KC Chiefs: Linebacking prospects to consider in each round

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 27: Linebacker Chad Muma #48 of the Wyoming Cowboys sacks quarterback Max Gilliam #6 of the UNLV Rebels in the first half of their game at Allegiant Stadium on November 27, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 27: Linebacker Chad Muma #48 of the Wyoming Cowboys sacks quarterback Max Gilliam #6 of the UNLV Rebels in the first half of their game at Allegiant Stadium on November 27, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

The Chiefs have invested heavily with draft capital to fix the linebacking corp. Will they do it again? Today, we discuss fits in each round at linebacker.

Anthony Hitchens was released by the Kansas City Chiefs before free agency began. This move gave the nod to newcomers Willie Gay Jr. and Nick Bolton to take over the primary snaps at the position. The question of who will play the dime linebacker and the third guy in base sets has not yet been answered and it is not crazy to think Brett Veach would draft another linebacker.

With that in mind, the Chiefs have several options at the position. In a draft class that is pretty “middle of the road” in terms of linebacker talent, they may shoot for a later round to address the position.

So, who could they draft in each round? We discuss.

Likelihood of drafting: Low

Whether there are one or two linebackers drafted in the first round is up for debate. While Nakobe Dean is not the physical specimen that Devin Lloyd is, he is one of the most intelligent players in the draft. Georgia’s defense was very good last season and Dean was the heart and soul of that group of all-world defenders.

Kansas City would not be wise to draft yet another linebacker this early, but it is certainly not impossible. Brett Veach may assess the value as “too good to pass up.” Dean is arguably the best linebacker in the draft and would fill a need immediately. While it may not be popular among fans, we need to brace ourselves for this possibility.

Likelihood of drafting: Medium

While not often discussed in Chiefs mock draft circles, Chad Muma would make for an excellent pick in the second round if Kansas City wants to invest yet another 2nd round pick in a linebacker. While again, this seems unlikely, Muma is a great fit for Steve Spagnuolo and the Kansas City defense, especially in sub packages.

Muma has a great combination of athleticism and size and could quickly begin his career as a very good role player. Over time, his role could be increased until he is a starting outside linebacker. Muma is very good at diagnosing plays and keeping pace with faster skill players. What makes Muma special is that he rarely misses a tackle. Whether in the box or in the open field, Muma is like a steel trap when taking down offensive skill players.

Likelihood of drafting: Medium

Damone Clark is a player with questions regarding his health. If not for those questions, he may be considered a late day one or early day two pick. Now, he could slide into or past the third round. If he is there for Kansas City in the third, they should absolutely consider it.

Clark had spinal fusion surgery to fix a herniated disk and it seems unlikely that he will be able to play in his rookie season. Beyond that, he could be a very good player one day. With great speed from sideline to sideline, Clark is able to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time. On tape, Clark’s size shows up and he is not afraid to use it to his advantage. In fact, he seems like he could be a good situational pass-rusher. With all of the extra draft capital the Chiefs have, drafting Clark to be ready for next year is a move that would make a lot of sense.

Likelihood of drafting: Low

A guy that Dave Toub may be pounding the table for is Terrel Bernard. With good athleticism and surpising power for his smaller frame, it would be surprising if he wasn’t an incredible special teams contributor. While it will take some work to get him prepared for the NFL, he has no real limitations physically. Bernard’s biggest knock is his inconsistency in tackling. Occasionally he will not carry out good form and come in to high or low and whiff on a ball carrier. With some NFL coaching this could certainly be improved and Bernard could definitely be worth a fourth round investment.

Likelihood of drafting: Medium

It’s somewhat difficult to figure out where Jesse Luketa will be drafted. He has some intriguing characteristics to be sure. At 6’3 and 253 pounds, he looks, on tape, like a defensive end more than a linebacker. This can be a fascinating trait to a coordinator that loves to blitz in certain packages. He probably will not be asked to cover very much, but he could be an asset in blitz packages or early downs to stop the run. While his game has limitations, it would not be surprising to see Jesse Luketa come off the board much earlier than the fifth round.

Likelihood of drafting: Medium

Nate Landman is a box linebacker through and through. He is not going to be able to be used in many different situations, which is why he will be drafted late in this draft. Landman is somewhat stiff with very little bend; However, he is a strong player that is not afraid to take on blockers and can do so very effectively. With competitive drive and a strong motor, Landman will also be a hot commodity for special teams coordinators, who need him to fill. specific role.

Likelihood of drafting: Low

Avery Roberts in the seventh round would be tremendous value. Although it does not seem that he will ever take the reigns as a full-time middle linebacker, he makes for an excellent depth piece with his intelligence and high motor. While Roberts is not a naturally gifted athlete, he makes good use of what he has. He has strong hands and has good instincts in getting to ball carriers. While the ceiling is low, the floor is higher than you would expect for a seventh-round pick.

Next. A full first-round mock draft. dark