The latest round of 2021 NFL mock drafts make greater investments into the Chiefs offense.
The latest round of NFL mock drafts are out this week, and the Kansas City Chiefs are positioned to add fuel to the fire on the offensive side if you trust what draftniks have to say at this point about the annual first-year player draft.
Coming into the draft, there are several positions that make sense for the Chiefs to potentially target. Defensive end is a spot that could use a serious injection of talent, given the need for a pass rushing threat opposite Frank Clark (not to mention someone good and cheap along this line). Safety also makes sense given Juan Thornhill‘s drop in play and Dan Sorensen’s uncertain future. Offensive line was a hot mess all year in terms of stability, and wide receiver could use cost-controlled talent.
At the same time, as a perennial Super Bowl favorite, the Chiefs would do well to allow the draft to come to them—that is, to take impact talent if it happens to fall, no matter the position. Reaching for positional value can be a ugly proposition, and Brett Veach has learned a thing or two after a few draft experiences now leading the front office.
Looking at the latest mock drafts, we should start with Dane Brugler from CBS Sports because he’s given us two full rounds. In the first round, he has a new name than what we’ve seen in the past as the Chiefs reach for in Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney. Brugler writes, “Toney would be an intriguing fit as a versatile player who can line up across the formation and be a big play waiting to happen.”
Toney had 70 catches for 984 yards and 10 touchdowns this season for the Gators. The interesting part here is that Toney’s game reads as more of an upgrade on Mecole Hardman than it does a replacement for Sammy Watkins. On paper, the Chiefs could use a bigger body than Toney (5’11, 195ish lbs.) given that Watkins is likely gone in FA. Then again, Toney is someone who defenses must account for on every play. No matter the size, Andy Reid can always work around someone who can create mismatches.
Over at the Draft Network, Brentley Weissman has the Chiefs bolstering the offensive line by bringing in Wyatt Davis from Ohio State. He writes, “Wyatt Davis has the athletic ability, size, and strength to be a difference-making guard from day one.” Cory Kinnan of FanSided agrees with Davis as the pick. That’s good news for a Chiefs team who could use an infusion of young impact talent up front after a year in which the team was sewing together a patchwork line week by week.
At 6’4, 310 lbs. Davis certainly has the frame to look the part, and his time as a multi-year starter at Ohio State provides him with the requisite experience to step right in. Davis could likely come in and be the long-term starter at left guard (which would switch sides for him from his college tape) opposite Laurent Duvernay-Tardif as he also returns from a season away from the game. Remember the Chiefs also have offensive tackle Lucas Niang with this incoming draft class, which could give them three potential new starters coming in—depending on how things play out with Mitchell Schwartz.
One lone dissenter among this week’s mock drafts comes from Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports who has the Chiefs going with a defensive lineman in the first round instead of pouring gasoline on the offense. He believes Miami pass rusher Jaelan Phillips could be the answer opposite Clark along the defensive front and writes, “There may be medical concerns but if he gets the all-clear, he’s a first-round talent, and in KC he’ll give the Chiefs defense a much-needed boost off the edge.”
That sort of d-line investment would give the Chiefs two players who are paid as elite performers in Chris Jones and Clark to go with a first-round talent in Phillips. This season, Phillips had 45 total tackles, including 15.5 for a loss, and 8 sacks. In the wake of several players leaving in free agency (likely) such as Alex Okafor, Taco Charlton, and Tanoh Kpassagnon, it makes sense the Chiefs would restock the position.