The Chiefs surprised many by bringing Jaye Howard back, but this shouldn’t stop the chiefs from considering one of the many solid defensive line prospects in this year’s draft. In order for the trio of Howard, Dontari Poe, and Allen Bailey to consistently play like they can, they need solid depth players to spell them every now and then without much of a dropoff.
With Mike DeVito still unsigned, Nick Williams the only other defensive linemen who’s received meaningful playing time, and both Howard and Poe due for big paydays within the next two years, it may be wise for the Chiefs to take advantage of one of the deepest defensive line classes ever. With so many possible defensive linemen who could be on the board, I’ll just give a quick rundown of them all.
Sheldon Rankins – Louisville – 6’1″, 299 lbs
Rankins is probably the least likely player mentioned in this article to be available at 28, but you never know what can happen in the draft. As the best interior pass rusher prospect, Rankins would fit in perfectly with the Chiefs’ nickle package as one of the two down linemen. He could use the time behind Bailey and Howard to develop as a run stopper in order to possibly replace one or the other down the road.
Chris Jones – Mississippi State – 6’6″, 310 lbs
Top-15 talent with some effort and off-field concerns, Jones could wind up being one of the biggest steals in the entire draft. His technique and pad level could use some refinement, but with good coaching and influences around him Jones has the potential to be the best defensive linemen from his class.
Andrew Billings – Baylor – 6’1″, 311 lbs
Billings is sometimes compared to Dontari Poe due to his impressive movement skills for a player his size. He is still a raw player but could be a possible high-upside replacement for Poe at NT if the Chiefs decide against signing Poe long-term because of his back issues or any other reason.
Vernon Butler – Louisianna Tech – 6’4″, 323 lbs
An athletic and versatile defensive linemen, Butler would be able to fill in for any player along the line. He’s similar to Poe in the fact that he didn’t quite have the production you would think he would have considering his talent and level of competition, but he’s a very intriguing and diverse player nonetheless.
Next: Outside Linebacker