Who will Kansas City draft this time around?
When the Kansas City Chiefs come onto the clock this April, their picks likely will be somewhat influenced by external pressures and things other than acquiring the best player available. This is partially understandable, as need always plays a certain role in drafting players. It could prove costly if the team forces a quarterback on the new coaching staff in order to appease the fanbase.
So what is the right approach for the upcoming draft? Combine the overall talent and need and try to make the smartest pick at every position. With that in mind, what would be the best first overall pick?
This is the reason that the Chiefs hired Andy Reid. They needed someone who can develop whichever quarterback they choose.
As I wrote in my extensive scouting report on him, Glennon looks like the quarterback with the biggest arm and most upside in this draft. This pick is not about Mike Glennon though. The Chiefs need a quarterback and are going to take one first overall.
They’ll have to pass on an elite talent at another position, but that’s okay. The Chiefs hired Andy Reid to develop their next quarterback. The smart move is to let him have his choice about who that is.
The receiver out of Tennessee Tech is the ultimate high risk-high reward type of player. At 6’3", 215 pounds, he also brings size to go along with his outstanding skill-set. Rogers had 1,040 yards receiving and nine touchdown catches as a sophomore in the SEC. He followed that up with 893 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns at Tennessee Tech this season, including 303 receiving yards in one game.
While production never been an issue for Rogers, his scouted abilities stand out too. Rogers’ strength makes it nearly impossible to jam him off the line of scrimmage. He also combines good route-running ability with amazing hands, and he’ll seldom drop passes. Rogers absolutely possesses Julio Jones-like upside.
His off-the-field problems are not to be ignored though, especially by the Chiefs who already have a high draft pick with character issues in Jonathan Baldwin.
However, Rogers is completely different than Baldwin in the fact that he is an elite competitor on the field. He runs hard, and his effort is unquestioned. He was suspended due to failed drug tests and was also involved in a bar brawl in 2010. Rogers is 100 percent business when he steps between the lines though, and that is what makes him worth the risk.
It should also be noted that Reid has overseen productive seasons from players with far worse character issues than Rogers in Terrell Owens and DeSean Jackson.
The North Carolina State cornerback is entering the draft despite a rough senior year. At 6’2" he has great size for a corner.
The problem with Amerson is that after having 13 interceptions last season, he was torched in the opener against Tennessee by Tyler Bray and ended the season on a sour note against Vanderbilt.
His size and good—but not great—timed speed have prompted some teams to look at him as a safety.
Despite all this Amerson is a potential first-round talent and would provide value to the Chiefs no matter what position he ends up at due to his exceptional ball instincts and cover abilities. This is one case where needing a cornerback and safety could play to the team’s advantage.
The defensive end out of Michigan State will conjure up bad memories of his cousin and former draft bust Vernon Gholston. At 6’6" and 278 pounds he also has the measurable of a top draft pick and top-tier speed-athleticism combo to go with it.
Gholston’s issue is that he is a very raw player and has yet to turn into the pass-rusher many had hoped. Too often Gholston is flummoxed if the offensive lineman is able to handle his initial move.
He will certainly need some coaching, but he does have the potential to be very good as a pass-rusher. Gholston likely will not be ready to start immediately but would be able to give the Chiefs another pass rushing DE/OLB to spell Tamba Hali or Justin Houston.
Johnson is a 6’2, 245-pound linebacker out of the University of Alabama and would likely see some significant playing time next to Derrick Johnson even as a rookie.
He profiles a lot like Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes did coming out of Florida. An experienced player from a championship team, Johnson looks good against the run both in terms of range and getting off blocks.
Due to his lack of elite athleticism he struggles in pass coverage, so he would likely only be a two-down linebacker. Still, a linebacker who could contribute immediately would be a coup this late in the draft.
After a very successful college career, Burkhead had a rough senior season. He missed six games total, including four due to an MCL sprain. His draft stock has suffered because of this, but Burkhead could still turn into a good NFL player.
At 5'10", 213 pounds, he has average size and runs with a nice blend of speed and power. Perhaps Burkhead’s best trait is his vision and ability to find cutback lanes. It is this trait that could make him a good backup to Jamaal Charles—along with possibly Cyrus Gray.
Peyton Hillis was such a drastically different runner than Charles that he did not mesh well with the Chiefs’ blocking scheme. Perhaps Burkhead could help to spell Charles while he learns the ropes in the NFL.
A four-year starter at center for West Virginia, Madsen is far from the flashiest player in the draft. He lacks elite athleticism that the prospects above him have.
What he can provide is solid depth at the center and guard positions. The Chiefs were dangerously thin there when Rodney Hudson went down, and Ryan Lilja was forced to play the position for the first time in his NFL career.
Madsen likely won’t receive nearly that much playing time next year, but he can fill in if needed as he develops.