Kansas City Chiefs target defensive help on day two

(Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Chiefs wasted no time upgrading the defense on day two of the 2018 NFL Draft, choosing three players that should make an immediate impact.

New Chiefs GM Brett Veach wasted little time putting his stamp on
this year’s NFL draft. As the evening started, the Kansas City Chiefs held one pick in the second round (54 overall), and two third-round selections (78 and 86). Veach got the ball rolling by trading picks number 54 and 78 to the Cincinnati Bengals for pick number 46 and 100.

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They then used their new second-round position to draft Ole Miss DT Breeland Speaks. According to Coach Andy Reid, the junior projects as an edge rusher who may be able to get some reps at DE as he becomes more comfortable with the Bob Sutton’s system and the increased speed of the NFL. Reid went on to say at 6’3″ and 283 pounds, Speaks’ measurements are almost identical to those of recently released linebacker, Tamba Hali.

Big Red said that  Veach had been zeroed in on Speaks for quite a while and both men were able to watch every play from his 2017 season. What stood out for Reid was the fact that Speaks was “never on the ground.” Draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr. called Speaks “the most underrated defensive player in the draft.”

Can he contribute right away? – Absolutely. He’s a high-intensity guy that does a great job using his hands to shed would-be blockers. With Dee Ford struggling to stay on the field and Justin Houston not getting any younger, Speaks should see plenty of snaps as an edge rusher, and probably a few later in the season at DE.

Why was he still available? – Speaks recorded 61 tackles in 2017, including eight for a loss and seven sacks. Those numbers exceeded the combined output of his first two seasons as a Rebel. He also has a reputation as a bit of a “chippy” player, who occasionally leads with his helmet as the play is ending.

Who did we pass up? – Connor Williams – G – Texas, Isiah Oliver – CB -Colorado, Donte Jackson – CB – LSU.