Grading the Draft: Kansas City Chiefs

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Chris Tripodi

Draft Analyst Writer

As a perennial contender, the Chiefs rarely find themselves in position to draft one of the top quarterbacks in a particular class. To make up for another low first-round pick, Kansas City made a bold move up the board to grab a signal caller who fits the team's long-term plans very well.


Patrick Mahomes


Texas Tech


Tanoh Kpassagnon




Kareem Hunt




Jehu Chesson




Ukeme Eligwe


Georgia Southern


Leon McQuay III



UDFA Signings: Alonzo Moore, WR, Nebraska; JR Nelson, CB, Montana; Tony Stevens, WR, Auburn; Ashton Lampkin, CB, Oklahoma State; Jordan Sterns, S, Oklahoma State; Anas Hasic, WR, West Florida; Damien Mama, G, USC; Ricky Ali’ifua, DE, Utah State; Devin Campbell, S, Oregon State; Austin Gearing, DL, Miami (Ohio); Wyatt Houston, TE, Utah State; Justin Hunt, WR, Marshall; Emmanuel Byrd, TE, Marshall; Corin Brooks, G, Texas Permian-Basin; Nolan Dowling, LS, Western Kentucky; Marcus Kemp, WR, Hawaii; Gehrig Dieter, WR, Alabama

Sitting at No. 27 in the draft, the Chiefs shipped that pick along with a third-rounder and their 2018 first-rounder to Buffalo in exchange for the 10th overall selection. With Mitchell Trubisky off the board, it meant one of two players were headed to Kansas City: Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson. It wound up being the former.

Mahomes landed in a great spot for his development, as he'll get to watch Alex Smith at the outset of his career while he masters the ins and outs of head coach Andy Reid's offense. Mahomes' big arm and athletic ability should mesh well with what Reid likes to do, and landing in Kansas City is arguably the best long-term situation among this year's first-round quarterbacks.

Tanoh Kpassagnon has a great physique at 6-6, 289 pounds and excellent athleticism -- he ran a 4.79 40-yard dash -- but his film at the FCS level was uneven, as he'd make a big play and then disappear. He repeated the act at the Senior Bowl but was miscast as a 4-3 defensive end there. He's a developmental prospect, but one with potential to be an effective two-gap end in Kansas City's 3-4 scheme.

Another Senior Bowl participant, Kareem Hunt was the target of the Chiefs' trade up from No. 104, which cost the team a fourth- and seventh-round pick. Hunt is a well-rounded back who shows patience, power and vision along with pass-catching chops out of the backfield, and he should immediately push for work in a potential committee with Spencer Ware after coming in 15 pounds lighter than he weighed at Toledo during combine workouts.

Jehu Chesson took a step back as a senior in 2016, but Kansas City still viewed him highly enough to invest a fourth-round pick. At 6-3, 204 with 4.47 speed, Chesson shows the ability to make tough catches but lets the ball get inside him too often and has a tendency to body-catch. A free agent on our board, he'll need to return to his junior level of play in order to get on the field in Kansas City.

A Florida State transfer who ended up at Georgia Southern, Ukeme Eligwe was another free-agent grade on our board but is an athletic linebacker who drops well into zone coverage and shows good discipline to go with 4.57 speed. He'll be a nice fit on the inside of the Chiefs' 3-4 defense and could develop into a backup capable of playing all three downs.

Leon McQuay III was in and out of the starting lineup at USC and struggled in man coverage despite good size (6-1, 192) and speed (4.48). More of a downhill safety who excels against the run, McQuay would do well to carve out a role as a key special teamer and backup in sub-packages.

The Chiefs signed nearly 20 undrafted free agents, and two stand out as draftable or borderline prospects. Damien Mama was a dominant interior lineman at USC and has starter-level upside in a power scheme that limits his movement responsibilities. Jordan Sterns, the third Senior Bowl alum to land with the Chiefs, is a good run defender with solid range to the flanks who lacks top physical traits but profiles as a special teamer and backup safety.

Analysis: Kansas City made a bold move to grab Mahomes, and they can provide him an ideal situation to get the reps he needs to feel comfortable before taking over the starting role down the line. Hunt is a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none back who should help immediately, while the Chiefs' other four picks were trait-based selections with upside, although none came at great value. Much like the Texans, the Chiefs' eventual grade from this draft is very dependent on the quarterback they moved up to grab, and Mahomes is in a great spot to hit his ceiling. Grade: B-