KC Chiefs: Reviewing the 2020 rookie class
Now that the 2020 NFL season is over, we can begin to unpack some of the initial contributions amongst the Chiefs rookie class.
As has been well chronicled, general manager Brett Veach appears to have struggled with his first two drafts since taking over the reigns in Kansas City. However, after just one season, it appears that his 2020 class could be the one that starts to turn the tide. In fact, PFF ranked it the fourth most productive draft class of 2020, and recently NFL.com ranked it the eighth best class in the NFL.
Let’s review the impact, and future prospects, of the members of the 2020 Chiefs Draft Class.
Darryl Williams -Offensive Lineman
After joining the team as an undrafted rookie free agent, the former Mississippi State offensive lineman spent the entire season on the team’s practice squad. He was never elevated to the active roster.
The team released Williams in mid-January, but quickly resigned him back to the practice squad prior to the Super Bowl. Williams stood out as a project with high upside when the Chiefs initially signed him and that remains true today. With the team likely seeing major offensive line turnover between now and August, the former SEC standout will have a chance to stand out.
BoPete Keyes – Cornerback
Kansas City traded their 2021 sixth round pick to get back into the seventh round of the 2020 draft and select the cornerback from Tulane. Like Williams, he seemed like a bit of a project, but with major athletic upside and size coveted by defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
Keyes played in eight games, including one start (Week 17 vs. LAC), for Kansas City in 2020, and while he failed to make a significant impact statistically, he did appear capable of growing into the contributor the Chiefs envisioned.
Yasir Durant – Offensive Lineman
The Chiefs snagged another undrafted rookie free agent lineman from the SEC with the former Missouri tackle. Also projected as a developmental player, injuries thrust Durant onto the active roster for 11 games this season, including a Week 17 start. He played admirably in the efforts, but it was clear he wasn’t ready to take over a starting role either. A full offseason should help him develop, and he could be a key backup in 2021.
Lucas Niang – Offensive Tackle
The third round pick from TCU opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns. Kansas City will be depending on him, likely to start, in the 2021 season at one of the tackle positions.