Cody Latimer – Indiana – 6’2″ – 215 lbs – 4.38 (unofficial)
Cody Latimer is the current “flavor of the week” when it comes to WR prospects. Latimer has always been seen as a WR with a lot of upside, but when he ran an unofficial 4.38 forty at his pro day he really got some people’s attention. That type of speed coupled with his strength (23 bench press reps) and leaping ability (39 inch vertical) have people drooling over his pro prospects. Latimer has gone from a player being mocked as late as the 4th-5th round to someone that is now appearing at the back end of the first round.
I had dismissed this rise as a media creation, but recently a report that the Green Bay Packers had Latimer as the #4 WR on their draft board got my attention. While there is no telling if this report is accurate, if it is true then there is reason to believe that KC might actually consider Latimer at pick #23. John Dorsey is a product of the Green Bay front office and one would assume that some of the things he looks for would naturally align with what Green Bay looks for. So I decided I better take a look for myself and see if it was possible that he could be KC’s selection at pick #23 (hence where this whole post started).
What I found was a player that is much better than I was anticipating. Latimer has good game speed (but not as good as Beckham Jr. or Cooks) but is much more physically imposing than any of the other WRs in this post not named Kelvin Benjamin. While a physical WR like Benjamin doesn’t seem like an option for KC, Latimer possesses enough speed and agility that I think he would work in Andy Reid’s system. The idea that John Dorsey might be looking for players with more size than a Brandin Cooks may point to a prospect like Latimer being a target.
However, Latimer is more of a “raw” talent than players like Beckham, Cooks, and Lee. His route running is a step up from Benjamin’s but isn’t in the league of the other three. I do think he has true #1 WR upside (think Josh Gordon), but I’m not sure he’ll be able to contribute right away like I think the first three WRs listed could. I also think he has a higher bust risk than those three (although Lee’s injury risks could make them a toss up).
The bottom line for Latimer for me is that while I love his upside I’m not sure he’s enough of a sure thing to warrant using a first round pick on him in such a deep WR draft. If the WR talent fell off dramatically after Latimer and KC would have little to no chance of drafting a starting caliber WR in the third round then I would think different. If Latimer somehow lasts to the third round as most experts originally predicted before his rise up the boards then KC would be foolish to pass on him. I’ve stated before that I’m a big Donte Moncrief fan and after watching Latimer he is now moved ahead of Moncrief as my favorite “second tier” WR prospect. I just don’t think KC should use a first round pick on a “second tier” WR prospect.
So after looking at these five prospects I have come to a few conclusions about the likelihood of KC drafting a WR in the first round. First, there are a couple of prospects that I feel would be good selections at pick #23. Those would be Odell Beckham Jr., Brandin Cooks, and Marqise Lee if the Chiefs are comfortable with his medicals. The problem is that I don’t think Beckham Jr. will be available, I think there is a chance that Cooks won’t be either, and the likelihood of Lee’s medicals checking out are unknown.
So there isn’t a single WR prospect that I could in good faith encourage Chiefs fans to get their hopes up for. If you asked me to pick the WR from that trio that is most likely to wind up in KC I would probably pick Brandin Cooks. Despite his small stature he is an explosive play maker that I think Andy Reid would love to have and I think he has a better chance of making it to KC than Beckham does and I also think there is a better chance of Cooks being available for KC than there is of Lee’s medical red flags all passing KC’s inspections.
My bottom line is that (as I mentioned in previous pieces) KC fans would be wise to not get their hopes up that KC will for sure draft a WR in round one of the 2014 NFL draft. There are no players that are guaranteed to be there at pick #23 that are a lock to succeed in the NFL. The depth at WR is so deep in this draft that unless there is a prospect that KC feels is a sure fire home run on the board at pick #23, it makes more sense to draft a player at a less deep position (like say…..defensive line?).
So what say you Addicts? Do you have your hopes set on one of these WRs landing in KC? Do you disagree with my assessments of any of these guys? Are you in favor of KC drafting a first round WR no matter what? Are you in favor of KC waiting on a WR regardless of whom is available? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!