Round 7 – Pick 237 – Thakarius Keyes – CB – Tulane
Many Chiefs fans (myself included) had moved on with other plans Saturday afternoon since the Chiefs didn’t have any more picks after the 5th round. However, Brett Veach couldn’t help himself and traded back into the 2020 draft for one more pick in the 7th round. He did so to select Thakarius “BoPete” Keyes. The Chiefs once again added some potential long term upside in their secondary.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t very familiar with Keyes, but the KC Draft Guide had this to say about his potential fit with the Chiefs:
"Keyes has the size and athleticism that Steve Spagnuolo covets in his cornerbacks, making him a potential target later in the draft. His lack of experience shows, and he’ll need some time to develop into a player that the Chiefs can trust on the field — particularly in zone coverage. If the Chiefs wanted to take a swing on a player with rare length to groom for future years, they could do much worse than Keyes."
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler also saw raw late round potential in Keyes. From his draft guide:
"Keyes looks like a basketball player in his pads with his quick feet, coordinated strides and long arms to obstruct the catch point. However, he also plays like a basketball player in pads and must develop his route anticipation, finishing skills and improve his feel once his back is turned to the ball. Overall, Keyes needs to get stronger and become more disciplined from a technique and diagnose standpoint, but his athleticism and length are attractive traits that warrant late round consideration as a development prospect."
At this point in the draft the only real value you are looking for is long-term potential and maybe special teams contributions. Given that both of the previous scouting reports mentioned his developmental potential, it’s hard to argue with the value of taking a 7th round flyer on Keyes. That having been said, the Chiefs did have to give up a 2021 6th round pick for Keyes. So that may ding his value grade just a little since the Chiefs essentially used a sixth round pick to draft him.
Keyes does seem to fit what the Chiefs want in a corner and while he likely won’t contribute as a rookie he does fill a need as long term depth at cornerback. He definitely has some upside so his grade will reflect that.
Draft Slot Value Grade: B
Fit With Chiefs Grade: A-
Need/Immediate Impact Grade: C-
Long Term Upside Grade: C+
Overall Pick Grade: B-
Finally, let’s see how these grades look when we average them together.