The latest four round mock draft from FOX Sports brings a bit of a surprise for the Chiefs in the first round and a good look at what their draft class might resemble.
The 2017 NFL Draft is almost here. While it’s impossible to tell these days what is a true smokescreen and what might actually signal a fire, mock drafts can help sort out where players might actually go, rather than just hear that 60 different player are “a sure first rounder.”
Dieter Kurtenbach of FOX Sports has a brand new four-round mock draft up, a good amount of data that gives Kansas City Chiefs fans a good idea of what to expect when looking at how at least half of a draft class can come together.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford, 1st round (No. 27 overall)
In the first round, Kurtenbach has the Chiefs addressing the lack of an impact running back from the outset with Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey wowed scouts at the NFL Combine by putting up the sort of numbers in multiple drills that ranked him among the best athletes at any position, a weekend in Indy that moved McCaffrey up in line with Leonard Fournette or just immediately below him. Given the presence of Joe Mixon and Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara who are all also in conversation for the best running backs available, it was an impressive showing to say the least. Kurtenbach writes:
"Kansas City has a surprising number of areas of need for a team that was so good last year, and though there isn’t necessarily a chief (pardon the pun) need among them, running back certainly is something that must be addressed in this draft. If McCaffrey is on the board, Kansas City should pounce, as he’s a running back who can be used as a featured runner or a slot receiver. The Chiefs need weapons on offense, and McCaffrey is most certainly one."
Why this could work:
The Chiefs do need another offensive weapon if we’re shopping with an empty cart. Tyreek Hill, Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce are a prolific trio for any offense, and it will be interesting to see what Hill can do when defenses are scheming for him with plenty of game tape. But there’s zero reason for any defense to fear the Chiefs running game as it is, given how Spencer Ware faded down the stretch and how little of a tandem Charcandrick West provided one year after signing that extension.
McCaffrey also looks the part of an Andy Reid running back, a player who is dangerous in space, who can hit the outside and turn the corner well and can even slide into the slot and alter an offensive look entirely. Together with the more punishing style of Ware, this could be a home run of a pick.
Why this couldn’t work:
It’s early. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the McCaffrey pick at all, except that the Chiefs would be passing over the chance to grab an impact cornerback or edge rusher or even top-tier quarterback prospect for the sake of adding help at running back, which is possible in the next round (or even the one or two or three after that). This is a deep class and John Dorsey’s draft history focusing so much on positional value makes this seem like a serious leap.