2015 NFL Draft: Predicting the Chiefs and all others
By Ben Almquist
2nd (#49): Brett Hundley – QB – UCLA
Brett Hundley could be the Chiefs future at quarterback. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Okay, so there’s a little bit of hope in this one for me. But if Hundley is still on the board at No. 49, then he is clearly the best player remaining at this point. Hundley has all of the tools to develop into a quality starting quarterback. And both Andy Reid and John Dorsey have a history that suggests that they will take a quarterback even when it isn’t expected of them.
3rd (#80): Jaquiski Tartt – S – Samford
If Tartt went to a bigger school, he might be considered the top safety in the draft. An absolute missile, Tartt’s play style is reminiscent of Bernard Pollard… except he looks much better at defending the pass before it gets to the receiver. Even if Eric Berry is back as early as this year, the Chiefs need to get some reliable long-term depth in the deep secondary. It’s hard to imagine Berry, Tyvon Branch, and Husain Abdullah all being on the roster after 2015.
3rd (#98): Justin Hardy – WR – ECU
Get open and catch the ball. It’s what Chiefs receivers have been unable to do the last two years and is exactly what Hardy does. Despite being shorter than ideal, Hardy has an incredible catch radius, showing the ability to high point the football over cornerbacks that are two or three inches taller than him. Not a burner, but Hardy does have good short area quickness and plays physical to run through arm tackles.
A small school standout, MyCole Pruitt could be worth the middle round investment. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
4th (#118): MyCole Pruitt – TE – Southern Illinois
While everyone expected Maxx Williams to be the physical standout for tight ends at the 2015 NFL Combine, it was actually Pruitt who put on the show. Pruitt lacks the height of an ideal tight end, but shows excellent leaping ability and the speed and quickness to get open down field and in short area passing routes. He looks inconsistent in his blocking, dominating on one play and then getting beat on the next. However, working into the Chiefs three tight end formations, Pruitt could be an effective weapon all over the field.
5th (#172): Shaquille Mason – C – Georgia Tech
The Chiefs still need some interior help, especially in the form of young guys. At this point, it seems that Dorsey is content moving forward with Eric Kush at center, but they will still want another guy on the roster. Mason is big and strong with a tremendous mean streak to play man up in a power scheme. However, he also has decent athleticism to get around as a pulling blocker. He does tend to get over-aggressive and will lose his technique due to playing with too much emotion. If a coach can get that reigned in though, the sky is the limit for Mason.
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5th (#173): Ramik Wilson – ILB – Georgia
The Chiefs decided to re-sign Josh Mauga to a pretty sizeable contract this year instead of looking for help in free agency. I’ll go ahead and admit that I think that’s a mistake, but I’m not the one making the calls. Still, the Chiefs will need to find another inside linebacker at some point in the draft. Late in the 5th round, Wilson is a pretty good value. He isn’t the type of player that will take over for Derrick Johnson one day, but he can be a good counterpart, attacking the offensive line to redirect the play. Also a solid tackler which should help on special teams.
6th (#193): Jeremiah Poutasi – OG – Utah
Under Dorsey, the Chiefs have used the sixth round to get developmental offensive linemen. I don’t think that changes this year as there are a ton of developmental prospects in that range. The best of them, in my opinion, is the former tackle in Poutasi. He doesn’t have the quickness to play on the outside, but his size alone will get him drafted.
Adding offensive linemen in the 6th round has been Dorsey’s go-to move so far in the draft. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
6th (#218): Corey Robinson – OT – South Carolina
The Chiefs continue the aforementioned trend with Robinson from South Carolina. Don’t be surprised if either Donald Stephenson or Jeff Allen isn’t on the 2015 roster. The Chiefs have already made a significant investment along the offensive line, and I doubt anyone from the 2014 group has a guaranteed starting or roster spot at this point.
7th (#234): Nick Marshall – CB – Auburn
Point blank, I think Nick Marshall could be the absolute steal of the draft. The former quarterback has looked very good throughout the offseason as he tries to convince teams that he can play cornerback in the NFL. While there isn’t a ton of tape on him from his days at Georgia, what I have seen makes me think he can be an excellent addition to just about any secondary. In the seventh round, it’s not like the Chiefs are really risking anything.
To be honest, not all of these picks would be my first choice as prospects. I recently highlighted a group of players that I wanted to see the Chiefs come away with. Not all of them made it in my mock draft. Simply put, there’s almost no way you can get every player you target. Instead, it’s more about getting the best prospect available when your team is on the clock. Even my own mock draft didn’t work out quite how I wanted it to. A lot of it started because of moves made in the first round.
Moves that I will go over with all of you right now…