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Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Draft Choice Options

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You’ll hear the big names over and over again over the next few months. Scouts and analysts alike will gawk at the incredible talent that is within this year’s draft class. The names will include guys like Myles Garrett, DeShaun Watson, Leonard Fournette, Mike Williams, and so many more. Many Chiefs fans may take an interest in these players that will in all likelihood be long gone once pick number 27 rolls around. There will also be those fans that will solely care about who their Chiefs select, and for both of these types of fans there’s good news- if Kansas City’s front office plays their cards right, there will be an exceptionally talented player in red and gold come the 27th pick. The bottom line is this draft class is loaded, and there are several great options for the Chiefs and their late first round pick. Here are the best and most likely options at positions of need for Kansas City-

 

Zach Cunningham LB Vanderbilt

With Derrick Johnson coming off of a major Achilles injury and Tamba Hali‘s play declining at the age of 34, the Chiefs can address their need at linebacker in the first round. Cunningham could bring a spark to an aging Linebackers corps with his explosiveness and instincts. The Vanderbilt product has impressed scouts with his sideline-to-sideline play-making ability; possessing the quickness and athleticism to be adequate in pass coverage while also being more than capable of disrupting the run game and rushing the Quarterback. While he at times has the tendency to over-pursue and miss tackles, Cunningham’s raw talent and play-making ability makes him an excellent choice for the Chiefs at 27. There is a chance he may not be available, but with so much defensive talent that figures to be picked before him, he could be a very feasible option for the Chiefs.

Marlon Humphrey CB Alabama

The play of Kansas City’s corners was certainly not the same last year after Sean Smith departed in free agency, as the Chiefs ranked 17th in the league against the pass. To rectify this issue, the Chiefs should explore several Cornerbacks to draft in the first round. In a draft loaded with corners, one who sticks out and may be available is the Crimson Tide’s Marlon Humphrey. Humphrey has the ideal size at 6’1”, as well as the speed; Humphrey even used to run track at Alabama. Humphrey doesn’t only have the physical requirements, but has backed it up with his play on the field. The Bama corner has shown excellent instincts in coverage as well as the ability to go and make tackles in the run game. Humphrey truly is the definition of not only a complete defensive back, but a complete athlete, he’s even drawn praise for his play on special teams. If Kansas City wishes to address their need at corner at the 27th pick and Humphrey is available, it’s a no-brainer.

John Ross WR Washington

There aren’t a lot of Wide Receivers who figure to hear their names called in the first round this year, but one who should is Washington’s John Ross. Alex Smith could use another young, explosive weapon and Ross is the epitome of this. The Huskies’ star wideout had a superb junior season in 2016, catching 81 balls for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns which earned him All-Pac 12 First Team honors. Ross possesses outstanding speed, running an unofficial 4.25 40 yard time. Pairing Ross with the “Cheetah” Tyreek Hill would give defenses nightmares, as the threat of taking the top of the defense both in the vertical game and after the catch will keep defensive coordinators on their toes. Ross is not a physical freak at 5’11” and only 190 lbs, so he cannot consistently win 50-50 balls. This shouldn’t be much of a concern to Kansas City and Alex Smith however, as heaving up up-for-grabs passes is not really a part of Smith’s quick pass play-style. Ross looks like a perfect fit for a Kansas City offense that has a chance to become all the more dynamic.

Patrick Mahomes QB Texas Tech

Alex Smith is not a bad NFL Quarterback, but is he really enough to take Kansas City to the promised land? After all, the 2005 first overall pick threw only 15 touchdown passes last year, and he has done very little to shake the label of a game-manager. For the Chiefs to get over the hump, finding a young franchise QB might be the way to go, even if that QB needs to sit on the bench to develop for a year or two. Mahomes is raw, but exceptionally talented. The Texas Tech passer has drawn comparisons to Derek Carr with his above-average arm strength, ability to make reads as a pocket passer, and solid athleticism. He still does however, have issues with decision-making and played in an offense with little similarities to one in the NFL. Many teams view Mahomes as a gamble, as he will need time to develop and refine his game ideally under an experienced head coach, and is there anyone you would trust more to do just that than Andy Reid? Taking Mahomes in the first round would be a huge risk, but one that could ultimately pay off big time for the Chiefs.


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