There are going to be “steals” in this draft. Players are going to fall like never before. How do I know? Because every time I do a mock draft it’s shocking how many good players are available.
And who is the chief architect of thievery? That would be John Dorsey. It’s hard to believe but it’s been nine years ago this month that Mr. Dorsey was part of the team in Green Bay that stole the show when Aaron Rodgers fell all the way to them at #24.
Now, “stealing” is discouraged in most fields of endeavor but, in professional football, on draft day, the GMs who can spot a steal, and reel it in, are the biggest winners. Remember when Tom Brady was drafted in the 6th round? Remember Kurt Warner? An undrafted free agent by… the Packers. The reality is… the teams with the best steals are many times the teams with the most success.
I recall now, with too much clarity, Scott Pioli’s first draft pick in Tyson Jackson, the 3rd pick of 2009. What most will also recall is that later in the first round of that same draft Dorsey and the Pack nabbed future Pro Bowler DL B.J Raji. What many may forget is… that Dorsey also helped select another future Pro Bowler in the 1st round in USC’s LB Clay Matthews, while many thought another SC backer was better, Rey Maualuga. Perhaps a double-steal that year.
What is interesting about this draft is that the stars are aligning and for Chiefs fans it should be wonderful to witness one of the best “stealers”… John Dorsey… operating in one of the richest “steal worthy” drafts ever.
One way to tell that there will be a plethora of steals in this draft is to determine how many players in this draft are “top 10 talents.” A phrase that’s thrown around a lot these days.
So, how many “Top 10 Talents” are there in this draft? Since everyone and their granny are touting that this draft is the deepest since George Washington became the first president then it follows that there are going to be more top 10 talents… than 10. And… players are going to fall. You know what they’ll all be screaming don’t you? Say it with me now…
… I ’ v e f a l l e n a n d I c a n ’ t g e t u p !
If you’re Teddy Bridgewater, the meaning of that statement has totally changed.
If someone is falling, there’s usually a good reason. Let’s take a look at who’s rated in the top 20 of three different sporting services and see if we can come to a consensus as to whom is a top 10 type… and whom ain’t.
1. Jadeveon Clowney? Check
2. Greg Robinson? Check
3. Khalil Mack? Cheick
4. Sammy Watkins? Check
5. Mike Evans? Check
6. Jake Mathews? Check
7. Blake Bortles? Check
8. Johnny Manziel? Check
9. Justin Gilbert? Check
10. Eric Ebron? Check
11. Aaron Donald? Check
12. Darqueze Dennard? Check
13. C.J. Mosley? Check
14. Teddy Bridgewater? Check
15. Calvin Pryor? Check
Beyond #15 it gets a little fuzzy for me. However, I’d bet dollars to donuts that someone unlisted on my top 15 list will be drafted in the top ten.
It’s been said that several Tackles in this draft are better than Eric Fisher taken #1 last year. I’d go so far as to say that if Taylor Lewan (perhaps the 3rd rated OT in this draft) was available at #23 (and assuming the Chiefs haven’t traded out of that pick… which I think is a good possibility), then they should take Lewan and see if he’d be a better LT than Fisher. With the recent announcement of Fisher’s multiple surgeries this off-season, it might not be a bad idea at all for the Chiefs to go this route.
The point is there may well be 20 players at the top of this draft who could go in the top ten. I’ve seen a lot of services with QB Derek Carr being drafted in those lofty places. I believe Carr belongs there. I have Manziel and Carr as my number one and two QB prospects. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they start for a team next season and we’re playing highlights of their rookie years next summer.
On the other hand, there are many who obviously don’t rank Carr as a top ten talent and even though a player is drafted in the top ten… does not make them a top ten talent, e.g. Ryan Sims, Sylvester Morris, Percy Snow….
However, before moving on to reveal some steals for the Chiefs in this draft I want to further clarify how strong this draft is by focusing on the top of the draft. Below you’ll find three lists, the top ten two years ago, the top ten last year and prospects who could be ranked 11-25 this year.
So, here’s your task: pick a player off of this year’s list on the left and see if you can justifiably rank them onto either list on the right. You may find this a surprisingly easy task to accomplish and not just for a single player… but many.
