2017 NFL Draft Kansas City Chiefs Scouting Report: Dawuane Smoot

Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect Dawuane Smoot. Mandatory Credit: Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect Dawuane Smoot. Mandatory Credit: Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kansas City Chiefs are in the market for a pass rusher. Dawuane Smoot of Illinois is a talented guy who could be had in the middle rounds.

Things did not go according to plan for the Kansas City Chiefs defense in 2016. What was supposed to be the strength of the defense ended up being a bit of a liability. As a result, the Chiefs have made it clear that they are in the market for a pass rusher this year. Dawuane Smoot from Illinois could be a quality find.

With Tamba Hali getting up there in years and Justin Houston dealing with injuries, the Chiefs had to rely on their depth guys to create the pass rush. That should not have been a huge issue as the team still had 2014 first round pick Dee Ford available. However, outside of a five game stretch, Ford has not come through for KC.

The Chiefs need to be thinking about their future when it comes to the pass rush. Most importantly, they need to decide on whether or not Dee Ford factors into their plans. With the strength of this year’s draft class at pass rusher, there should be some ready replacements.

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John Dorsey has a tough decision to make about his 2014 first round pick. If the Chiefs do take a pass rusher this year, you would have to believe that’s it for Dee Ford. The fact that this is such a strong draft class certainly does not help his cause.

Dawuane Smoot – OLB – Illinois

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From a Junior Olympian to an All-BIG selection, Dawuane Smoot has an impressive resume in athletic competition. A highly productive defensive end at Illinois, Smoot has been putting in work every since he arrived at the NCAA level.

Dawuane Smoot’s natural athleticism shows up very well on tape. Excellent agility to create options when working a blocker. Has decent closing speed in getting after the ball carrier. Shows impressive pass rushing tools for a prospect. Quality power to push the blocker backwards. Smoot has a natural ability when it comes to getting into the backfield.

The negatives with Dawuane Smoot revolve around his relying too much on his athleticism. Will become one-directional in his attack. Doesn’t look to read the play, instead focusing only on beating his man. Hand use is erratic, causing him to get caught up by savvy blockers. Struggles to set the edge against the run.

Dawuane Smoot started this year as a projected first round pick. His stock has dropped a good bit since then, but he should still go in the middle rounds. There is a good deal of natural talent to work with here, but teams seem concerned that Lovie Smith couldn’t get more out of him. He could be a great fit in the Chiefs 3-4 though.

The Kansas City Chiefs are in a great position to really strengthen the roster for the long-term. I expect the Chiefs to be aggressive in getting talented players that will play a big role down the line. John Dorsey and his staff have done very well to limit potential holes on the roster. That puts KC in an excellent position for the draft.