Chiefs draft: Defensive tackles for Brett Veach to consider in 2022

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 20: Jordan Davis #99 of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts after rushing in for a touchdown during the first half against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Sanford Stadium on November 20, 2021 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 20: Jordan Davis #99 of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts after rushing in for a touchdown during the first half against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Sanford Stadium on November 20, 2021 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

The Chiefs have been quiet in adding defensive talent along the defensive line this offseason. If they were to draft one, who would be a good fit? We discuss.

Chris Jones remains the best defensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs. After a back-and-forth, the Chiefs ultimately retained both Frank Clark and Derrick Nnadi. At this point, nothing has really changed or improved on the interior part of the defensive line. Lucky for the Chiefs, this draft has a bunch of talented options at every level.

If the Chiefs were to draft a player to fulfill a role on the interior, who would they take? Let’s take a look at players who would fit the bill in each round.

Likelihood of drafting: Low

Jordan Davis isn’t just going to fall into Kansas City’s lap. This would likely be a trade-up scenario and one that is certainly worth it. The Combination of Davis and Chris Jones would be one of the best interior defensive lines in the NFL. With great athleticism and strength, the Chiefs would create a headache for opposing interior linemen.

By now, you should know that Jordan Davis is a giant and he is an athlete. Even though he is 6’6 and 341 pounds, Davis ran a 4.78 second time in the 40-yard dash. As a very good run defender, Davis flows to the ball well and closes gaps quickly. Davis is a double-team machine that could develop into a star in time. If the Chiefs were to trade up, he would be one of the guys to do it for.

Likelihood of drafting: Low

One of the forgotten guys in this draft class is Perrion Winfrey. Winfrey has a great first step and can simply run by interior linemen at times even though he himself is a 300-pound lineman. Winfrey’s biggest knock is that he struggles at times against a double team on run plays. While he is very good against a singular blocker, he can get knocked off of his spot at times.

With that in mind, the Chiefs would likely love the quickness on passing downs to pair with Chris Jones. If he can work on his anchor and develop some more hand-fighting techniques, he could be a very good defensive tackle for a long time. It would not be shocking if he was a late first-rounder, but if he falls into the second, the Chiefs should be sprinting to the podium.

Likelihood of drafting: Low

John Ridgeway is somewhat polarizing for draft experts and fans alike. While he is very powerful, some question his quickness at the next level. He is able to move offensive linemen and destroy plays before they even begin at times. However, he is occasionally caught flat-footed and is not quick enough to get upfield on passing downs.

While he is likely more of a 3-4 nose tackle, there is a chance that the Chiefs could love him enough as a rotational piece that they draft him at this point. He is a very smart player that could be very effective on rushing downs. While scheme fit is questionable, he seems like a guy that Steve Spagnuolo may fall in love with.

Likelihood of drafting: Medium

If one were to draft a player based on box score analysis, Phidarian Mathis would be near the top of the draft board because of his stats from last season. Mathis finished 2021 with 53 total tackles, 10.5 of which were for a loss, and 9 sacks. The problem is, he only “popped” on tape for one season, despite playing in all four.

It seems likely that Mathis is drafted before the fourth round by a team that is willing to bet on his power and technique earlier rather than later. While his lateral agility and speed limit the scope of what he could be, he has shown that he is capable of being productive against a high level of competition. If Kansas City has the opportunity, Mathis in the fourth makes a lot of sense.

Likelihood of drafting: Medium

Eyioma Uwazurike is somewhat undervalued where he should be according to many big boards and mock drafts. Uwazurike has a quick first step and a good motor. While he looks stiff and occasionally gets caught guessing, he could one day be a very effective run-stuffer in the NFL. If the Chiefs were to grab him in the fifth round, they would have a developmental piece with decent potential.

Likelihood of drafting: Low

Marquan McCall stands out on film. Of course, when one weighs nearly 400 pounds, it’s hard to miss on camera. While again, not an ideal 4-3 fit, McCall could blossom into a very nice run stopper in the NFL. His first step is quick and he has power in his hands. While there is a lot to be worked on after that, he may just be able to secure a role on Kansas City’s roster in the sixth round.

Jermayne Lole is a run-stuffer through and through. He is quick enough and strong enough to eventually be a rotational piece with some development. As a seventh-rounder, he is certainly worth taking a flyer on, even if his ceiling is relatively low.

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