2018 NFL Draft: Expert dishes on key prospects for the Kansas City Chiefs
By Matt Conner
Dan Kadar is the NFL Draft analyst for SB Nation and editor of Mocking the Draft. We asked him for Chiefs fits on Day 2 and more.
The Kansas City Chiefs lack a first round selection in this year’s NFL Draft, which makes it tough for them to add an instant impact player at a position of need like normal. Instead of being able to add one of the top safeties or edge rushers, for example, to the roster, general manager Brett Veach will have to dig a bit deeper and hope the coaching staff can unearth some talent more than most years.
Still with three picks on Day 2, the Chiefs will have a good chance to pick a few names after the top tier is gone. To find out more about the players who occupy those spots, we spoke with Dan Kadar, NFL Draft analyst for SB Nation and editor of Mocking the Draft, who was kind enough to answer a few questions.
The Chiefs aren’t picking in the draft until later in the second round and then they have a couple third round choices. What sort of players should be there on Day 2 among edge rushers who would work well opposite Justin Houston?
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Having your first pick that late, and needing a pass rusher, can be a little complicated. Fortunately for the Chiefs this is a good draft for edge rushers. I’d be thinking about Uchenna Nwosu of USC and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo of Oklahoma in that range.
Deeper in the draft, Kemoko Turay of Rutgers is an interesting prospect, as is Dorance Armstrong of Kansas. Turay is one in particular who could be impactful. He was great as a freshman and looked like a future first-round pick. But he got hit by some injuries, and really didn’t look the same until the Senior Bowl. He may start early as a pass rusher only, but he has speed and length.
Any safeties that you’d like on Day 2 who could step in and start next to Eric Berry that we should watch for?
In terms of safeties, Ronnie Harrison of Alabama comes to mind immediately. He’s not as good of a prospect as Landon Collins a couple years ago coming out of Alabama, but he’s just a really solid player. He’ll come up and help stop the run and he’s pretty good in help coverage. He may not be a great man coverage safety, but he makes up for it in the other areas of the game. DeShon Elliott of Texas is the same way in many respects, but he doesn’t diagnose plays as quickly as Harrison. I like Quin Blanding of Virginia, especially against the run. He’s a really sure tackler. But Day 2 may be a little early for him.
What positions are the thinnest this year?
To me, the thinnest positions this year are at 4-3 defensive end and inside linebacker.
Is Lamar Jackson gone in the first or do you think he drops to Day 2?
Lamar Jackson, I think, is 50/50 on being taken in the first round. I’ll have him graded as a first-round player, but every team in the NFL may not. He has a couple things going against him: His height and, moreso, his propensity to run. The height isn’t as big of an issue, but some teams will use it to cross him off their board. The running stuff is still an issue. While he was really successful running the ball at Louisville, that just doesn’t work consistently in the NFL. He got better last season staying in the pocket and working his progressions, but he needs to take another step or two in that regard.
Give me your favorite late round QB flyer.
My late-round quarterback this year is Chase Litton of Marshall. He really surprised people by entering the draft a year early. His accuracy is a little all over the place, but he has some impressive physical tools.