As the K.C. Chiefs prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft, general manager Brett Veach has stated that the Chiefs will hold their own internal mock drafts in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the big event. However, he’s also admitted that he looks at external mocks to gauge what others are saying, too.
Every week features a new round of mock drafts from a myriad of outlets, which means that Veach and the rest of Chiefs Kingdom have a lot of reading to do between now and the draft. Given the number of new mocks that come out every week, we thought it would be good to survey the latest to get a rough idea of which prospects might be available to the Chiefs at the bottom of the first round—well, almost the very bottom.
Looking at who draft analysts are selecting for the Chiefs will not only give us a sense of the quality of college players available at No. 31 overall but it will also give us an idea of what others think of the Chiefs needs as we read which positions they believe the Chiefs might address. It could also give us an idea of how the draft might fall before the Chiefs, as a positional run can often affect how a round will play out.
A survey of what the latest mock drafts are saying about the K.C. Chiefs.
Let’s start our survey with a look at what The Draft Network has cooked up this week.
Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC, OL
Over at The Draft Network, Drae Harris released his latest mock draft this week, and he’s got the Chiefs going with a familiar face that we’ve seen before linked with Kansas City at the bottom of the first round in USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker. Harris writes:
"The Super Bowl exposed the Chiefs’ interior offensive line. They wisely look to protect their $500 million quarterback with their first-round pick. Vera-Tucker slides into the left guard spot and could very well be a perennial Pro Bowl player at the position."
The most glaring needs for the Chiefs over the long-term can be found along the interior spots of the team’s offensive front. However, recent injuries suffered in the short-term, including Mitchell Schwartz’s ongoing back pain and Eric Fisher’s recent Achilles injury, make offensive tackle the greater need at this point. That could either be a good or bad thing when it comes to this selection.
Vera-Tucker has been a starter at left tackle for the USC Trojans this season and comes with experience at multiple positions. On the one hand, having such a high-ceiling prospect who brings such versatility could be a sound choice for the Chiefs at a point with multiple needs up front. Vera-Tucker could play the role of band-aid in various spots until the Chiefs sort out other answers for issues along the line. Basically, he could bring maximum flexibility.
On the other hand, Vera-Tucker is also projected to play inside as his primary spot. Would the Chiefs want to pass over another prospect who can man a spot outside full-time when perhaps interior prospects are easier to find later? Count us in for Vera-Tucker all the way here, but it makes sense if some fans desire a full-time OT here.