2018 NFL Mock Draft: Chiefs look to go best available at position of need

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The Chiefs continue checking off their list of needs by drafting a safety to fill the depth chart behind Eric Berry. Jessie Bates III is a smart safety who plays with a nasty edge.

Bates is a smart safety who isn’t great at anything but is good at a lot. He’s an instinctive safety who studies the game and trust his eyes. He’s not fast, but his quickness and ability to read the offense keeps him around the ball.

He’s not afraid to get dirty and stick his nose into the running game. He’s a solid tackler who has no problem coming up and laying a hit. He’s not a thumper in the same way as Berry so you shouldn’t expect to see him on the Sportscenter Top 10 list. He doesn’t have to be a thumper to be effective, however.

Bates will need to add some weight and get some experience in a man heavy defense so he’s not a day one starter. With his smarts and Berry as a teacher, I would expect him to learn quickly. He would start the year as a rotation player and special teamer, but he could force his way into the starting lineup by years end.

What the experts are saying…

"Versatile safety option with the athletic ability to handle man coverage responsibilities in space and the instincts and ball skills to post ball production in zone coverage. Bates is more than willing as a hitter, but can get himself in trouble as an open-field tackler due to inconsistent pursuit angles and technique. Bates plays with energy and aggressiveness and is likely to fill a stat sheet with production thanks to his versatility and play traits. He should contribute early on defense and special teams and has a chance to become a good NFL starter. -Lance Zierlein, NFL.com"