September 29, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Rice Owls cornerback Phillip Gaines (15) defends against a pass intended for Houston Cougars wide receiver Dewayne Peace (9) in the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Kansas City Chiefs Draft Grade: Phillip Gaines

He’s not a receivers, but he sounds like a hell of a potential talent at cornerback.

Kansas City selected Philip Gaines with the 87th pick in the draft and he looks like a guy who can grow into being a very solid corner for the Chiefs. Here are a few scouting reports on him and a few thoughts on how he fits on the Chiefs.

Dane Brugler on Gaines:

Good-sized athlete and looks the part with a solid build and long arms. Natural burst, decisive strides and good straight-line speed. Fluid footwork and redirection skills to easily turn and stay hip-to-hip vertically. Strong plant foot to click-and-close in a flash with conviction.

Won’t take unnecessary steps and mirrors well with proper body discipline. Patient, controlled feet. Physical in press with strong hands to initiate contact at the point of attack. Alert and rarely falls asleep at the wheel. Locates well and gets his hands on the ball – only 32.5% of passes thrown his way in 2013 were completed.

Good work ethic and a team-first guy with the right priorities, two-year team captain. Four-year starter (45 career starts) with experience in both man and zone coverage and holds the school record for career passes defended (42).

Walter Football on Gaines, who he had ranked as the 10th best corner in the draft:

Gaines was another star of the Combine who used the opportunity to really help his draft stock. He blistered the 40-yard dash and did well in the field drills, so he used the Combine to his advantage to command more attention from teams. The senior recorded 36 tackles with four interceptions and nine passes broken up in 2013. In 2012, he had 33 tackles with 18 passes defended. 

Gaines clearly has a nice combination of size and speed. It isn’t surprising that his stock has climbed in the lead up to the 2014 NFL Draft. Gaines may go earlier than most projections; the second round isn’t out of the realm of possibility. 

The immediate thought for this pick is what does this mean for Brandon Flowers? This is a fair question given how much of the cap room he occupies, the Chiefs’ need to re-sign key pending free agents, and the thought that Flowers isn’t a good fit for what the Chiefs are trying to do on defense. All of these are solid points.

However, the Chiefs love to use as many defensive backs as possible. They’ll have six defensive backs on the field at any given time, and they need them in a division where Denver and San Diego love to spread the field. Adding Gaines gives the Chiefs three solid options on the outside – Gaines, Sean Smith, and Marcus Cooper – and two good options on the inside in Flowers and Chris Owens. Kansas City is better at cornerback today than they were a year ago, no doubt.

It would not be a surprise to me if the Chiefs keep Flowers beyond 2014. I think they really like what he has to offer as a physical inside cornerback. The issue last year was when Flowers was forced to the outside to cover taller receivers like Dez Bryant and Eric Decker. If that job is now occupied by Cooper and Smith, with Gaines giving either one a breather for a few downs, the Flowers can stick on the inside.

Gaines has a great deal of upside to eventually take a starting spot at corner. His length and ball skills matched with his speed and versatility are very appealing. While a wide receiver would have been nice in round three, I’d give the Chiefs’ selection of Gaines a B.

Now it is your turn, Addicts. What grade do you give the Gaines pick?

How would you grade the selection of Phillip Gaines?

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Kansas City Chiefs Phillip Gaines

  • Chuck Burrell

    I like where your heads at, Ben

  • redchiefs

    I like the upside, he’s almost Dale Carter fast.

  • Andy

    B+. It seems we are drafting back ups ready to take over existing starters. My belief is your first rounder starts. Ford is, at best, third string. I am giving Reid and Dorsey the benefit of the doubt. They do have a winning past.

  • Blaize Richardson

    He was the best player available and gives us flexibility with our defensive schemes and play calling, as well as flexibility with our future. I give this pick an A. I’m really happy were adding more talent to our defense. Andy Reid can make a serviceable offense out of just about anything, it was our defense that needed to shore up a little bit.

    With Jamaal Charles running wild, Alex Smith playing smart football with the aggression he displayed later in the year, our WRs taking a step forward now that they’re more comfortable with Smith and Andy Reid’s offense, and our defense playing great with all the additions, I think were a serious contender in the AFC. Were going to be a team, that other teams don’t want to face.

  • Matt Dickson

    Quality, quality pick. Under the radar, small school pick who may surprise some people. Chiefs suddenly have a pretty good looking CB Corp between this draft pick and their FA signing.

    • Kcfan

      Yes sir! Love it

  • Bill

    B+ from me, wouldn’t have been my pick, but i see the potential. Strange to see Walter giving a Chiefs move an A- grade. Seems like he’s always down on KC. He rated Ford a D, which I tend to agree with, maybe C-.

