2017 NFL Draft: 8 players Chiefs could target in first round
By John McCarty
Zach Cunningham, MLB, Vanderbilt (6-foot-4, 230 pounds, RS Junior)
The Chiefs continue to run through options to line up next to Derrick Johnson. With Johnson starting to age (his performance certainly is not showing age) and a rotating door next to him, Cunningham is a guy that could make sense.
Cunningham stands out on film with his closing speed and tackling. Numbers to numbers, he attacks the ball-carrier and displays a consistent form. Instincts combined with his speed allows him the opportunity to make plays and stop the ball-carrier. Much like Johnson, Cunningham has the ability to be around the ball, regardless of where it may be.
Cunningham has also experience playing special teams, which would come in handy on a team that has won numerous football games the past three seasons using special teams to either set up short-field scoring opportunities or score points themselves.
The big concern with Cunningham simply is his size. In the offseason, he bulked up to 230 pounds, but can he add any more? Is a player of that weight somewhat restricted to play in a 4-3 type defense? Also, with his stock soaring, he may simply be out of reach for the Chiefs come draft day.
Cunningham would make a great impact for the Chiefs if he’s the pick. His instincts and attacking nature from the middle linebacker spot could work well next to and then possibly replacing Johnson in the future.