The draft is nearing, and with that NFL teams are looking to make a splash and transform their rosters. The NFL draft is a huge part of a team’s process to rebuild, and it’s also vital for franchises looking to continue their winning ways.
With the draft process as unique as it is in ’21, teams have been in contact with players in multiple different ways. Typically during the pre-draft season, rumors attempt to connect various teams with specific players in order to create smokescreens in order to disguise true intentions.
With no NFL Combine this year, coaches have been sending a lot more personnel to watch pro days. There have been a lot of rumors going around, but our goal here is to create a mock draft that fills very real needs for the K.C. Chiefs. Here’s what a mock draft could look like after the recent Orlando Brown trade.
2.58: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
The Chiefs just traded away their first round selection. However, in return, the Chiefs got left tackle Orlando Brown and this pick. The Chiefs filled the big hole with this trade and now have a great offensive line protecting Mahomes, It’s time to get him some weapons.
The Chiefs lost Sammy Watkins to free agency this past season which left a vacancy for the wide receiver two spot. There is a lot of talk around the league surrounding another speed receiver, a 50/50 ball receiver, or adding a reliable weapon, but after taking all that into consideration I gave them the combination of all three… Amon-Ra St. Brown.
St. Brown was a star receiver for the Trojans who’s looking to take his talents to the next level, and what better way to improve your talents than to go to the league’s best receiving core. St. Brown is a 6’1″ receiver who shows the ability to line up in the slot yet can also move to the outside as a deep threat receiver. Statistics show that he was primarily a slot receiver in his time at USC, but watching his film you understand that he wasn’t given any opportunities to shine along the outside. When on the outside, he was able to make spectacular plays and beat defenders using route techniques to create separation.
With some improvements within the little parts of his game, he could become a big part to the Chiefs success looking into 2021.
2.63: Joseph Ossai, EDGE/LB, Texas
The Chiefs have filled two big voids on their roster, but there is still the lingering need to find a defensive end to replace Tanoh Kpassagnon. There were a lot of edge rushers available for this pick, but after digging into what each player has to offer the Chiefs, Joseph Ossai was the best option.
Ossai is one of the better edge rushers in this draft class, and with his versatility as a edge rusher and linebacker, he is a perfect fit for the Chiefs defense. Ossai was able to display elite levels of athleticism, speed, and strength with the Longhorns defense in his three years of playing. Ossai falling to pick 63 would be the biggest blessing they could ask for given the value of the pick.
The Chiefs last season took combine standout L’Jarius Sneed over some of the higher ranked prospects in the draft. After seeing how he panned out for the Chiefs in his rookie season, they could look to take a player that displayed great traits at his pro day and look to polish his skills at the next level. Ossai who is a 6’4″, 253 lb. edge rusher ran a 4.40 at his pro day while crushing the vertical jump and broad jump. Given the upside to his game, Ossai could be a big defensive player for the Chiefs this season.
4.144: Bryce Thompson, CB, Tennessee
The Chiefs have struggled recently trying to solidify the secondary, and last year they were close to having one. Looking forward to this season, they are lacking depth in the secondary with Deandre Baker possibly out for a good part of the season. They are also without Bashaud Breeland and BoPete Keyes is still untested when faced with competition, so they need to find someone who can add some depth at the cornerback position.
Bryce Thompson is very good in man coverage, and shows great ability to become a impactful player for the Chiefs. He displays good man coverage ability, and fantastic ball skills that could allow the Chiefs a higher forced turnover rate. With players like Rashad Fenton and L’Jarius Sneed who are more primarily lined up in the slot, adding a body like Thompson on the outside could benefit the Chiefs looking forward as they look to add depth to the position.
Thompson who has been considered “raw,” should look to be a backup for a year before seeing true time on the field. He has a lot of promise to his game, and could benefit from learning from Ward, Mathieu, and Sneed. They need to add bodies into the secondary, and Thompson has the ability to become a impactful player to the Chiefs in the near future.
5.175: Drew Dalman, C, Stanford
The Chiefs traded for Orlando Brown, signed Joe Thuney and Kyle Long, and have already transformed their offensive line into one of the league’s best, but they still need to add a center. Drew Dalman, who showed excellent pro-ready pass protection at center for Stanford, could be the solution.
The Chiefs have had a hard time finding a center worth keeping since Mitch Morse left for the Buffalo Bills, but it’s time for that to change. Dalman was a big part of Stanford’s offensive line, and he has received a lot of hype to his name thus far into the draft process. He is slightly undersized for the ideal center, but he makes up for it with excellent agility, hand placement, awareness, and great lower body mechanics. He plays with a high IQ and displays a strong understanding of defensive coverages at the line and makes the necessary adjustments as needed.
Getting a center to add depth to the offensive line would be a tremendous help given their current situation. With the selection of Drew Dalman and the moves made this off-season, they are in a good spot.
5.181: Pro Wells, TE, TCU
The Chiefs have showed that they are interested in a tight end, but how early and what round are the questions fans are asking. After filling some of the bigger holes in this mock draft, it was time to select a tight end: Pro Wells.
Wells, the big 6’4″ 250 lb. tight end, showed that he could be a very special player given the right opportunities and situations. TCU is not known for being a high octane passing offense, and given his raw blocking ability, he didn’t get to see the field too much. Wells’ unique skill set and background in basketball were displayed in his limited targets and catches.
Wells’ aggressiveness to the point of the catch, his strength, and the way he tracks and comes down with the ball showed natural hands and would give the Chiefs a big bodied target. Given the talent he possesses, he could become a future franchise tight end with the right development.
7.207: Jaelon Darden, WR, North Texas
The Chiefs selected Amon-Ra St. Brown earlier in this draft, but after considering going with another cornerback or linebacker, I decided to add another weapon to the Chiefs receiving core. They added a good weapon with St. Brown, but adding a dynamic threat like Darden fits the Chiefs style completely.
With natural playmaking ability and versatility as a returning and receiver, he fits the Chiefs offense already. Darden was a special player, and one of the most dynamic playmakers in this draft class. With blazing speed, he is able to make small plays into big plays, and you can never dismiss him as a threat while on the field. Although not likely to be used as a top option, he could be a secret weapon given his elusiveness, agility, and his quickness he can make defenders miss. I expect him to be a RPO option, and get a lot of screen passes as his primary target shares in year one.
His skil lset could allow the Chiefs to have even more options in the depth chart for receivers, and he could become a valuable weapon if Hardman or Hill ever gets hurt. With some fine tuning on his route running, and learning from Hill, and Hardman, he could translate into a big weapon in a couple years.
The Chiefs have a lot of weapons going into next season, but the holes that are present need to be corrected and filled. With this draft, those issues are addressed. There are still some things to work out, but the Chiefs are on the right path if they can put a draft together like this.