NFL Draft 2015: Grading The Kansas City Chiefs

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Sep 27, 2014; Hattiesburg, MS, USA; Southern Miss Golden Eagles defensive lineman Dasman McCullum (45) and defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches (97) and linebacker Alan Howze (37) celebrate a defensive play in the first quarter of their game against the Rice Owls at M.M. Roberts Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Round 6 – Pick 217 – Rakeem Nunez-Roches – Defensive Tackle – Southern Mississippi

Rakeem Nunez-Roches may have been the Chiefs best value pick of this draft. In Dane Brugler’s draft guide, he had Nunez-Roches as his 10th-best defensive tackle and graded him out as worthy of a third-round selection. Not everyone had him rated that high, but Mike Loyko’s draft guide had him as the 130th-rated player and KC got him with pick number 217.

Nunez-Roches possesses a freakish athletic build. He’s strong but also fast for his size. Optimum Scouting gave a pro comparison of KC’s own Allen Bailey. When you look at Nunez-Roches, you can see the similarity: they’re both imposing players. Nunez-Roches is bigger coming out of college and while his run defense leaves something to be desired, he is able to provide pressure up the middle with some success.

While Nunez-Roches is going to take some time to develop the skills needed to play in KC’s base defense, he may be able to contribute right away in the sub package. When you watch him on tape, his greatest strength is his ability to get penetration up the middle with his combination of strength and quick first step. He’s a high character player with a non-stop motor as well.

For a pick at the back of the sixth round, there is a lot to like with this pick. Not only does he possess some traits that could be useful as a rookie, but his physical upside makes him an intriguing long-term pick as well.

Pick Grade: A

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