2019 NFL mock draft: Kansas City Chiefs stay focused on front seven
By Matt Conner
As silly as it might sound, mock drafts are already out for 2019 and the majority of analysts believe the Chiefs will keep investing where they did this year.
Hours after the 2018 NFL Draft closed, two things happened that occur every year. They make zero sense and yet the exercises are as common as the draft itself these days. Of course, I’m talking about NFL Draft grades as well as mock drafts for a full year into the future.
On the Monday morning after the NFL Draft weekend, fans can always find a plethora of mock drafts for the following year, offering up longshot guesses as to not only where teams will be drafting but who they might be considering one year out. It’s all a silly exercise, but we all indulge it just the same. The draft somehow remains a remarkable draw, even if we’re 12 months out from the next one.
As for the 2019 mock drafts already out, it’s clear that most draft analysts believe the Chiefs still have significant work to do on defense despite the fact that they just drafted five players out of six to help that side of the ball.
SB Nation’s Dan Kadar believes next year’s biggest issue will be the same that everyone else believed was this year’s primary need as well: a cornerback. Kadar has Georgia’s Deandre Baker headed to the Chiefs.
"The Chiefs didn’t draft a cornerback this year until the sixth round, so they may still be looking to find the replacement for Marcus Peters."
Over at CBS Sports, they have the Chiefs drafting a first round mauler along the offensive front to further protect their new franchise QB in Michael Dieter from Wisconsin.
"The Chiefs loaded up on defensive prospects in the 2018 draft, and they should spend next year looking for long-term starters on the offensive line. Dieter is a guy with better upside as a guard than a tackle, but the option is there to try him at tackle first and see if he can eventually replace Eric Fisher. Either way, the Chiefs should be able to land a starter in front of Patrick Mahomes with this pick."
Matt Miller from Bleacher Report says that the Chiefs didn’t quite finish their defensive makeover in a single offseason (gasp!) and might look to grab the next great pass rusher—his vote is Miami edge rusher Joe Jackson—in next year’s first round given what the state of the roster will be one year from now at that position.
"Miami’s Joe Jackson is an ideal fit in a 3-4 scheme. He has length and athleticism and uses both well to beat and bend offensive tackles around the edge. He’s a bit of a project, but if his 2018 season goes as planned, he’ll be one of the draft’s prized players in 2019."
Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting and The Sporting News has the Kansas City Chiefs grabbing Christian Miller, an outside linebacker from Alabama, in the middle of the first round.
"With Justin Houston potentially entering his last year in Kansas City, the Chiefs might need to find a pass-rusher who can replace his value to the defense."
Over at Cleveland.com, Matt Goul believes the Chiefs will also remain heavy investors along the defensive line with the addition of Clelin Ferrell, defensive end from Clemson.
"The Chiefs invested their first two picks this year on the defensive front, which is a weakness for them. They also didn’t have a first-round pick, and this position will be a major strength of the 2019 class."
Finally, there’s yet another analyst who believes the Chiefs will add a defensive lineman is Conner Riley over at SEC Country, who has the Chiefs taking Marlon Davidson from Auburn.
Overall, the bulk of analysts seem to believe the Chiefs will need further impact help on the defensive side, and specifically in the front seven, just one year after the Chiefs invested so heavily there. That’s likely a response, as some even mentioned, to the fact that Justin Houston will be another year older and that there’s no proven persons around him.
If the Chiefs are able to generate a serious pass rush this year, especially if Tanoh Kpassagnon and Breeland Speaks are serious parts of that, then perhaps the Chiefs will have the luxury of exploring other positions with their first round pick next year.