2017 NFL Draft Kansas City Chiefs Scouting Report: Matt Dayes

Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect Matt Dayes. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect Matt Dayes. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kansas City Chiefs will definitely be in the market for a running back in this year’s draft. Matt Dayes of NC State is one worth considering.

One of the biggest hurdles for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016 was their lack of a big play running game. The Chiefs have made it clear this offseason that they intend to address that. Matt Dayes out of North Carolina State could be the guy they’re looking for.

The Chiefs had built their offense around the running game of Jamaal Charles. So when he was unavailable last year, the entire offense struggled. Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West didn’t do a terrible job filling in, but neither is a big play runner. Without that homerun ability that Charles brought, teams didn’t respect the KC running game as much.

John Dorsey and his staff need to be looking for a running back who has the ability to turn an opening into a big gain. If a back can exploit the second level of a defense, it adds a new dynamic to the offense. That is especially important for a team that uses a short passing game.

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The good news for the Kansas City Chiefs here is that the running back class of the 2017 NFL Draft looks outstanding. There are excellent prospects at the position that may be had as late as the fifth round. If the position were more highly valued in the NFL, you would see many of these players going much earlier.

Matt Dayes – RB – NC State

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It’s fair to say that Matt Dayes went under the radar this past season. The Wolfpack running back has been a productive player all four years at NC State. However, he doesn’t get as much recognition as some of the other backs in the ACC.

Matt Dayes is a smart runner who waits for his hole to develop. Maps out his runs by reading the second level before making his move. Able to exploit small holes with his agility. Dayes is an excellent receiver out of the backfield. He makes decisive cuts to get upfield as quickly as possible.

The negative side with Matt Dayes starts with his lack of size. Doesn’t run with much force and will go down on the first hit. While Dayes is quick, he doesn’t have the long speed to consistently get big runs. Not an explosive runner.

I don’t see Matt Dayes as the kind of running back who would take over as the starter for the Chiefs. However, his pass catching ability and patience as a runner make him an option as a third down back. KC may be interested in him, however I would be surprised if they didn’t see a better option.

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If the Kansas City Chiefs can get a dangerous running game going again in 2017, it should open up the offense. It won’t be the same without Jamaal Charles around, but there are a lot of talented running backs in this year’s NFL Draft. Hopefully the Chiefs can find one to build around.