    • Kcfan

      I like both picks. Still plenty of chances to get wr and ol. Gives flexibility in future and sutton 2 new toys this year. Can’t wait

    • phantomebb

      I don’t see why the number 2 DE in the draft gets a D.

  • Calchiefsfan

    I like this pick. Now the Chiefs have improved their pass rush and their coverage, the two biggest needs going in. I would have been happy with Moncrief as well, but our secondary was a bigger need. Now let’s get some depth for the O line and another WR. Martavis Bryant, Jeff Janis and Abbrederis are still available. Yankey and Dozier for the O line plus some other decent tackles are still there. The fourth round could get us another diamond in the rough like I believe Gaines is.

    • Kcfan

      Amen! Can easily find a plug-n-play starting guard and a wr tomorrow. If for some reason desir is still there grab him first

      • Calchiefsfan

        I forgot about Desir. He’d be an awesome pick up in the fourth round.

  • Tyler_KC_Fan

    Not a big fan of this pick. Not a big fan of the draft so far to be frank. I understand that the team was picked apart in the playoff game, and that the defense struggled at the end of the year because of a lack of QB pressure.

    That being said, I think Ealy would have been a better choice than Ford. Ealy is a little more vers and can apply pressure from either Huston or Hali’s side. Seeing is how Ealy fell to the 60th pick (I know tht it’s hard to tell how far a player will fall and the Chiefs are at 87, I get it.) the Chiefs could have easily picked up a WR in the 1R and made a move to get Ealy. The Chiefs seemed to be trying to make a trade in the 1R, which made them go all the way down to the wire, but come on.

    Dee Ford may be a solid replacement for Hali who is on his way out the door. Always bringing in someone to replace the next guy. Totally understand that. I wasn’t crazy about the pick, but he has a lot of upside and could make an impact next year. Fine, whatever.

    Phillip Gains? The Chiefs need WRs. The Chiefs are obviously keeping Flowers and Berry, we have Commings who is comng off and injury who Reid and Dorsey are all about, we have Sean Smith and Marcus Cooper. So we now have Flowers, Berry, Smith, Cooper, Gains, and Commings. 5 CBs and 1 S. I’m not 100% sure how many a normal roster has, but I feel like this is over kill.

    I thought the Chiefs would make some kind of move to get a 3R or maybe move to get a WR that can make an impact this year or give the offense some kind of depth or new look. Instead we seemed to sit there and wait for something to fall into our lap. We drafted a player that Mayock and other analysts saw as a developmental CB when we clearly need a WR. We have Bowe (average at best), Avery (injury prone and not that good), Jenkins (crap), Hemmingway (not a starter), and Dressler (lots of question marks). If you’re trying to convince me that Bowe, Avery, and Jenkins will be a solid WR core for next year, that has to be an absolute joke. The Chiefs missed out on so many game changers today, it’s not even funny. I’m almost getting tired of seeing the Chiefs just sit there and wait for something to happen. Why not make a move? Make a trade! Trade up to get someone! Buffalo traded up to get the best WR in the draft! DO SOMETHING!

    • phantomebb

      I think Ford was a great pick, he is suppose to be the 3rd best pass rusher in the draft. Hali really fell off as the season went on last year and the Chiefs were nothing without a outside pass rush, and Ford could possibly get better against the run where Hali is a liability right now.

      Gains is a great pick as well. Flowers was shown to be a liability covering the slot. Cooper is still developing and may never. Berry is locked down as one of the best if not the best at his position with Abdullah and Commings fighitng for the other Saftey postion. Who knows what we might get from Parker. You can’t have to many quality defensive backs and Gains gives them the ability to ajust to matchups they couldn’t handle last year (ie Denver, and injuries).

      The Chiefs Need at the WR position isn’t as great as everyone makes it out to be. Last year the pass offense was pretty bad for most of the year. Not only was it year 1 of the Andy Reid system but the TE position severely underperformed. Normally the TE core produces more than double what it did this last year under Reid, and thats why Travis Kelce (a Gronk clone) injury was so harsh last year.

      Bowe is currently locked up at the #1 position. Fighting for the slot is Avery (only a solid starter and not a #2), Jenkins (has show great flashes but no production and hopefully builds on it), Williams ( flashed a poor mans Wes Welker at times in SF), and Dressler ( looks good on tape). Hemingway and Jenkins could possibly play the #2 and they both have high ceilings and often time it takes a receiver 2 or 3 years to really catch on.

      Buffalo gave away a kings ransom(swapping 1sts this year, a 1st next year and a 4rd in 2015)and then traded Stevie Johnson a 27 year old supposedly in his prime for a 4th rounder. So I wouldn’t call it a good move. Often times the teams that do the most moving are the the desperate ones where they need to make a “splash” to save jobs and create buzz, not win in the playoffs.