As an example, there may be a half a dozen quarterbacks in this draft who turn out to be better than Ryan Tannehill.
Once you’ve done this a few times and seen just how possible it is to do, you may come to understand why I believe this year’s draft is special in so many ways and at so many different draft positions. And… why there will undoubtedly be more than your average number of prospects falling… and consequently a rising number of steals to be had.
So, who would be a “steal” should they fall to the Chiefs at #23?
From Zach Kruse, a featured columnist for The Bleacher Report, in an article called, “C.J. Mosley Could Be The Steal Of The 2014 Draft” he states that,
"“Mosley can do all of the things performed by the game’s best interior linebackers. Stack and shed blocks? Check. Attack downhill against the run? Check. Time up blitzes and cause inside disruption? Check. Handle coverage duties in space? Check.Mosley will enter the NFL ready to make an impact right away from the middle of a defense. If he falls out of the top 15 because of injury issues, he’ll become one of the draft’s biggest steals.”"
C.J. Mosley is the best ILB in this draft and if for some reason he falls to #23, he would be a steal for the Kansas City Chiefs. Now, it just so happens that the Chiefs have a need at ILB so this comes as terrific news, serendipitous news, one might say. Over half the number of times I have performed a simulated draft at Fanspeak Mosley has become available. Understand that this is not because Mosley is no good, but because it has more to do with teams drafting out of need when some other really special players have come available when it’s their time to select… because this draft is loaded.
319 tackles in 4 seasons
23 tackles for loss
24 passes defensed
Have no doubt about the fact that C.J. Mosley is a really special player too. Look back at the list of prospects this year and try and find another ILB in the top 25. That’s also what makes Mosley even more special… the law of supply and demand. There’s plenty enough demand for an ILB with his skill set… but not nearly enough of them to go around. That’s why, if C.J. Mosley falls to the Chiefs… expect them to take a long hard look because guys like him are a steal that late in the first round of any draft.
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In the third round, with the 87th pick, steals abound.
In his piece called, “MU’s E.J. Gaines Believes Making Big Plays More Important Than Being A Big Player” Terez Paylor quotes Gaines as saying,
"“In my eyes, if you can make plays, you can make plays. You can be 5-6 or 6-5, it doesn’t matter. Making plays is making plays.”"
Gaines has 28 pass deflections in his first 3 seasons with the Missouri Tigers and 5 INTs in his Senior year and at 5-11 and 195 is as good at stopping the run as he is at defending the passing game.
Sometimes it’s the hidden stats that reveal whether or not a player might be a steal and in this case it was his game against one of the biggest and best receivers in college football last year, top ten WR Mike Evans. With Gaines blanketing him like an early April snowstorm in Missouri, Evans had 4 catches for 8 yards.
Another little known fact to the national media, but a fact that may pay high dividends if the Chiefs were to land him none the less, is that E. J. Gaines is from Independence, Missouri. You know… the Independence which bears the shadow of Arrowhead Stadium most of the afternoon. Loyalty… could go a long way.
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In the 4th round, and with the 124th pick, the Chiefs could land… CB/FS Antone Exum.
Matthew Brown, in a column for The Bleacher Report called, “Washington Redskins Draft Countdown: Making the Case for Cornerback Antone Exum” he details Exum’s misfortunes:
"“…he tore his ACL in January 2013 and appeared in just two games during his senior season before a sprained ankle put him on the sidelines for good.Two injuries—one major, one minor—in such a short period of time, the former occurring during a pickup basketball game, puts a bit of a red flag on Exum’s durability. Bad news for Exum’s draft stock is good news for Washington’s draft position.”"
Of course, if Exum slips past Washington he’d be a steal for the men in red and gold in the 4th round.
Brown goes on about the 6-0, 213 pound Exum,
"“He’s got the size and strength to stand up to physical receivers, is excellent in press coverage, has great field speed, can play any position in the secondary and has experience on special teams.Over four seasons, he forced five fumbles, grabbed six interceptions and even tallied eight tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.”"
So, there’ll be steals in the first round of this draft as well as deals to be had throughout the mid-rounds and bottom half as well. Alright Addict fans, is there anyone you’re hoping the Chiefs steal in this draft?