Tight End and Offensive Line
Cade Otton – Tight End – UCLA – 6-foot-5 – 247 pounds
Consensus Big Board Ranking: #101 (3rd/4th Round)
Do I like Noah Gray and Jody Fortson’s pass catching upside? Sure. Do I think tight end prospects like Greg Dulcich, Jeremy Ruckert, and Jelani Woods have more pass catching upside than Cade Otton? Definitely. So why is Cade Otton the tight end on my draft crush list? Because Andy Reid just can’t quit blocking tight ends in his offense. Despite Gray and Fortson clearly having more offensive upside, Blake Bell still had almost 400 offensive snaps last season (and his rate didn’t really change before/after the Fortson injury) because the role of the second tight end in this offense is often blocker first, pass catcher second.
Otton is a fantastic inline blocker, arguably the best in this class. Unlike the other prospects I listed above, Otton could come in as a rookie and unseat Blake Bell as the blocking tight end in two tight end sets, plus he offers a lot more offensive upside than Bell does. While Otton may not be quite as big of weapon as other tight end prospects in this draft, his blocking/pass catching versatility would allow the Chiefs to keep defenses guessing. Right now if Bell is in the defense can assume he’s an extra blocker and if Gray/Fortson are in they can assume they are an extra pass catcher. Otton could fill both roles and allow the Chiefs to not be so predictable.
Tyler Smith – Offensive Tackle – Tulsa – 6-foot-4 – 324 pounds
Consensus Big Board Ranking: #53 (2nd Round)
Do I want the Chiefs to draft an offensive tackle in the first 50 picks of this draft? No, but if they were set on doing so, Tyler Smith would be a dream come true. If you’ve never watched Smith in action, it’s worth a few minutes of your time. He’s basically the offensive tackle version of Trey Smith. He enjoys mauling people and looks for chances to do so whenever he can. Putting those two next to each other on the right side of K.C.’s line for the next 5-10 years would be an absolute nightmare for opposing teams.
While Smith might need some time to develop as a pass blocker (he’s pretty raw right now), I don’t think he’d be a significant drop off from Andrew Wylie in that area even as a rookie and I believe he has enough athleticism to survive at tackle long term in the NFL (some have said they would move him inside to guard).
While a lot of Smith’s tape is him dominating lesser opponents, I was encouraged by his film against Ohio State last season where he still clearly looked like the dominant player while going up against OSU’s edge players. He wouldn’t be my pick in the first round, but I wouldn’t hate him there either. While tackle still wouldn’t be my priority at pick 50, his value there would be hard to pass up. There are other tackle prospects I’d be happy with later in the draft, but none of them are near as fun to watch as Tyler Smith.
Now let’s move over to the defensive side of the ball.