      The Chiefs are trying to be a perennial playoff team. If they add a Guard, a D linemen, a inside linebacker, and a developmental WR I think this Draft will be A quality. No WR but Watkins was going to come in and make a guarenteed impact, but a pass rusher and CB can. So far we got the 3rd best pass rusher and 7th best corner, I call that a win.

      • Tyler_KC_Fan

        Saying Watkins is the only WR that is a guarenteed impact WR is a bit of a stretch. Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Bradon Cooks, Jordan Matthews…those guys are game changers. Evans is paired up with Vincent Jackson, dangerous. Beckham joins Victor Cruz, dangerous. Cooks has Drew Brees throwing the football to him, dangerous. Matthews joins Maclin and Cooper with Sproles in the back field, dangerous.

        Evans is said to be neck and neck with Watkins. Odell Beckham and Cooks are fast, north south runners, solid route runners, great hands. Matthews broke Vandy records and had amazing stats with a team that never had a QB worth anything and he has some of the best hands of any WR in the draft. Those 4 the Chiefs could have made a move for. Matthews was there for the taking, too.

        Our defense got hammered towards the end of the year, yes. The pressure on the QB was basically gone when Hali and Huston got hurt, so drafting Ford make sense. But drafting Ealy later makes sense too. Drafting Dennard instead of Ford give us one of the best CBs in the draft instead of Gains who might be solid but will have to be developed over the next couple years.

        It’s great that we drafted the 3rd best pass rusher and the 7th best corner, but we got fixes that wont be in the starting lineup (unless someone gets injured) for the next 2-3 years. Then we give Smith what on the offensive side? De’Anthony Thomas. Okay, he could turn into a great slot WR. But once again, developmental player. Then our next pick we get Aaron Murray. Either that’s us telling Smith lower your price or you walk, or we just drafted a QB that may make the team or may walk. So far this year we have done nothing, zero, zilch to help the offense and Smith.

        • phantomebb

          WR are the biggest boom or bust there is, just look at Josh Gordon. Ford and Gains will get significant snaps this year, not 2-3 years from now and will be starting if anyone gets injured. We got Smith more line help which is always good, and more cap space for the future when daniels leaves. A trade up to get one of the top 4 receivers would have done more harm then good. And thomas is a great change of pace back and returner, remember charles only has 2/3 years of good football left.

    • KCMikeG

      Dee Ford is a game changer. Hali is not on his “way out the door”. Hali had 11 sacks – exactly as many as Houston and led 46-44 in tackles plus they both missed games. Ford will be on the field with them terrifying QB’s. Then when the time comes for Hali to retire or move on in a year or two or three R&D will have added his “replacement” to the top ranked sack duo of Ford and Hali.

      The logic behind not drafting WR with our first two picks: #1 – Reid’s offense doesn’t focus on WR’s – RB’s & RB’s are the leading receivers. #2 – Our offense averaged over 30 points per game during the 2nd half of the season with our “joke” squad of WR’s. #3 – There are still going to be good options at WR in rounds 4-6. Why do you think AS11 would have wanted Jenkins here? Probably not because he is “crap”. I expect that we will see either OL or WR in rounds 4-5 & BPA S/TE/QB/DL in our two round 6 picks.

      • Tyler_KC_Fan

        Charles – 693 yards
        Bowe – 673 yards
        Avery – 596 yards
        McCluster – 511 yards
        Jenkins – 130 yards
        Hemmingway – 125 yards

        So by saying that in an Andy Reid offense, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin should be averaging those type of yards when Reid was the HC? Saying that it’s typical for Andy Reid RBs to lead the team is absurd. Jackson and Maclin both nearly had 1,000 yards on the season while McCoy was around 200-300 yards. Jenkins has 3 years of experience and had his first yards in the NFL this year. Meaning he has a 3 year career with 130 total yards. Also, where does anything say, “Alex Smith asked Andy Reid to trade for AJ Jenkins”? I highly doubt Smith got in the ear of Reid and asked for Jenkins, who played 3 total games in SF, to come to KC. Come on man.

        I’m not saying that Ford isn’t a good player. He may come out of the gate and be strong for the team. But if you think Hali isn’t on his way out the door, don’t you think drafting a DE later in the draft while drafting someone who could start makes more sense? The reason I say Hali is on his way out the door is because he’s getting $12M or something like that. After his injury, he wasn’t the same player. He’s 30 years old I believe, so unless he’s planning on retiring within the next year or two, I don’t see him playing in KC.

        If we wanted to draft a CB that will help the team, why did we pass on Dennard? Dennard is more NFL ready than Gains. It just doesn’t make sense.

