With an 11-5 record, the Kansas City Chiefs own the 23rd overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. There are several different directions the Chiefs can take in the draft.
Several sources, such as Bleacher Report on Monday and Mel Kiper Jr. on Thursday in his second NFL Mock Draft (note: You must be an Insider subscriber to read the full article) predicted the Chiefs will select Kelvin Benjamin, a wide receiver out of Florida State. Benjamin, while a productive player with the Seminoles, is an iffy pick.
Drafting wide receivers late in the first round isn’t always the best strategy. If you remember correctly, the Chiefs took a receiver by the name of Jon Baldwin in the first round in 2011 and that did not pan out well for Kansas City. The Chiefs tend to do okay when it comes to picking up wide receivers in free agency (Donnie Avery for instance).
The Chiefs need a fresh face on defense. Anyone who saw that playoff game against the Colts would probably agree that our defense couldn’t stop a thing and it was painful to watch. There are a few positions on defense the Chiefs could fill such as cornerback, defensive end, and free safety.
Kansas City should lean more towards drafting a cornerback. Brandon Flowers is great, but the Chiefs need someone opposite him that can actually tackle. Dunta Robinson was released yesterday, so that leaves Marcus Cooper as the other cornerback. Cooper will be going into his second year and while he was impressive at times, he also got burned… A LOT (flashback to the Denver game at Arrowhead when Eric Decker ran all over the field).
In other words, Cooper isn’t ready to be a starter. The best idea for the first round pick is to draft someone who can play well opposite Flowers.
As for which cornerback the Chiefs could take, Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State and Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma State are the best cornerbacks in the draft according to CBS Sports. Sadly, it’s doubtful that either of these two will still be available by the time the Chiefs are on the clock.
If neither of the top two corners are on the board, then the Chiefs should go with Stephon Tuitt of Notre Dame. Tuitt is a defensive end and is entering the draft after two years of starting for the Irish. Mel Kiper Jr. had the Chiefs selecting Tuitt in his first NFL Mock Draft (note: You must be an Insider subscriber to read the full article).
While drafting a cornerback would be preferred, any addition to Kansas City’s defense couldn’t hurt. The playoff game against the Colts was a heartbreaker, especially after seeing our defense play so well in the first half of the season.
In order for the Chiefs to be a playoff contender next season, the 23rd overall pick should not be overlooked. The draft is an important aspect for every team and has provided Kansas City with stand out players over the years (Eric Berry, Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali, etc).
The Chiefs are a great team, but there are a few positions that could use improvement. Hopefully whoever Kansas City selects with their first round pick will become someone the team can rely on for the next few years. If all goes well in the draft, the Chiefs should be able to make it to the playoffs in 2014.