Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado 2nd round (No. 59 overall)
Witherspoon is a fast-rising prospect in the draft, as is fellow Colorado DB Chibode Awuzie, as teams are learning just how talented the Buffaloes secondary was in 2016. Witherspoon was named second-team All Pac-12 last year with 23 passes defended and 1 interception, and teams will love a 6-3 frame in a cornerback who is also so smooth and fluid. Witherspoon ran a 4.45 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
Why this could work:
The Chiefs have a loaded young secondary with plenty of developing talent, yet there’s not a single player who has claimed the No. 2 cornerback spot opposite of Marcus Peters. Phillip Gaines has the athleticism and draft investment as a former third rounder. Steven Nelson is a bit small to play all the time on the outside and might be better suited as a slot corner. Terrance Mitchell looked the part for a few games near season’s end, but he’s bounced around the NFL for years for a reason. The Chiefs also had the same sort of response from Marcus Cooper for a few games. D.J. White, last year’s sixth round pick, showed promised but is the last ready of any of the aforementioned options.
Adding Witherspoon to the mix would not only keep everyone on edge with a stronger level of competition but could provide someone to slide right in opposite Peters and help flesh out what is becoming a very dangerous nickel package defense.
Why this couldn’t work:
All of the aforementioned names are only going to get better. For White and Eric Murray, they’re entering their first full offseason with the Chiefs and will enjoy the growth from year one to two. Gaines is coming off of injury and should be healthy and ready to compete for the role. Mitchell thrived when playing for the Chiefs coaching staff and within Bob Sutton’s defensive scheme. Given more time to learn it, he could be even better in 2017. Nelson and Peters are both entering year three and should be able to lock down defenders more than ever. In short, this secondary is already filled with dynamic young playmakers and adding another one to the mix could actually stunt the growth of the seeds already planted.