Meet the Kansas City Chiefs rookie class from the 2020 NFL Draft, a group that helps the team address several points of need.
The Kansas City Chiefs have turned in the cards of every one of their selection cards for the 2020 NFL Draft, which means this year’s rookie class is in the books. It’s possible the Chiefs trade back up into the draft’s for a surprise selection, but they entered this year with only five picks having traded three away in trades for defenders Frank Clark, Darron Lee, and Jordan Lucas.
Let’s take a quick look at each to get a better overall view of the talent getting ready to join a Super Bowl caliber roster.
In the first round, the Chiefs took the first running back in the entire draft in Edwards-Helaire. The joy was instantly evident on the part of the Chiefs staff, and analysts agreed that he was an ideal fit for an offense that is already arguably the NFL’s most explosive.
For the Chiefs to add a back like Helaire who has the contact balance of Kareem Hunt and even better hands out of the backfield, it’s going to add another wrinkle that makes facing the Chiefs all the more arduous in a year where the team will have a significant target on its back as the defending champs.
The single greatest need for the Chiefs this offseason was to find a coverage linebacker, someone who can somehow plug the holes that were consistently open in the postseason and led to the Chiefs falling behind in each game. Previous attempts to fill the role include last year’s trade for Darron Lee (which is why there’s no sixth round pick here).
Fortunately, Steve Spagnuolo’s defense now has an answer in Willie Gay Jr., an athletic marvel who was timed in the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds at 245 lbs. For a player to be faster than guys who are 30 to 40 lbs. lighter than he is shows you how dangerous Gay will be as a presence in the heart of the team’s defense. There are previous character concerns here, but Andy Reid and Brett Veach both said they felt great about the Mississippi State product as a player and teammate.
Developing a quality NFL tackle takes time given the level of competition, and the Chiefs were very wise to invest when they did in Texas Christian’s Lucas Niang.
The Chiefs have two good-to-great tackles already in Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz and no one wants either to go anywhere in 2020. However, Eric Fisher will be 30 next year and Mitchell Schwartz will be 32. Both are expensive player, as they should be, and Fisher just missed a half season due to injury. The need for both youth and depth here was apparent, and Veach says Niang can even slide inside until it’s time to pass a torch one way or another.
If you watched Sneed at Louisiana Tech last year, you might be wondering why the team would go with a safety given other needs on the roster. However, Sneed has two years experience as a cornerback before switching last year, which gives him versatility overall and the requisite experience to slot in as a corner—which is apparently the plan for K.C.
Given the lack of long-term commitments at cornerback (besides Charvarius Ward and Rashad Fenton), it made sense for the Chiefs to add another player to the mix for 2020 and beyond. Sneed’s elite speed and excellent hands should make him a disruptive presence in time with pro reps.
If we were dishing out grades, this is the incomplete. Danna looked the part as a disruptive pass rusher at Central Michigan and he was solid as a rotational lineman at Michigan this past year after he transferred. That said, there’s simply not a lot out there about Danna.
The need is here given the number of question marks at the position. Breeland Speaks missed all of last season. Alex Okafor was injured multiple times. Tanoh Kpassagnon is in his final season with the Chiefs. Demone Harris and Tim Ward are also hopeful names, but Danna gives the Chiefs another player to compete for reps.
The Chiefs made a late leap back into the draft by trading their sixth round choice in the 2021 NFL Draft to the Tennessee Titans in exchange for the chance to grab Keyes, a developmental corner from Tulane. Praised for his size and length, Keyes was a two-year starter for the Green Wave.