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Draft Decisions

NFL Draft Needs: Chiefs

by Josh Norris
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in May's draft.


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


No. 1 Team Need: Cornerback

 

Silva's Analysis

 

RCB Sean Smith is a solid starter and I think LCB Phillip Gaines has a good shot to become one. Kansas City's cornerback depth chart falls off sharply thereafter, with perennial liability Marcus Cooper penciled in as the No. 3. In a division where they face Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and potentially-promising Derek Carr twice per season, the Chiefs need more than two quality cornerbacks. DC Bob Sutton likes to play press-man coverage in the secondary and values length on the perimeter. Although his long-term position may ultimately be outside, Gaines saw extensive snaps at slot corner last season and provides versatility.

 

No. 2 Team Need: Offensive line

 

Silva's Analysis

 

The Chiefs have a lot of bodies on the line after signing RG Paul Fanaika and trading for LG Ben Grubbs, but plus starters are lacking. Eric Fisher is a below-average left tackle and needs to face competition despite his lofty draft status. C Rodney Hudson's high-cost departure leaves Eric Kush as Kansas City's projected starting center. A 2013 sixth-round pick, Kush has played 73 career snaps -- and none last year. Fanaika was one of the worst guards in football last season, while RT Jeff Allen missed all but one game with a severe elbow injury.

 

No. 3 Team Need: Inside linebacker

 

Silva's Analysis

 

Josh Mauga was a sieve in run defense last season. Surprisingly re-signed for $8.25 million over three years, Mauga would return as the Chiefs' No. 3 inside linebacker and a special teamer in an ideal world. Kansas City's run defense especially collapsed when fellow ILB Derrick Johnson tore his Achilles' last September. Although Johnson will return, he is entering his age-33 season as well as a contract year. I suspect GM John Dorsey will draft two inside linebackers, ideally one who can blow up lead blocks and another who can cover and run. Wide receiver, defensive end and tight end are other needs for Kansas City.


Norris’ Mock Draft:


Round 1 (18): LB Eric Kendricks, UCLA - A perfect fit for a team with a drastic need for a three down linebacker. There are some rumblings Kendricks will not be selected in the first round. I find that insane. It used to be said that only pass rushers are worth this type of investment. Remove that idea from your brain. Kendricks is aggressive moving forward but is so comfortable in coverage.

Round 2 (49): CB Quinten Rollins, Miami (OH) - The former basketball player turned corner is one of the more intriguing prospects in this class.  If Rollins emerges as a starter he will play outside with Gaines inside. Rollins is very good at contesting the ball at the catch point and slow playing receivers’ routes on an island.

Round 3 (80): OL Ty Sambrailo, Colorado State - Teams are looking at Ty as a right tackle and guard. Sambrailo needs to improve his functional strength, an issue he has in common with Eric Fisher.

Round 3 (94): WR Rashad Greene, FSU - One of the better route runners in this class could also fill the slot role for the Chiefs. Greene should not be asked to consistently win at the catch point and he likely won’t play on the outside, but in his role he can have a productive career.

Round 4 (118): LB Taiwan Jones, Michigan State - The run stuffing linebacker Evan called for. This is Jones’ role, to explode forward and meet blockers or running backs at the line of scrimmage. His average athleticism limits his effectiveness in other directions and facets of the game.

Round 5 (172): C Max Garcia, Florida - A versatile interior offensive lineman who could be used in a utility role or even as a potential starter. Yes, a fifth round pick starting. We have seen centers play earlier and earlier on in their careers.

Round 5 (173): TE Blake Bell, Oklahoma - A bit of a project at tight end. Bell is still converting from quarterback but did flash an early understanding of the position at the East West Shrine and somewhat limited snaps this season.

Round 6 (193): WR Geremy Davis, UConn - I bet the NFL likes Davis more than I do. He tested well (which I don’t see on the field) and is very good at the catch point. Davis needs to dominate there, because I just don’t see him separating enough on the ground.

Round 6 (217): DL Terry Williams, ECU - I bet I like Williams more than the NFL does. Terry can be the team’s backup nose tackle, which would allow Poe to move around to different alignments since he rarely comes off the field. Williams is explosive and agile for such a heavy defensive lineman.

Round 7 (233): DB Imoan Claiborne, Northwestern State - Claiborne surprisingly did not receive a Combine invite, but showed well at the Senior Bowl. There will be projections to both safety and corner.

Chiefs Current Offensive Depth Chart

 

QB: Alex Smith

RB: Jamaal Charles

FB: Anthony Sherman

WR: Jeremy Maclin

WR: Albert Wilson

TE: Travis Kelce

LT: Eric Fisher

LG: Ben Grubbs

C: Eric Kush

RG: Paul Fanaika

RT: Jeff Allen

 

Chiefs Current Defensive Depth Chart

 

LE: Mike DeVito

RE: Allen Bailey

NT: Dontari Poe

OLB: Justin Houston

OLB: Tamba Hali

ILB: Derrick Johnson

ILB: Josh Mauga

CB: Sean Smith

CB: Phillip Gaines

FS: Ron Parker

SS: Tyvon Branch

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 .