Looking ahead to the 2021 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs find exceptional value in the trenches in this mock draft.
As the regular season is coming to a close, we decided to change things up a bit this weekend. Instead of looking at players the Kansas City Chiefs could consider in the upcoming draft by the position of need, we took our first shot at a 2021 mock draft. Using The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator, it’s time to find the next batch of rookies to help the Chiefs continue their success.
When looking over the Chiefs roster, several areas need attention this offseason. Some positions have contracts expiring at the end of this season, and other positions could use an upgrade or depth. Before starting the mock draft, it was important to note positions of need and rank how high those positions should be valued.
The offensive and defensive lines were an area that I felt needed strong additions this offseason. All-Pro right tackle Mitchell Schwartz has missed most of the season with a back injury. His replacement, Mike Remmers, and starting left tackle Eric Fisher have also been battling back injuries this season. While Remmers is on a one-year rental deal, Fisher and Schwartz are both signed through 2021.
It will be interesting to monitor Fisher and Schwartz for the rest of this season, and in 2021, back injuries are worrisome, especially for linemen. The interior of the offensive line could use upgrades at any position. Andrew Wylie has struggled to look like his rookie season being back at right guard. Austin Reiter leaves plenty to be desired, and the left guard position has been a revolving door for multiple seasons now.
On the other side of the ball, the defensive line has not been the dominant force during the final stretch of 2019. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has had to get creative with blitz packages and stunts to pressure opposing quarterbacks for more than a month. That’s not what you want to hear from a unit with two of the top six cap hits for 2020.
Behind the trenches, the secondary could use some depth with Daniel Sorensen and Bashaud Breeland‘s contracts expiring. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Kansas City brought Sorensen back on a team-friendly deal, given his usage in Spagnuolo’s defense. Breeland was brought back on another one-year deal after not acquiring the deal he sought in free agency last offseason. With Charvarius Ward, L’Jarius Sneed, and Rashad Fenton looking to return in 2021, it doesn’t seem like Breeland would return for another one-year deal. Then again, if he’s cheap, it could happen to allow the team to attack other areas of need.
That leaves linebackers and wide receivers as the next position groups that could use some help. Damien Wilson‘s contract is up at the end of 2020, along with Sammy Watkins. Finding another linebacker to add some three-down potential would help the second level of the defense. Anthony Hitchens has been better this season, playing faster and more decisive against the run, especially from the middle linebacker position. We haven’t seen much from rookie linebacker Willie Gay Jr., but he projects to be the starting Will in the near future.
Watkins has missed time each year he’s been in Kansas City due to injuries. It’s not likely that he will warrant a number one receiver salary if he hits free agency. The Chiefs love Sammy, so he could return, but with another deep, wide receiver class in the 2021 NFL Draft, it still wouldn’t hurt to find his successor this offseason.