2018 NFL Draft: Could Ronald Jones make sense for the Chiefs?
By Matt Conner
The NFL Draft is underway with the second round slated for Friday night. What if the Chiefs decided to add another talented running back?
Let’s be clear from the outset: the Kansas City Chiefs are already set in the backfield in terms of having an entrenched starter and plenty of talent behind him. There’s a good reason why nobody—literally, nobody—refers to the Chiefs taking a running back early in this year’s draft.
They don’t need one.
So why are we asking the question heading into Day 2? The Chiefs are finally going to pick their first player(s) on Friday night of the 2018 NFL Draft, where they currently hold three selections in the combined second and third rounds. Would they really use one of them on a position where they are already set compared to other areas of need?
Right off the bat, the automatic answer is no, at least with regards to the team’s second round pick. There is simply too much talent at too many other positions of need for the Chiefs to take a luxury pick under the banner of “best available player.” Expect the Chiefs to take a cornerback, defensive lineman, guard or safety in the second round, to be sure. But beyond that, the idea of grabbing another running back enters the picture if the planets align in just the right way.
Consider this hypothetical scenario: Ronald Jones, one of the best RBs in the draft, falls unexpectedly past the first and second rounds all the way into the middle of the third.
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The Chiefs would have every excuse to ignore Jones for the sake of other positions, even offensive ones, as they continue to surround Patrick Mahomes with the best weapons. Yet the Chiefs will likely know more about Jones than most teams because they hired away his running backs coach, Deland McCullough, from USC earlier this offseason to replace Eric Bieniemy, who was promoted to offensive coordinator.
If Jones falls to the third round, even the most stocked teams at least have to ask the question. The reason is that the most popular comparison for Jones is another familiar face: Jamaal Charles. Just like Charles, Jones is absolutely electrifying in space with the sort of acceleration, athleticism and top end speed to burn defenders at any point.
Paired with Kareem Hunt, the returning rushing leader in the NFL, the two could be an unstoppable duo out of the backfield. Spencer Ware is returning from injury and there’s no official timetable on when he will return, so perhaps there is room to add a primary back-up. Then again, the Chiefs aren’t quite to the point where they can add such luxury choices, no matter how good it might sound.
If the Chiefs reach a point of confidence where it’s truly about BPA, Jones could be the right player. No matter where he lands, he’s going to be a very exciting player to watch.