A Chiefs fan’s guide to the NFL Draft: Final Mock Draft
Round 3 – Pick 86 overall – Hercules Mata’afa – DT/DE/OLB – Washington State
If you read my post on interior offensive line prospects you know that I absolutely LOVE Virginia Tech’s Wyatt Teller and desperately want him to be a Chief. So the fact that I passed on him with this pick knowing he’d be off the board (he was gone by KC’s fourth round pick in all five of my simulations) then you now understand just how much I love Hercules Mata’afa. There really weren’t any other players I considered here outside of those two.
Now, if you look at a lot of mock drafts you will often see Mata’afa predicted to go in the fourth or fifth round. That’s insanity. Don’t buy it for a second. This guy has special explosiveness getting off the line and was one of the premiere disruptive forces in all of college football last season. The reason you see Mata’afa sliding is because people understand that he can’t play defensive tackle in the NFL like he did in college at 6-foot-2 and 254 pounds. I get that, but all you have to do is watch a couple of snaps to see how fast Mata’afa gets off the line. That will translate outside and his strength will serve him well setting the edge against the run. The bottom line is the Chiefs land a guy that can be an impact special teams player, an inside rusher in some passing situations, and a guy that I believe can develop into the long term answer at OLB opposite Justin Houston.
I firmly believe that even in the third round people will look back and think that Hercules Mata’afa was one of the steals of this draft class. I fully expect him to continue to be a force in the NFL. When you combine him with Mike Hughes and Nathan Shepherd in this draft haul for Kansas City you start to really see this defense coming around.
Will the Chiefs continue going defense in the fourth round?