The five names I am watching for when the Chiefs draft next weekend

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With less than a week until the 2015 NFL Draft, fans and analysts alike are narrowing their favorite prospects into predictions, most of which will inevitably be wrong.  Still, we all like to think that we know what is best for our favorite team, and that the front office will be thinking the same way we do.  It’s no different for me when it comes to the Chiefs draft prospects.

Through my own scouting process, I have found prospects that I both love and hate.  I have identified the players I think are busts, the diamonds in the rough, and the potential stars that will be mainstays on the Chiefs roster for years to come.  I have scoured the big boards and the mock drafts.  I have hounded the “experts” all across social media until they answered my questions.  It has been an ongoing process ever since the start of last year’s college football season.

From all of the hours of tape watching, report reading, expert analysis and metrics, I have identified five prospects that I really hope end up on the Chiefs roster in the 2015 NFL Draft.  This isn’t a mock draft.  These are just a few of the guys prospects that I really like in this year’s draft class.

Defensive lineman, Malcom Brown, may not fill an immediate need, but he has the potential to be a phenomenal football player. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Malcom Brown – Defensive Tackle – Texas: First Round

While most fans balk at the idea of adding a defensive lineman in the first round, I look at this as adding top 15 caliber player who would provide the Chiefs with options. At 6’2″ and 319 lbs, Brown can find a home in just about any scheme; 4-3 defensive tackle, 3-4 nose tackle, and 3-4 defensive end are all spots he can make a splash at, and that’s why I like him for the Chiefs.

The fact that he is well-suited to play all of those positions means that Bob Sutton can use him in a lot of ways. He can give Poe a breather at the nose tackle spot, he can eventually be a starter at either nose tackle or defensive end, and he can be used in four-man fronts in nickel and dime packages. A player like Malcom Brown would help bring a lot of high-end versatility to our defense.

He’s a stout run-defender, but has also shown skill as a pass rusher. And while not the athletic phenom that Dontari Poe is, Brown still scored among the top tier of defensive linemen in his athletic measurements. His ability to force his way into the backfield led to 14 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in his senior year. That’s the kind of penetration that can always be used by a defensive coordinator. Draft Profile

Justin Hardy can bring something to the Chiefs that the wide receiver group has lacked in recent years…reliability. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Hardy – Wide Receiver – East Carolina: Third Round

Get open and catch the ball. This simple concept has been lost on our wide receivers over the past several years, but is exactly what Justin Hardy does. While he lacks elite straight line speed, Hardy shows good short area quickness and quality route running that allows him to get open. And once the ball is in his reach, he’s going to catch it.

Hardy has excellent leaping ability, long arms, and big hands that allow him to catch passes one would think are well out of his reach.  He even shows the ability to high point the ball over defensive backs that are 2 or 3 inches taller than him.

After the debacle that was Donnie Avery and AJ Jenkins, the Chiefs need to get some reliable receivers on the roster. Hardy may not be a constant big-play threat in the NFL, but he is going to catch the ball. In many ways, he is similar to Jason Avant who became a reliable target for the Chiefs toward the end of the 2014 season. Draft Profile