Kansas City Chiefs: A Final 2015 NFL Draft Wish List

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Oct 25, 2014; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Stephone Anthony (42) sacks Syracuse Orange quarterback AJ Long (4) during the first quarter at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Inside Linebacker

1. Stephone Anthony – Clemson – 6’2″ 243 lbs

If you’ve been reading my draft related posts throughout the offseason you already know that I’m a HUGE Stephone Anthony fan. If I was making the Chiefs pick in the first round and you put a gun to my head and told me I had to take an inside linebacker I would take Anthony over more heralded prospects like Eric Kendricks. Unlike the other inside linebackers in this class that are either big physical thumpers that excel inside or smaller linebackers that excel in open space, I believe Anthony is the one inside backer that can excel in both places. While he does have a problem with being over agressive and over pursuing, I seem to recall Derrick Johnson having similar problems early in his career and so who better to mentor Anthony? What I do know is that when Anthony sets his sights on his target he’s like a heat seeking missile. He blows up screen passes and is the best in this draft class at bringing pressure up the middle on delayed blitzes. I have a huge draft crush on Stephone Anthony and if the Chiefs were to somehow land him in the second round where he’s projected (I think he’ll go higher) I would be on cloud nine.

2. Taiwan Jones – Michigan State – 6’2″ 245 lbs

Taiwan Jones isn’t an every down linebacker. He is a very physical in the box run stopper. Linebackers like Jones are a dying breed in today’s pass happy NFL. Because of that, Jones could probably be had in the 5th round and I think there is value there. Bernardrick McKinney may go as high as the second round and although he is clearly more athletic than Jones he isn’t exactly great in pass protection. So why spend a second round pick on a physical run stopper like McKinney when you still may have to take him off the field in some passing situations when you can get a good physical run stopper like Jones three rounds later? The Chiefs need a big physical run stopper to plug the middle and allow DJ to roam to the ball in the base 3-4. Jones could fill that role.

3. Ben Heeney – Kansas – 6’0″ 231 lbs

Okay, so you know the role of the big physical run stopper that plugs the middle and allows DJ to roam free that I just described when talking about Taiwan Jones? Yeah, that’s not Ben Heeney….at all. However, there is still a lot to like about Heeney. He’s a 110% effort guy that plays non stop and racked up a ridiculous amount of tackles in his three years as a starter (327 to be exact). Heeney plays with good speed and his 3 cone drill time at the combine was off the charts. If Heeney were to become a productive NFL starter I see it being more in DJ’s role where he is free to roam to the ball and another linebacker does the dirty work in the middle. I think Heeney could be a pro bowl caliber special teams player and would love to see the Chiefs spend a mid round pick on the local product and develop him to eventually take over for DJ.

Not Making My Wish List:

Paul Dawson – TCU – 6’0″ 235 lbs

Paul Dawson was incredibly productive at TCU the past two seasons. He has great instincts and a nose for the ball. That having been said, he’s small, slow, is not particularly strong taking on blockers, not overly great in coverage, and has some personality question marks. That’s not exactly a great combination for NFL success and I’m just not comfortable with the Chiefs using a valuable second round pick on the guy when there could be other options on the board.

Next: Click Here To See My Cornerback Wish List