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Old 12-18-2019, 12:42 PM  
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Duncan's Mock | Updated 1.17.19

I don’t do this for football very often and won’t claim to be an expert on the NFL draft. I did try to read a few different sources when researching players and think about scheme fit in addition to need and availability draft position, but this is mostly just kicking around some ideas and having some fun.

1st (#32 – yeah, that’s right, I’m calling it):
Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
This comes down to opportunity for me. When it comes right down to it, the Chiefs have done well against the pass in 2019 with a cobbled-together CB group (and really just need to add an outside CB opposite Ward and some depth). Murray’s speed and versatility could upgrade the LB group as a whole and make the Chiefs much more effective in nickel and dime packages. Looking at LB available later in the draft, unless you’re a big believer in Troy Dye of Oregon (who is a physical freak and I think will test his way into the second round), it’s hard to find a guy who could reasonably project to play every down and be good in pass coverage. Year 1, he’s probably my WLB and one of 2 nickel backers.
-Alternatives: CB would also be a great move here (one of Shaun Wade – OSU, Paulson Adebo, Stanford, CJ Henderson, Florida, or Kristian Fulton, LSU would fit). If one of the top 2 centers - Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin or Creed Humphrey from Oklahoma – were available, it would be worth considering, too. Taking an OL here changes the shape of the draft a lot, IMO.


2nd (#59 – from 49ers):
Netane Muti, G, Fresno State
Muti has some of the best physical ability at G/C in this class. His technique needs refining, but you can teach that. Having a LG with his combo of strength and athleticism should be a major plus in pass pro and the run game, without hindering Reid’s love of moving his OL around in screens and designed rollouts.
-Alternatives: Darryl Williams from Miss. State would also be a consideration if going IOL here. He’s probably more ready Day 1 but has less upside. I like CB Jeff Gladney, TCU, in this range, too.

3rd (#96):
Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
There are a lot of guys likely to be available here that I like in KC’s offense. Akers’ ability to catch the ball and all-around package make him the best fit for me.
-Alternatives: Other RBs: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State. Zack Moss, RB, Utah; Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB, Vanderbilt. If I’m confident one of these 4 is available at the end of the 4th round, I might be tempted to take an interior OL guy (better shot at one of them in the 4th, though).

4th (#128)
Zach Shackelford, C, Texas
First-team all-Big 12 this year. Decent size, pretty good mobility, good combo blocker. Has a good pass protection reputation. Downside would be, as a starter, he wouldn’t be likely to be much of an upgrade as a solo run blocker. Might not be ready Day 1 but could be a year 2/late year 1 upgrade.
-Alternatives: Colby Parkinson, TE, Stanford. Big, athletic TE who would be a nice #2 option and has some upside as a receiver. Smart, athletic, should be safe and productive year 1. And I’m going to talk about him way less than the next guy: Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri. Albert O has 1st-round physical ability – his size, speed, and ball skills are dynamite. He is injury prone and his OC his last two years didn’t seem to really understand how to use him (having a QB in 2019 who couldn’t read the field and refused to throw over the middle also hurt him). Also has poor blocking technique, despite having the frame to be a dynamite blocker, and needs to improve his route running. I wouldn’t stump for him here, but if you believe you can coach him up on the technical aspects, Okwuegbunam could be a weapon as a second TE and also an eventual heir apparent for Travis Kelce.

5th: (#160)
Lavert Hill, CB, Michigan
Versatile guy with the size to play outside and also the ability to play slot. In Spagnuolo’s defense, that versatility seems key.
-Alternatives: There are some WR I like in this range who I think fit the Chiefs scheme/needs: Joe Reed, Virginia and Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin. Each of them has good ability to separate, and has a little more size/effectiveness against man coverage than some of the Chiefs holdovers. Cephus was in a run-heavy offense but performed really well against Ohio State’s stable of strong CB in the Big Ten title game.

Closing thoughts:
If I’m Veach and I walk away from the draft this way, I feel like I’ve made major upgrades at LB and LG in rounds 1 and 2. Akers gives me a back with true 3-down potential (and at worst, an upgrade as my “receiving” back. My last two picks have some upside and provide quality depth, at least.

I’d be scouring the UDFA ranks for a WR that fits the parameters I’m talking about, though I could also hit FA for that need.

And I keep coming back to Okwuegbunam as a potential “Draft maker” when I look at other guys who might be around that spot. I see a lot of similarities to Kelce coming out of Cincinnati – physical gifts that far outshine his draft slot, some immaturity and injury and usage issues causing him to fall down the draft ranks.

Anyway, fire away at this. Changes/recommendations? What FA and other roster moves would you be looking to pair this with?

Last edited by duncan_idaho; 01-17-2020 at 04:29 PM..
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:04 PM   #46
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If he can find a way to get a contract that yields us a 4th round comp pick, you gotta let him walk and it's not even a question, IMO.

Watkins effort last week might have worked him back into a 3rd/4th round value as a trade piece.

