Ranking standout linebackers from the NFL Combine for the KC Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs could really use help at the linebacker position. Several linebacker prospects had great combine performances, but do any fit KC?
The Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs have several positions of need entering the offseason. One of the top positions they need to address is linebacker.
With the Chiefs having limited salary cap space to work with, the NFL draft may be the perfect place for them to find some much needed talent at the linebacker position. This past weekend the NFL world descended on Indianapolis for the 2020 NFL Combine. On Saturday the linebackers took the field and there were several of them that put up some great numbers.
“Winning” the combine certainly isn’t a guarantee that a prospect will succeed in the NFL. That having been said, there were a lot of linebackers that helped their stock with a good showing. Let’s do a quick overview of some of the linebackers that had a great all around showing at the combine that the Chiefs might want to look at. That’s not to say that they can’t target someone not on this list, but with the combine fresh in our minds, I thought it might be a good time to look at some of the guys that shined.
Before we talk about the guys that did make the list, let’s take a second to talk about who isn’t going to be in this post. First, Isaiah Simmons, who was off the charts in the few drills that he did, but the Chiefs have absolutely no shot at landing Simmons who will definitely be a top 10 (or even top 5) pick. There’s not much point in profiling him here.
Second, Kenneth Murray and Patrick Queen both put up great 40 times before hurting their hamstrings and having to pull out. The injuries aren’t expected to be serious and while I think their limited participation validated their current stock, I don’t know that it really did anything to push them up draft boards. They may very well be a couple of the top targets the Chiefs will look at, but you can find lots of info on them out there. So I’m going to focus more today on slightly lesser talked about guys that boosted their stocks at the combine.
Jordan Brooks is another prospect that the Chiefs may look at, but he chose to just run the 40 on Saturday. He had a great time, but in order to make this list a guy needed to do more than one event. Then there are guys like Troy Dye and Akeem Davis-Gaither that didn’t participate at all. Obviously they won’t be on this list either.
Finally, there were a few combine standout linebackers that I’m not including because I don’t think they fit what the Chiefs are looking for. Casey Toohill had a fantastic combine, running a 4.62 second time in the 40-yard dash, with great vertical and long jumps measurements, and solid times in the 3-cone and shuttle, too. I just really think he’s an edge player. The Chiefs could target him to play as a pass rushing defensive end, but I don’t see him playing any of the three starting linebacker spots.
Davion Taylor and Khaleke Hudson are also guys that absolutely killed the combine. Taylor was near the top of almost every drill and Hudson led all linebackers with 30 bench press reps and ran a 4.56 forty. The reason I ultimately left them out is because of the Dorian O’Daniel factor. These two are really small linebacker/safety hybrid types. I like them both and if KC drafted one to use in the sub package I’d be fine with it. However, the fact that they refuse to use a very similar player in Dorian O’Daniel at all makes me believe that the Chiefs will stay away from these two.
So now let’s talk about the linebackers that had a great combine that I think the Chiefs may take a closer look at, starting with some late round options.