5 Draft Prospects Who Would Be Immediate Starters for the Kansas City Chiefs
There are many talented players in the draft, but few of them fill needs for the Chiefs. This is especially true at quarterback, where there appears to be no sure-thing prospect to fill the team’s most glaring need.
Things are not completely bleak, though. There are a few prospects who could be immediate starters for the Chiefs
5. Desmond Trufant, Cornerback, Washington
The cornerback from the University of Washington had a good week at the Senior Bowl, and he showed good skill in coverage and a competitive streak.
Trufant is 6'0'', 186 pounds, so his size is adequate as well. In coverage, Trufant was able to play and thrive in man and zone coverage. He is not an elite ball hawk at this point, but his ball skills are above average.
Trufant had a third-round grade before the Senior Bowl and likely has move himself into Round 2 after his performance there. He would slot in nicely next to Brandon Flowers.
4. Sheldon Richardson, Defensive Tackle, Missouri
This would be a major reach, but Sheldon Richardson could end up being an impact player at the next level.
His size—6'4'', 295 pounds—makes him perfect to play defensive end in the Chiefs scheme, although he could move around quite a bit due to his versatility. With Glenn Dorsey a free agent and Tyson Jackson a possible cap casualty, Richardson would fill a major need.
Perhaps the best thing about Richardson is his athleticism; his initial first step and overall quickness is arguably the best in the draft. He could potentially be a Justin Smith-type player due to his pass-rush/run-stopping skill set.
This was most on display against Alabama, where Richardson constantly abused the Bama offensive line and harassed Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron all day.
3. Dee Milliner, Cornerback, Alabama
The Alabama cornerback is a dark-horse candidate for the No. 1 pick. At 6'1'', 199 pounds, he has good size to go along with his shutdown cornerback profile.
Milliner has shown great coverage skills in his time at Bama, and he has stepped up even more so in big games. The 2013 BCS National Championship Game was no different.
Milliner showed the ability to cover an elite tight end in Tyler Eifert (bullying him at times as he ran routes), while also shutting down the Notre Dame passing attack when it went at him.
Milliner may be a reach at No. 1, but his size, speed and cover skills would make him an immediate starter.
2. Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle, Utah
It seems the Chiefs picked the wrong time to reach for a nose tackle when they selected Dontari Poe in the first round of last year’s draft.
This year’s class features Star Lotulelei, a bona fide impact nose tackle prospect. Lotulelei’s massive size—6'4'', 320 pounds—and quickness combination is rare for a nose tackle.
His strength is a big positive, but he too often misses plays by attacking one shoulder in an attempt to guess where the run play is going
He also does not project to be much of a pass-rusher, which makes him harder to justify No. 1 overall. Still, if the Chiefs draft the standout Utah nose tackle, he will immediately start and force Poe into a utility role.
1. Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M
The 6'6'', 306-pound left tackle from Texas A&M is the favorite to be the Kansas City Chiefs' No. 1 overall pick this year.
Joeckel would likely immediately become the team’s left tackle, with Branden Albert moving to Ryan Lilja’s guard position or leaving via free agency.
While Joeckel is a good player with elite footwork and quickness, the talk of him being a historic tackle prospect is a bit overblown. He seems susceptible to the bull rush, as was especially apparent in the LSU game against Sam Montgomery.
The overall lack of strength is worrying, as Joeckel relies quite a bit on superior athleticism and footwork. He rarely drives his blocks, but instead prefers to seal. He could fit in a zone-blocking scheme, but he is a bit of a finesse tackle.
He would be an immediate starter, but his ceiling has become overblown in this draft process.