6th Round – Pick 203
Dadi Nicolas – DE/OLB – Virginia Tech
AA Grade: B-
Many people believed the Chiefs might target a pass rusher earlier in the draft given Justin Houston’s injury, Tamba Hali’s age, and Dee Ford’s relatively disappointing start to his career. Instead, KC waited until their final pick to address the position when they took Dadi Nicolas. My initial reaction to this pick was very positive. While I hadn’t watched film on Nicolas yet I had heard his name discussed as a mid to late round pass rush prospect. If I had graded this pick before I watched any of his game tape I would have given it an “A” since they hadn’t addressed the position yet so why not take a flier on him?
I should probably point out at this point that Nicolas is 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds. That’s pretty small for an edge rusher in the NFL. Let’s put it this way, he’s 17 pounds lighter than Dee Ford. At this point you are probably assuming that he is lightning fast. Well, he ran a 4.74 forty (compared to Dee Ford’s 4.55). Well, okay then he must be really strong for his size right? Well, he only put up 14 bench press reps at the combine. Well…..he must….. Yeah, I got nothing.
When you put on tape of Nicolas his lack of size and strength are clear. In the game against Ohio State this past season Virginia Tech inexcusably used Nicolas as one of three down linemen for most of the game. As you can imagine he was completely ineffective against the 300+ pound offensive linemen he was going head to head against.
In other games where he played outside linebacker he was better, showing nice burst off the line and some decent speed pass rush moves, but unless he adds 15-20 pounds of muscle mass I just don’t see how he makes it as an outside linebacker in the NFL. Some have speculated that he might benefit from a move to ILB in the 3-4, but I don’t think he has the sideline to sideline speed to excel there and it would take away his one strength being his quickness off the line on the edge.
While I like the idea of KC taking an edge rusher, I think Nicolas is a long shot to make this team in his first season. He seems like a developmental practice squad guy to me.
If you average together the AA grades of all nine picks that gives us the following overall AA draft grade.
Overall AA Draft Grade: B-
I think that’s a fair overall grade. If you wanted to bump that grade up to a “B” or “B+” on account of the extra picks that they picked up I wouldn’t argue with you. My initial reaction is that this draft has some good picks with some real upside but it also has a few question marks as well. As with any draft we won’t really know until things play out on the field over time, but that’s no fun for the Monday after the draft.
Thanks again to Matt Verderame, Laddie Morse, Stacy Smith, and Ben Almquist for adding their draft grades to my own to make up these AA draft grades.
So what do you think, Addicts? Do you agree with these grades for the most part? Are you happy with this draft class overall? Did this draft class disappoint you? What picks do you love or hate? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!