2017 NFL Draft Kansas City Chiefs Scouting Report: Elijah McGuire

Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect Elijah McGuire. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect Elijah McGuire. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kansas City Chiefs are clearly in the market for a running back. Elijah McGuire of Louisiana-Lafayette has drawn some interest from them.

With Jamaal Charles unable to go last year, the Kansas City Chiefs run game suffered. The Chiefs were unable to pull off the big chunk plays on the ground that we had gotten used to. This offseason, John Dorsey made a big decision in releasing Charles. KC will have to turn to the draft to fill the void, and Elijah McGuire of Louisiana-Lafayette may be the answer.

It is a situation that most Chiefs fans didn’t imagine we would find ourselves in. Even with the loss of Jamaal Charles, it was expected that either Spencer Ware or Charncandrick West could step in. However, what we came to find out was that neither running back’s style of play fit what KC needed from a primary back.

The biggest issue for Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West is that neither is really a big play running back. Both are capable of putting in solid work and racking up yards. Ware didn’t have a bad year at all, rushing for 900+ yards with a 4.3 ypc average. However, he only had three carriers of 20+ yards and just three touchdowns.

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The Chiefs need a running back who can break off big runs and make things happen when he gets to the second level. The premier back for this offense needs to have short area quickness and break away speed to exploit holes. That is what the Chiefs offense is built around in the running game.

Elijah McGuire – RB – UTEP

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One player who has gotten a good deal of attention from the Kansas City Chiefs is Elijah McGuire of Louisiana-Lafayette. The Ragin Cajuns’ star running back racked up over 4000 yards during his career, and received multiple conference honors. He was quietly one of the most productive backs in college football.

Elijah McGuire is a solid athlete with excellent acceleration. Shows the ability to start and stop on a dime and make quick cuts. Solid lateral agility to make tacklers miss. McGuire worked on becoming a better receiver as a senior and has shown good hand-eye coordination there. Deceptive speed to the outside and gets faster as he goes.

There have been some concerns about Elijah McGuire’s overall speed, but many attribute this to a foot injury last year. However, other concerns about his vision, patience, and ball security are still well-warranted. McGuire tends to commit himself to a play and not allow things to develop. Shows little faith in his teammates and tries to do too much himself.

I think that Elijah McGuire has all of the tools the Chiefs would like in a running back. However, he is not ready to take to the field right away, and I have a hard time seeing him as the premier back in 2017. As a late round pick for depth needs, McGuire could certainly earn a roster spot. I just wouldn’t try to make him “the” answer for replacing Jamaal Charles.

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The Kansas City Chiefs are rightfully in the market for a running back in the 2017 NFL Draft. There are a number of prospects who show a lot of promise. The Chiefs offense needs an effective running game to keep defenses on their heels. If KC can effectively run the ball, it will open up the passing game.