I think I've come to the conclusion that a LOT of this comes down to next Sunday. Win it and you can bank your chips. At that point you go ahead and deal Jones and Watkins. You let Robinson leave for the comp pick. You re-stock the draft cupboard and do a soft re-load around the key pieces of your squad.

But if you lose Sunday you probably have to maintain a very aggressive posture for the 2020 season.
While I agree that February 2nd will determine numerous personnel decisions, I think it would be a very risky move to allow Robinson to walk while also trading Sammy Watkins.

At that point, the Chiefs would have only two reliable and proven receivers on their roster in Hill and Hardman. And while the 2020 draft has a ton of wide receivers and running backs that could contribute at some point during the 2020 season, if Hill or Hardman were to be injured for any amount of time, the Chiefs would presumably be left with the trifecta Byron Pringle (26), Gehrig Deiter (27) and Marcus Kemp (25), none of which have any significant playing time nor have they proven to be game changers on any level.

I know there's been a lot of push towards drafting a center and/or a guard early but I don't think those positions are as important as some believe, as the Chiefs are in the Super Bowl after losing multiple starting and backup offensive lineman for multiple games and in some games, the entire left side of the line for several games in a row.

It's obviously really early in the draft process but I expect Veach to trade out of the #32 spot in order to accumulate more picks, unless by some crazy happenstance, a player that they cannot pass is available at that point. But with their expected cap restraints heading into Mahomes huge contract year and the money due to players like Hill, Clark and presumably, Chris Jones, he'll want to take advantage of "cheap" players.

And before it's pointed out that "5th year option!" would be lost by trading back at #32, there's a chance that will go Bye Bye in the next CBA, rendering that option moot.

I realize that this is most likely an unpopular opinion but if I was running the Chiefs 2020 draft, I'd load up on offensive players, especially running back, WR, TE and guard. I'd make this offense so unstoppable that opposing teams would have no chance to outscore the Chiefs.
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:07 PM   #47
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I’d go offense.

I think woth the new cba there’s gonna be enough money that the chiefs can make things work however within the realm of reasonable
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:41 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud View Post
While I agree that February 2nd will determine numerous personnel decisions, I think it would be a very risky move to allow Robinson to walk while also trading Sammy Watkins.

At that point, the Chiefs would have only two reliable and proven receivers on their roster in Hill and Hardman. And while the 2020 draft has a ton of wide receivers and running backs that could contribute at some point during the 2020 season, if Hill or Hardman were to be injured for any amount of time, the Chiefs would presumably be left with the trifecta Byron Pringle (26), Gehrig Deiter (27) and Marcus Kemp (25), none of which have any significant playing time nor have they proven to be game changers on any level.

I know there's been a lot of push towards drafting a center and/or a guard early but I don't think those positions are as important as some believe, as the Chiefs are in the Super Bowl after losing multiple starting and backup offensive lineman for multiple games and in some games, the entire left side of the line for several games in a row.

It's obviously really early in the draft process but I expect Veach to trade out of the #32 spot in order to accumulate more picks, unless by some crazy happenstance, a player that they cannot pass is available at that point. But with their expected cap restraints heading into Mahomes huge contract year and the money due to players like Hill, Clark and presumably, Chris Jones, he'll want to take advantage of "cheap" players.

And before it's pointed out that "5th year option!" would be lost by trading back at #32, there's a chance that will go Bye Bye in the next CBA, rendering that option moot.

I realize that this is most likely an unpopular opinion but if I was running the Chiefs 2020 draft, I'd load up on offensive players, especially running back, WR, TE and guard. I'd make this offense so unstoppable that opposing teams would have no chance to outscore the Chiefs.
If the option's in the contract, it's in the contract. The new CBA wouldn't retroactively extinguish it.

Ultimately I don't have any problem at all focusing on offense. My only concern is reaching at ANYTHING. At 32, odds are you're not finding anyone with a true '1st round grade' anyway but if there's someone that's a cut above the rest of your guys, hang position and take him.

Offense or defense just shouldn't matter in the draft when you know you're gonna have to cover a lot of holes w/ rookie level deals in the coming seasons due to Mahomes contract.

We're gonna make hard decisions everywhere and at WR is the spot where Mahomes can most easily make chicken salad from chicken shit. And it's also where you can find low-cost vets looking for 'make-good' deals, IMO.

They would be well served to take advantage of a market efficiency there, IMO. That's how you're able to use the force multplier effect of your all-universe QB in a way that helps offset the costs of his contract.
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:50 PM   #49
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If the option's in the contract, it's in the contract. The new CBA wouldn't retroactively extinguish it.
That's most likely true, unless the Union & Owners decide to retroactively void those 5th year contracts in order to get something else: 17 games? No THC/CBD testing? More time off? Larger game day rosters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
Ultimately I don't have any problem at all focusing on offense. My only concern is reaching at ANYTHING. At 32, odds are you're not finding anyone with a true '1st round grade' anyway but if there's someone that's a cut above the rest of your guys, hang position and take him.
I agree, unless it's a stacked position like RB or WR. Do you take JK Dobbins at #32 or trade back, add a 3rd, and grab a player who's slightly less talented with that pick instead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
We're gonna make hard decisions everywhere and at WR is the spot where Mahomes can most easily make chicken salad from chicken shit. And it's also where you can find low-cost vets looking for 'make-good' deals, IMO.

