NFL draft grade. Something that usually means very little but, yet, gives people an idea of how their team did and what it means for the future. Hope. That is what defines the NFL draft. From the prospects to the team and, of course, hope for the fans. Just like the draft, that is what a draft grade can do. Give hope.
Reinforce the offense, fill defensive holes, add depth, and infuse even more speed. That is what the defending champions did. How does the Chiefs 2020 NFL draft grade out?
The pick grades are a combination of need, fit, and draft spot value.
With the last pick on Thursday night, the Chiefs selected running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Running back was a need for the team, but not one they likely should have addressed in round one. However, Edwards-Helaire should be an absolute terror in this offense. He is an all-purpose back who can wreak havoc receiving out of the backfield or be electric carrying the ball. Edwards-Helaire has a low center of gravity, giving him incredible balance and making it tough for defenders to tackle him. He is also a complete magician when it comes to his open field cutting.
Pick Grade: B-
The Chiefs took Willie Gay Jr with their second pick in the NFL Draft. Gay fills the most significant need, inside linebacker, while also giving the unit much-needed speed. Picking Gay is a perfect fit/need situation. The Chiefs linebackers in 2019 struggled to cover the pass. That is what Gay excels at. He finally gives the defense a sideline to sideline player who has incredible speed(second fastest linebacker at the combine), and the ability to drop into coverage. He has off the field concerns, but his ceiling as an explosive playmaker is sky-high.
Pick Grade: A-
With their third pick, the team took Lucas Niang. The weak point on offense came in the interior of the offensive line. Niang is an offensive tackle. However, he gives them a tackle for the future who can slide into guard for the time being. This is a pick that can benefit them now and then once again in the future. Niang was viewed as the top tackle heading into the 2019 season before an injury sidelined him. That led to the Chiefs getting an incredible value in the third round. Something that Chiefs fans are going to love to know; in 985 snaps, Niang gave up zero sacks.
Pick Grade: A-
In the fourth round, the team went with defensive back L’Jarius Sneed. Sneed can play safety or outside corner for the team. The biggest thing Sneed brings to the table? His blazing speed(second fastest DB at the scouting combine). This pick was a bit of a reach for the Chiefs, but Sneed’s pure athleticism is incredibly enticing.
Pick Grade: B-
With their fifth selection, the Chiefs took defensive end, Mike Danna. Danna is a player that most had going undrafted, but the Chiefs took him in round five. Danna has potential with his power and length, but he mightily struggles to change his rush attack mid-play. Once he makes up his mind on what his rush plan is, he cannot change it. He doesn’t have good upper body strength, and he gets beat by strong offensive linemen. The Chiefs need to continue to develop him and teach him a plan B for when his strength can’t beat a blocker.
Pick Grade: F
The Chiefs traded back into the seventh round to select cornerback Thakarius Keyes. Keyes is another elite athlete that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo loves to build up his defense with. Keyes has rare length for the corner position, but his technique is very raw. He needs serious refinement if he is going to have any impact on the team. Keyes is the exact type of player you take a flier on in the seventh round, though.
Pick Grade: B-
Overall Draft Grade
The Chiefs filled some needs and added some much-needed athleticism and speed to the defense. They also drafted players who can immediately contribute(Edwards-Helaire, Gay) while also getting guys who should make significant contributions in the future(Niang). They had some reaches but took guys with freak athleticism who Steve Spagnuolo can attempt to mold. Overall, after taking the draft slot, need, and fit into account, the Chiefs 2020 NFL draft grade comes out as a B-.
Follow me on Twitter @SomeFantasyGuy for more content and NFL talk!
Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!
Be sure to check out our partners at Repp Sports! They offer the first-ever crowd-sourced, no carb, no sugar, energy drink called RAZE and much more! Use the link above or add the promo code OTH1 at checkout to get 30% off your order!