How will the Chiefs improve their team in round one of the NFL Draft after just winning a Super Bowl? They have a bevy of options.
The Chiefs have an unprecedented 20 of 22 starters returning to the team after winning the Super Bowl. They still have some holes to fill, however, and they should have plenty of choices in the first round of the NFL Draft.
The Chiefs have won off the back of their offense. They aren’t perfect, though. The run game was something that struggled in 2019. They had the tenth fewest rushing yards and touchdowns, averaged under 100 rush yards per game, and had the sixth-fewest rushing attempts. The Chiefs did not have the players on the team that could carry the load and takes the pressure off of the passing game. They could help fix that with their first pick.
Jonathan Taylor: Taylor has an unbelievable size/speed combination. His 40-yard dash put him in the 97th percentile for speed among NFL running backs. His vision allows him to see the hole quickly and make cuts to get loose. Even when caught, defenders have a hard time bringing him down due to his size and strength. Jonathan Taylor is Ezekiel Elliott-lite and would give the team a big bell-cow back. They could hand the ball to twenty times per game.
D’Andre Swift: Swift is a more explosive player. He picks up chunks of yards at a time on the ground and can shred defenses through the air. His explosiveness in the Chief’s offense would give opposing coordinators nightmares. His receiving prowess would be nearly impossible for defenses to stop when they also have to worry about Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. Swift has gotten comparisons to Todd Gurley, and it is easy to see why. Gurley, once he was cut, was linked heavily to KC before Atlanta signed him. Chiefs could target a younger version of him with their first pick.
The Chiefs are set at both offensive tackle spots with Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fischer. The main issue for the Chiefs offense lies within the interior offensive line. Addressing that issue is the likely move if they choose not to go defense in round 1.
Cesar Ruiz: Ruiz has all the makings of an anchor for an offensive line. In 895 pass-blocking snaps, Ruiz only allowed 19 pressures. His size and agility will also make him a force in the run game. That agility and ability to move will also make him versatile along the interior. The Chiefs could line him up at center or guard. A two for one type player at an area of need? He would provide a significant boost to the Chiefs offense.
The Chiefs need a lot of help along the defensive line. Chris Jones is still a question mark. The run defense went on a run during the late part of the season, but it still needs attention. This position group also requires more guys who can get after the quarterback.
Ross Blacklock: Blacklock is a behemoth. He has all the physical tools to succeed in the NFL. Blacklock is excellent at penetrating and getting upfield. He has strong sideline to sideline agility as well. Despite his size, he is not a great gap plugger, but he can improve that. Blacklock is very similar to Chris Jones and could be a perfect replacement if Jones was not signed long term.
A.J. Epenesa: Frank Clark needs a running mate. Epenesa has very good length and strength, which are things defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo covets. His technique allows him to stuff the run while his strength and length help him get to the quarterback. He lacks speed, but all of his other attributes are perfect for Spagnuolo and the defense.
The Chiefs secondary was vastly improved in 2019. It would not hurt to continue to bolster this group, though.
A.J. Terrell: Terrell is one of the top cornerback prospects, so getting him at 32nd would be no small feat. Terrell looks to be a complete package. High football IQ, anticipation, fluid, top-notch hip movement, lengthy, and physical. He’d be a significant addition to the secondary.
Kristian Fulton: Fulton is a very fluid corner who can process things around him very quickly. That is exactly the type of cover player the Chiefs need in their mix of man and zone scheme blend. His physicality is lacking, but his pure coverage abilities are among the best in the draft. Fulton is someone that has lockdown corner potential.
Noah Igbinoghene: Igbinoghene is not a finished product. What jumps off the page for him is his pure raw potential. He is a converted wide receiver that is still learning the corner position. His receiving instincts are visible as he is excellent at reading the quarterback. He also has tremendous speed and leaping ability. He still needs to be developed, which makes him a higher risk player, but his potential and athleticism on paper make him a high reward player as well.
Jeff Gladney: Simply, Gladney is a dog. Gladney is very aggressive and had more passes defended than he had games started. He is a smaller guy, but he would fit in very well with Tyrann Mathieu.
The Chiefs biggest weakness on the roster is linebacker. This should be the position they target. They need sideline to sideline, coverage, and run-stuffing guys. Several prospects could be a massive upgrade for them.
Kenneth Murray: This is most likely a fever dream. Murray is a high character guy with a non-stop motor on the field. Murray has incredible range over the field and is excellent against the pass and run. His intelligence is what pops. He is continuously diagnosing plays and blowing them up before they have a chance to form. He is what the Chiefs need in the middle of the field.
Patrick Queen: Queen, like Murray, is someone the Chiefs would have to trade up to draft. Queen was powerful against the run, but his best ability might be covering the pass. His speed and range make him an excellent player against running backs and tight ends. The Chiefs desperately need someone who can do that in the middle of the field.
Zack Baun: Baun may be there at 32 for the Chiefs, but he is a fast-rising prospect. Unlike the other linebackers listed, Baun is an edge guy. The Chiefs need more pressure off the edge as well as an edge guy who stops the run. Baun would fill both needs. He is also very athletic and can drop into pass coverage. To put it simply, Baun is an every-down player who can rush, fill the gap, or drop into coverage. He would be a massive boost to this group.
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