As it stands right now, the K.C. Chiefs definitely have some needs to fill at various positions, but the team that put together a 14-win season and represented the AFC in a second consecutive Super Bowl looks loaded enough to do it again. With more free agent signings likely to come and a full draft class, the Chiefs are going to add plenty more talent to the roster as is, and we’re still several months from the start of the regular season.
In other words, an already very talented roster is going to get even better before Week 1.
But what’s important here to understand as the 2021 NFL Draft draws near is the the Chiefs have plenty of picks to use in the draft’s seven rounds. Technically, the Chiefs have no seventh round selection, but they have eight other picks to use in the opening six rounds, including two apiece in the fourth and fifth rounds on Day 3 thanks to the NFL’s compensatory formula, intended to help deal with the losses of cornerback Kendall Fuller and pass rusher Emmanuel Ogbah.
Will the KC Chiefs use all eight 2021 draft picks at their disposal?
As it stands right now, here are the picks available to general manager Brett Veach and the Chiefs in the 2021 NFL Draft:
- Round 1 (No. 31)
- Round 2 (No. 63)
- Round 3 (No. 94)
- Round 4 (No. 136, No. 144)
- Round 5 (No. 175, No. 181)
- Round 6 (No. 207)
Looking at the list, the Chiefs have five selections on the final day of the draft and it’s pretty tough for any player taken on that day to contribute to (or even make the active roster for the team) that picked them. That brings into question whether or not the Chiefs will even use all of these picks.
For those who say the Chiefs should maximize all of their picks and bring in as many players to compete for playing time as they can, it makes sense given the bust rate of draft picks. It’s hard to know who will pan out and who will not, especially in a year in which NFL Draft research has been stalled and altered given the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also makes sense that the Chiefs should keep and use all of their Day 3 picks given how good the team’s scouts have proven at finding talent late in the draft (or even among undrafted free agents). L’Jarius Sneed was taken at the bottom of the fourth round and turned into one of the top rookie defenders in the entire draft class in a single season. Mike Danna was a nice rotational contributor as a rookie fifth round pick. Turk Wharton wormed him way into serious playing time as a rookie free agent as well.
However, how much room is there really for 8 rookies to compete here? Would it not be worth using some of those picks to move up for the impact talents on the Chiefs draft board? For example, the cost of moving up from No. 31 overall into the early to mid-twenties would likely cost them their compensatory picks. That would mean the Chiefs would move from 8 to 6 total selections in the draft class, but it would also allow the Chiefs to pick one of the top 20 or so players on their draft board.
Of course, it’s impossible to say at this point what anyone could or should do until the draft begins. A run on players could force the Chiefs to move up if offensive tackles are flying off the board early. However, Veach could feel comfortable staying in place at the bottom of a round if he likes a number of talents at that particular time,.
It will be interesting to see if the Chiefs, who are already so loaded, end up bringing in 8 total rookies along with undrafted players into spring minicamps. Veach has a tendency to be aggressive, so it makes sense for him to move around and use the picks to make sure he lands exactly who he wants. Then again, his patience was rewarded last year by waiting and landing some key talents who were there for him late in the draft.