Round 4: Pierre Desir (CB), Lindenwood
The third and final day in Kansas City’s war room begins with yet another tough decision. The four prospects in front of me at 124 are quarterback AJ McCarron, cornerback Pierre Desir, wide receiver Devin Street, and wide receiver/kick returner Dri Archer. Lop off the back half of the list. Street isn’t a good fit for this offense and Archer’s a 5’8, 173-pound gadget player with tiny hands. I’m really looking at McCarron and Desir here.
McCarron is intriguing for a couple of different reasons. He was highly productive in college as a member of a pro-style offense at Alabama. He was at the helm of consecutive national championship teams in arguably the toughest conference in college football. He’s seen as much of the big stage as anyone in this year’s class. It’s just a question of how much the Crimson Tide’s success can be attributed to McCarron. He had a lot of help from an uber-productive run game and one of the nation’s top defenses.
What concerns me about McCarron is his lack of arm strength. Can he make every NFL throw? I think he has a limited ceiling and I’d prefer the Chiefs left the QB3 spot to someone with more upside. The Chiefs aren’t in a position to have two players behind Smith with only a year of combined NFL experience. If Alex Smith were to go down, you’d be forced to replace him with players who’ve never taken a meaningful professional snap. Chase Daniel’s your backup until further notice and Tyler Bray has the tools to stay on for future consideration.
Pierre Desir’s a small-school product who’s familiar to the area. He grew up in St. Charles, Mo. and played football for both Washburn and Lindenwood universities. The prevailing thought in most scouting circles is that success in the NFL usually only comes to Division II players that dominated their collegiate competition. That’s precisely what Desir did over his last two seasons at Lindenwood. Desir needs work and some NFL coaching, but he’s a unique talent with great size, above-average ball skills, and good instincts.
With the 124th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select…
Pierre Desir, Cornerback – Lindenwood
Round 5: Jeff Janis (WR), Saginaw Valley State
As the fifth round draws to a close, the board again shows me favor at a position of need. The best players available at 163 are runningback Devonta Freeman, center Tyler Larsen, defensive end Ethan Westbrooks, and wide receiver Jeff Janis. I’ve been waiting patiently for help at the wide receiver position and another Division II prospect may be just what I’m looking for.
Let’s begin with Jeff Janis’ measurables. He’s a 6’3, 219-pound receiver who registered a 4.42 time in the 40-yard dash and a 37.5-inch vertical leap. Stop salivating and let me finish. His four years at Saginaw Valley State produced 246 catches, 4,305 receiving yards, and 46 touchdowns. He’s an explosive and precise route-runner that can create the kind of separation necessary to thrive in head coach Andy Reid’s west coast offense.
The flipside to any D-II player of Janis’ ilk is that it’s easy to misinterpret the numbers. The production came against players who’ll most likely go on to sell insurance or wash out of the league. That’s a legitimate reason to be apprehensive about the statistics. What gives me confidence about Janis is his football acumen, work ethic, character, and passion for the game. He’s the kind of lunch pail player coaches love and he’d be a great choice in the fifth-round for Kansas City.
With the 163rd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select…
Jeff Janis, Wide Receiver – Saginaw Valley State