Grading the Draft - Kansas City Chiefs

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Chris Tripodi

Draft Analyst Writer

Without a first-round pick after last year's trade up for newly minted starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs sought to add pieces to a defense that struggled last season and watched Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters head to Los Angeles via trade this offseason.

Round 2 (No. 46): Breeland Speaks, DT, Ole Miss

Round 3 (No. 75): Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State

Round 3 (No. 100): Dorian O’Daniel, LB, Clemson

Round 4 (No. 124): Armani Watts, S, Texas A&M

Round 6 (No. 196): Tremon Smith, CB, Central Arkansas

Round 6 (No. 198): Kahlil McKenzie, DT, Tennessee

UDFA: Raymond Davison, LB, California; Step Durham, DB, Georgia Tech; Ryan Hunter, OT, Bowling Green; Tejan Koroma, OC, BYU; Davion Liner, DT, Arkansas State; Chase Litton, QB, Marshall; Blake Mack, TE, Arkansas State; Elijah Marks, WR, Northern Arizona; Robert McCray, LB, Indiana; J.D. Moore, RB, LSU; Jimmy Murray, OC, Holy Cross; Ben Niemann, LB, Iowa; Byron Pringle, WR, Kansas State; Malik Reaves, CB, Villanova; Jordan Smallwood, WR, Oklahoma; Arrion Springs, CB, Oregon; D’Montre Wade, CB, Murray State; Darrel Williams, RB, LSU

The Chiefs didn't have a top-45 pick this year, and taking Breeland Speaks with their initial selection was a reach -- that's a bad combination. He's a bit undersized (6-foot-3, 283 pounds) to play the five-technique in Kansas City's 3-4 scheme, but he has a chance to be a solid rotational player once he adds bulk and could make a quick impact in sub-packages.

Derrick Nnadi is another odd fit for the Chiefs defense, although at least this pick was solid value. He's small for a traditional nose tackle (6-foot-1, 317 pounds) and is more of a first-step lineman than a block shedder or gap occupier. Nnadi also doesn't bring above-average pass-rushing skills to the table.

We had Dorian O'Daniel pegged as a fifth-round prospect, but he has a chance to become a contributor thanks to his pursuit ability and coverage skills despite weighing in at 223 pounds. He'll be most effective if he's protected by size around him, especially at the other inside linebacker position, but he should excel on special teams from the start.

Armani Watts was very nearly the top-rated prospect on our board to be drafted by the Chiefs. He's physical enough to play the run and athletic enough to play the pass, but he needs to improve his consistency and clean up the finer points of his game to hit his ceiling.

An undrafted free agent in our eyes, Tremon Smith is strictly a zone corner who will need to prove his worth on special teams to stick around. We liked Kahlil McKenzie's size and upside as a late-round stab, but he was a project as a defensive tackle even before Kansas City decided to move him to the offensive line.

Both Byron Pringle and Darrel Williams showed well at the Senior Bowl and rated as potential sixth-rounders on our board.

Pringle has good size and speed and brings return ability, but he needs to become a more fluid and natural receiver to climb the depth chart. Williams is a good downhill runner who can block and catch passes, but he fell out of the draft after playing behind Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice for four years at LSU.

Analysis: Kansas City's draft was arguably the most uninspired effort of any team's. In addition to lacking a first-round pick, which was at least used to grab a quarterback they hope is their new franchise player, the Chiefs reached on at least half of their picks and drafted players who may find it difficult to become full-time starters in their defensive scheme. There's a definite chance this draft doesn't produce a long-term starter. Grade: D-