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Julian Love
AP
Draft Decisions

NFL Draft Needs: Chiefs

by Josh Norris

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is Rotoworld's Senior NFL Editor, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) is Rotoworld's lead Draft Analyst. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in April’s draft.

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

Notable Pre-Draft Additions: FS Tyrann Mathieu, DE Alex Okafor, CB Bashaud Breeland, RB Carlos Hyde, LB Damien Wilson, EDGE/DL Emmanuel Ogbah.

Starting Offense

QB: Patrick Mahomes
RB: Damien Williams
FB: Anthony Sherman
WR: Sammy Watkins
WR: Demarcus Robinson
SLWR: Tyreek Hill
TE: Travis Kelce
LT: Eric Fisher
LG: Cameron Erving
C: Austin Reiter
RG: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
RT: Mitchell Schwartz

Starting Defense

RE: Breeland Speaks
LE: Alex Okafor
NT: Derrick Nnadi
3T: Chris Jones
MLB: Reggie Ragland
WLB: Anthony Hitchens
SLB: Damien Wilson
LCB: Charvarius Ward
RCB: Bashaud Breeland
SCB: Kendall Fuller
FS: Tyrann Mathieu
SS: Daniel Sorensen

Team Needs

Silva's Analysis

Defense: Especially with Steve Spagnuolo changing schemes from Bob Sutton, every position on Kansas City’s defense could use upgrades. The Chiefs lost top pass rusher Dee Ford (49ers), top CB Steven Nelson (Steelers), nine-sack edge rusher Justin Houston and SS Eric Berry this offseason. Since Spagnuolo’s defenses have succeeded only with stacked decks of exterior and interior disruptors, pass rush should be an obvious emphasis in Kansas City’s draft. Spagnuolo’s best defenses also emphasized speed and smarts over size at off-ball linebacker. Adding Ogbah is likely just the start.

Pass Catcher: Kansas City’s parade of third receivers contributed next to nothing in last year’s passing game. GM Brett Veach’s in-season Kelvin Benjamin pickup predictably flopped. Tyreek’s off-field concerns obviously heighten wideout on the Chiefs’ list of needs.

Offensive Line: The Chiefs’ in-house favorite to replace Morse at center is Reiter, who filled in capably as a four-game spot starter and earned a late-season extension. Reiter could use competition, and LG Erving was a disaster all year.

 

Chiefs 2019 Draft Picks

Norris' Options

1 (29). CB Julian Love, Notre Dame - The Chiefs could go one of two ways. One, continue to load up on offense in the hopes of scoring more points than the opponent while banking on one or two big plays defensively per game to keep the score out of reach. Or, try to balance out the roster by heavily investing in defense in this draft.  Love’s 36 pass breakups over the last two years is absurd. He shows comfort in man to man situations and route anticipation in zone.

2 (61). EDGE Anthony Nelson, Iowa - It looks like a sizable shift along the Chiefs front four. Nelson is a massive edge player who still works to get his hands above his eyes while walking tackles into the backfield, plus he frequently uses a press-pull-arm over move to create separation.

2 (63). Acquired from Rams in Marcus Peters trade - WR Andy Isabella, UMass - Patrick Mahomes was one of the least aggressive passers in the NFL according to Next Gen Stats, in terms of throwing to receivers with less than one yard of separation. That isn’t a negative, as it speaks to the separation Chiefs receivers create and the offensive design. Isabella can create that separation in the slot or outside.

3 (92). iOL Lamont Gaillard, Georgia - Gaillard might end up being the best center prospect after Garrett Bradbury, Erik McCoy and Elgton Jenkins. He also has guard experience.

5 (167). TE Alizé Mack, Notre Dame - If my math is correct, the Chiefs were in two tight end sets around 33% of the time last season. They just lost Demetrius Harris in free agency. Mack gives effort in an H-back blocking role, often working across the formation and is outstanding in the red zone on leaping grabs.

6 (201). S Jojo McIntosh, Washington - Taylor Rapp’s running mate. Made plays as a split safety or when crashing forward to disrupt short passes/tackle ball carriers.

6 (214). DL Albert Huggins, Clemson - The third interior lineman in Clemson’s rotation. Creates some real disruption with a club or shifting gaps post-snap.

7 (216). Acquired from 49ers in Rod Streater trade - WR Alex Wesley, Northern Colorado - Easy mover who will line up on the outside and in the slot. Creates separation on inside breaking routes and has the body control to make back shoulder catches.

Josh Norris
Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .