The NFL Draft is 2 weeks away, and with the draft being in Kansas City the anticipation is that much higher for Chiefs fans. Coming off a Super Bowl win, the Chiefs hold the 31st pick in the draft (Would be 32, but the Dolphins can't follow the rules) and plenty of holes to fill before the next season due to players leaving, retiring, or it being a preexisting need. Free agency has filled a few of those holes, but there are still plenty of key positions still in dire need of assistance. Let's analyze a few of the potential picks where the Chiefs could at the very least, go with this 1st round pick, and with this information, hopefully you can make an educated decision (Though you're not Brett Veach in this situation) on who the Chiefs will be picking on April 27th.
Jalen Hyatt, Wide Receiver, Tennessee
The Chiefs have lost Juju Smith-Shuster and Mecole Hardman so far this off-season, and even with those two already had a weaker wide receiver room. Free agency so far has brought in Ritchie James, a good Hardman replacement with his comparable special teams skills and slot abilities, but that's about it in regard to receivers. There's been a lot of talk about a potential DeAndre Hopkins trade or a trade for a guy like Brandon Aiyuk or Jarvis Landry, given the fact though that Hopkins is going to be a pretty penny, Aiyuk will have a ton of suitors and hasn't quite proven he's WR1 material in my opinion (He's close though), and Jarvis Landry is aging and going downhill, so selecting a wide receiver with those early round picks for the Chiefs just makes sense. Enter Jalen Hyatt. If the Chiefs DON'T trade up (which is by all means possible) then I think Hyatt will be their guy. He's a deep threat, a great route runner, and had great numbers at Tennessee and in the NFL Combine. 67 receptions, 1267 total yards, 15 touchdowns, and an average of 18.9 yards/reception speaks for itself, and he could prove to be a significant asset if the Chiefs were to select him. He is a bit small at 6'0" 180 lbs, but with some development could turn into the Chiefs WR1, but the Chiefs I think are looking for a WR1 right now, I think. Those guys will go off the board earlier, which is why I think the Chiefs will trade up for a guy like Quinton Johnston or Zay Flowers (Who could be available even though the Patriots are high on him) if they are to go WR with this pick.
Anton Harrison, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma
Another major position of need is offensive tackle. The Chiefs lost both their starting tackles in Orlando Brown, Jr. and Andrew Wylie to free agency, and don't have a ton of adequate depth at the position that could fill that starting role. Luckily for them, this draft has a ton of talent at the position. Starting talent, however, is a different story. There's a ton of boom or bust guys here, including Darnell Wright and the topic of this segment Anton Harrison. Broderick Jones is a favorite if the Chiefs want to look for a versatile guy, but he is boom or bust as well as well as lacking some size and experience at the high level. I can see them picking him up as well, but I think he goes off the board earlier than Harrison, which puts the Chiefs in a bad position if they want him. I don't think the Chiefs trade up for a tackle. The reason I choose Anton Harrison as the most likely candidate here is because Harrison has some experience, a lot of upsides, the size of an NFL tackle, and the pass protection ability to protect Patrick Mahomes. This has been said over and over again like a broken record, but this is the #1 goal of the Chiefs right now, and that is to protect the franchise. Harrison can do that and do it well.
Will McDonald IV, Defensive End, Iowa State
The Chiefs have needed a viable exterior pass rusher ever since Justin Houston and Tamba Hali left. Yes, Frank Clark was serviceable, good even, and has the chance to come back to the Chiefs (It's still not likely, but possible) and Mike Danna has shown some strides as well, but giving the Chiefs a big presence coming off the edge could do wonders for a defense that is already showing improvement. With the signings of Charles Omenihu and Drue Tranquill, the Chiefs have already put on some star power in regard to their pass rush, so selecting a pass rusher this early may not even be necessary, but it's plenty possible the Chiefs are looking for more weaponry to stack this defense up. There's not as much talent compared to past years in this draft, but there's still edge rushers that could explode onto the scene if put in the right situation. Will McDonald IV makes sense over BJ Ojulari and a couple other edges that will potentially be here at 31 in my opinion. He's quick, explosive, and can above all things, get to the QB. 26 sacks, 8 forced fumbles, and 68 total tackles over the past three years is impressive for a defender in the Big 12, my only concern is his size. 6'4" and 236 lbs isn't exactly the NFL average for edge rushers, McDonald did move from linebacker though and put on some weight and strength. With the Chiefs, he could do the same and become a force without (at least hopefully) sacrificing speed. The edge position though for the Chiefs isn't entirely necessary with an early round pick though and I expect them to fill a more pressing need like tackle or receiver, Veach knows best though and maybe he sees something in one of these early round edges.
What do you think though? Where do you think the Chiefs will go with their 1st round pick? Let me know in the comments below or on social media, and let's have a discussion. We obviously know more than Veach and he totally doesn't have his black magic ways he will use, so let's make the decision for him, shall we?
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