        • KCMikeG

          I didn’t say that DJ & JM didn’t have big seasons nor did I say our WR production was acceptable. Ialso didn’t say the RB/WR had the most yards like Charles did this year. I know DJ, JM & TO all had over 1,000 yard seasons but never has the #2 WR – even Maclin – been worth a 1st round pick. The #1 WR job is filled by Bowe at $56M and he had better show up and get the job done or he will be the one on the way out. My point was that the RB/TE position is the focal point of Reid’s WCO short to intermediate range passing attack therefore making a #2 WR not worthy of our 1st or even 3rd round pick.

          #1 – RB Brian Westbrook is the Eagles #3 All-time leader in receptions, TE Brent Celek is #8 All-time, RB Duce Staley is #14 & RB Shady McCoy is #15 All-time in receptions. DJ (#8) is the only Reid WR in the top 15. As I said the RB & TE positions have historically been the focus of Reid’s WCO offense.

          Chad Lewis Eagles TE would know the importance of the TE, as he totaled 152 catches for 1,555 yards and 12 touchdowns during his three Pro Bowl seasons. Look to others who thrived under Reid’s tutelage over the last two decades.

          Former Packers TE Mark Chmura made three Pro Bowls (1995, 1997-98) and current Eagles TE Brent Celek averaged 59.2 catches with Reid the last four seasons, including a team-high 76 receptions in 2009.

          Additionally, former Eagles TE L.J. Smith proved heavily involved in the passing game. His 61 catches in 2005 tied for the team lead with then-Eagles RB Brian Westbrook, and Smith followed that season with 50 catches, good for second-best on the team.

          QB Koy Detmer said in most situations, what the TE does helps establish what the RBs and WRs do with their respective routes. He adds the TE route also sets up the QB read, making the development of unspoken communication between the two positions a priority.

          “The relationship between a QB and TE is very important because of the route concepts,” Detmer said. “The tight end is a big part of it because if he’s not the primary receiver, he’s almost always the secondary receiver. That becomes a real big deal to a West Coast offense with the TE.”

          Of course, the West Coast offense and its variations produced high-profile QBs over the last 25-plus years. However, Harris points out behind those QBs were capable TEs who helped the scheme work.

          “If you don’t have a TE that can play well, that fits in well, you can’t do a lot of the things that you saw Joe Montana, Brett Favre, Steve Young or Donovan McNabb do in the West Coast offense,” Harris said. “The TE is responsible for the blitz adjustment on just about every play. That offense is designed to let the WRs do their thing and the TE handles all the set adjustments, the hot reads, those kinds of things.”

          Hopefully that’s enough to relieve the absurdity for you.

          #2 – You neglected to address our offensive production of 32.7 points per game over the last 8 games. Charles only had 100+ yards rushing in three games during that stretch so it was the passing game producing.

          #3 – The electrifying De”Anthony Thomas being selected in the 4th round supports my position of talented depth in the later rounds.

          Drafting Dee Ford with our #1 pick was to solve our #1 problem. Our pass rush diminished which exposed our DB’s. Ford was not drafted to replace Hali in 2015. Ford was drafted so Sutton could put him, Hali & Houston on the field at the same time. Ford’s ferocious outside rush will allow Hali will slide down to his original DE (DT also before DE at Penn State) position next to Poe. It has been reported that Hali showed up to offseason workouts 20#’s heavier at 284. Really? Truth is he played at 265 in college and at 275 last year. My money is on the extra 10#’s being added is a plan not the extremely disciplined Hali being overweight. Ford & Houston coming from the edges, Hali & Poe pushing the pocket and either DJ or Berry being wild cards on blitzes will be a nightmare for opposing QB’s. Hali by the way has been a ProBowler for three years and led us in sacks in 2010 & 2011 and returned to that level last year tying Houston with 11 sacks last year even though he was hurt. Had he not gotten hurt he would have had his best year ever. That is definitely being the same player. If there is a BPA DE/OLB in the draft they can replace him with next year and the money can’t be worked out in a cap friendly manner that would be the only reason Hali is not here beyond this year.

  • sidibeke

    I love the speed. I don’t want to have to see our LBs or DBs chasing after opposing players like we did last year.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I personally would’ve taken Moncrief, but Gaines is another good pick. Great insticts, speed, and ability. He needs more muscle and some work on his ball skills, but this kid has the potential to be a really good starter at Cornerback someday.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Same grade as Dee Ford got, B-. Love his height, footwork, and speed. Also has good instincts. His ball skills need major work and he needs to get bigger and stronger. Still… ROCK SOLID pick.

  • Stan Colbert

    These picks are athletic freaks! I don’t know how much they have actually improved, but, coaches are going to sweat the possibilities!

  • Blake Molina

    Don’t forget about Ron Parker, that dude made plays even though he had limited snaps