside the box defender who wreaks havoc as a hard hitter.
Now, this pick could work if we are operating under the idea Eric Berry is really a linebacker who is listed as a safety. The Chiefs do move him around a lot so it would open up the strong safety spot. Sanders Commings and Husain Abdullah sharing free safety, Bucannon as the strong safety when Berry is off doing something else, and it begins to form into something that makes sense.
The issue here is Bucannon is a project with limited upside. When the phrase “core special teams contributor” pops up, you’re not talking about an every down solution at safety. Kansas City needs better upside from a third round pick.
Again, this wouldn’t be a terrible pick in the fourth or fifth round. In fact, it may be a great fifth round pick. Troy Niklas (TE, Notre Dame), Kendall James (CB, Maine), Bruce Ellington (RB/WR, South Carolina), and Antone Exum (CB/S, Virginia Tech) would all make more sense here based on what was available in Kiper’s mock.