They would be well served to take advantage of a market efficiency there, IMO. That's how you're able to use the force multplier effect of your all-universe QB in a way that helps offset the costs of his contract.
I don't know, man. I'm not singling out Robinson as anything special and his drops are certainly an issue but the guy is a really solid-if-not-spectacular downfield blocker. Sammy Watkins has the ability to take over games and we've seen him do that on the biggest stage when it counts most. While I most certainly agree that Mahomes can make any receiver "Look Good", he can't make a WR receiver be consistent. Consistently block, consistently make difficult catches, consistently run and get open, etc. and so on.

If that was the case, Robinson, Pringle and Deiter would have looked other-worldly at times and I just didn't see that at any point in 2019. *

The other thing to keep in mind is that the 2020 WR Free Agent market, outside of a few huge names which will cost as much as Watkins, just isn't that intrigiuging.

Sometimes, it's better the Devil You Know Than the Devil You Don't.

Last edited by DaneMcCloud; 01-24-2020 at 03:06 PM.. Reason: * typed 2020 instead of 2019. duh.
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:06 PM   #50
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Just depends on the cost. If I can save $13 million and pick up a draft pick by moving Watkins and replacing him with, say, Nelson Agholar at $2 million, I'm gonna do that.

If Robinson can be brought back on a deal that's effectively 2/$7 million, I'll be just fine having him bridge the gap. But if I need to go to something like 3/$18, I'm out.

It isn't as though anyone really wants to blow up this WR corps, but it's a position where we can find some 'make-due' options and may just have to hope for sustained health from Hill/Hardman.

A $40 million quarterback means that you have to cut back on luxury items and having a 3rd (or 4th) starting caliber WR is most assuredly a luxury item at that point.
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:13 PM   #51
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Just depends on the cost. If I can save $13 million and pick up a draft pick by moving Watkins and replacing him with, say, Nelson Agholar at $2 million, I'm gonna do that.

If Robinson can be brought back on a deal that's effectively 2/$7 million, I'll be just fine having him bridge the gap. But if I need to go to something like 3/$18, I'm out.

It isn't as though anyone really wants to blow up this WR corps, but it's a position where we can find some 'make-due' options and may just have to hope for sustained health from Hill/Hardman.

A $40 million quarterback means that you have to cut back on luxury items and having a 3rd (or 4th) starting caliber WR is most assuredly a luxury item at that point.
Man, if Robinson can get more than $2.5 million per, which is more than Chris Conley received in FA last year (and with better numbers to boot), more power to him. Take that money and run.

But if paying the QB means that the Chiefs have to start all over with developing their WR corp while signing garbage players like Nelson Agholar, this fan base had better put the kibosh on expecting multiple Super Bowl wins with a roster filled with dopes after their starters.

The running back position was atrocious in 2019 and it took a good bit of luck to get the #2 seed because of it. Can you imagine a WR corp filled with Hardman and a three other scrubs if Hill was again to miss significant time?

For the most part of my life and Chiefs fandom, it's been fun to play GM. But moving forward, I don't envy Veach or anyone in the college or pro personnel departments because their jobs will become 100 times more difficult after Mahomes signs his Supermax deal.
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Old 01-24-2020, 04:34 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
Just depends on the cost. If I can save $13 million and pick up a draft pick by moving Watkins and replacing him with, say, Nelson Agholar at $2 million, I'm gonna do that.

If Robinson can be brought back on a deal that's effectively 2/$7 million, I'll be just fine having him bridge the gap. But if I need to go to something like 3/$18, I'm out.

It isn't as though anyone really wants to blow up this WR corps, but it's a position where we can find some 'make-due' options and may just have to hope for sustained health from Hill/Hardman.

A $40 million quarterback means that you have to cut back on luxury items and having a 3rd (or 4th) starting caliber WR is most assuredly a luxury item at that point.

Yeah, I’m down for this.

Watkins cap number becomes just the base salary if he’s traded, right? 1 year at $14 million is probably a deal one of those teams with cap space is willing to make. I’m sure you could find a team in the NFC interested in that for a 3rd round pick or maybe even a 4th.

That would give KC the option of finding a way to keep Jones.

I think they can bring Robinson back cheaply and would like to see that done just for continuity’s sake, and spend a pick on a WR you hope to develop into a good #2 who does some of the things that Watkins does.

Having another #3 might put you in range to draft a WR there.

I really think Mims could be dynamite in KC’s offense. He’s huge, is a hands-catcher, has track speed, and creates quick separation with good route running.
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