Kansas City Chiefs rookie class ranked 4th best in NFL by Pro Football Focus
By Matt Conner
Pro Football Focus has announced their ranking of 2019 NFL Draft classes and the Kansas City Chiefs come in at fourth overall.
Even without a first round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and only six selections overall, general manager Brett Veach still provided the Kansas City Chiefs with a stellar draft class, one that Pro Football Focus recently ranked as the fourth best in retrospect after one year of production.
The Chiefs, if you will remember, traded away their first round pick (and more) for the chance to sign defensive end Frank Clark to a long-term extension. From there, the Chiefs had two second round selections (their own and the final pick from the Marcus Peters trade with the L.A. Rams from the 2018 offseason).
With the first pick in the second round, Veach traded up a few slots to grab wide receiver Mecole Hardman out of Georgia. The result was a Pro Bowl campaign for his ability to stretch the field as a dynamic receiver and a speedy threat as a returner. He finished with 26 catches, 538 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns and clearly has a bright future once the Chiefs clear the depth chart for more targets to come his way.
With their latter second round selection, the Chiefs did even better with their pick of Juan Thornhill, a safety out of Virginia. A ballhawk for the Cavaliers, Thornhill settled into the starting free safety spot opposite Tyrann Mathieu by Week 1 and only improved from there, giving the Chiefs a very impressive rookie campaign before tearing his ACL late in Week 17.
In the third round, the Chiefs grabbed Khalen Saunders who looked the part of future disruptor in limited opportunities. His incredible athleticism for a player with a frame was something to behold, especially when teammate Chris Jones was forced to miss time due to injury at midseason.
What’s even more impressive is that the folks at PFF didn’t even incorporate cornerback Rashad Fenton into the mix. The sixth round cornerback grab was largely viewed as a reach at the time who would only impact 2019 on special teams. Veach, however, knew what he was doing. Fenton ended up looking like a potential future starter who could hold his own outside and in the slot. Credit the Chiefs coaching staff for his incredible development.
The Chiefs also grabbed potential future help at running back (Darwin Thompson) and offensive interior (Nick Allegretti) although much of that remains to be seen.