10 NFL Combine Prospects That the Kansas City Chiefs Should Keep an Eye on
If you are a draft junkie, this is your favorite time of the year. If you're a Kansas City Chiefs fan, it is one of the most nerve-wracking ones, as well. The fact that the Chiefs have the No. 1 pick this year raises the stakes. So who should Chiefs fans be looking at when combine workouts begin?
There certainly is no shortage of needs for the Chiefs. The team needs offensive and defensive line depth, safety depth, help at wide receiver, cornerback and maybe a backup running back. And quarterback is a slight need, as well—okay, maybe more than slight. Luckily for Chiefs fans, there is plenty of help in this draft and at the combine.
10. Jonathan Franklin—RB, UCLA
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The Peyton Hillis experiment was a total bust. Now the Chiefs need a new running back to spell Jamaal Charles. Franklin is a one-cut runner with the vision to be very successful in the Chiefs' blocking scheme. He also is an adept receiver, which would help him in Andy Reid’s scheme.
Franklin is likely a third or fourth round pick right now, and for a shifty runner like him, the 40-yard dash will be very important.
9. David Amerson—CB, North Carolina State
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You would think a 6’2" cornerback that had 13 interceptions as a sophomore would carry a first round grade. That is not the case with Amerson anymore. He still has great ball and coverage skills, but scouts worry about his speed. There are even some who think he may need to move to safety.
His 40 time at the combine will be huge for his draft stock. And if it happens to be slower than expected, the Chiefs could find a steal in the draft. It was not too long ago that Brandon Flowers sup-par 40 time saw him fall to Kansas City.
8. Da'Rick Rogers—WR, Tennessee Tech
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At 6’3" and 215 pounds, Da’Rick Rogers is going to stand out from the time he is measured. Rogers was sensational at Tennessee and dominated the SEC as a sophomore. He has great hands and good speed. He won’t be taking NFL defenses over the top like Mike Wallace, but he is far from just a possession receiver.
What is most important is how competitive Rogers is on the field. He leaves it all between the lines. The test for Rogers will be interviews. He was kicked off Tennessee for repeated incidents with drugs and alcohol. The Chiefs should let him plead his case because they could get a No. 1 caliber receiver if things work out.
7. Datone Jones—DE/OLB, UCLA
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Quick, name the third best pass rusher on the Kansas City Chiefs? Okay, that was mean. No Chiefs fan wants to think about that. If the Chiefs take someone like Jones, the answer will be immediately clear.
Jones is an elite pass rusher and has a variety of moves to beat opposing linemen. He also is good about keeping, containing and making plays in closed quarters. The knock on him is that he is not extremely agile. It is a common prescription, but a good 40 time is what Jones needs at this combine.
6. Barrett Jones—C/G/T, Alabama
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After last season’s slew of injuries to the offensive line, Kansas City will be looking for some depth. Barrett Jones could be that guy. At 6’5" and 302 pounds, he has the size to play all across the line. He is not overpowering, but would work well in a zone-blocking scheme.
Jones’ versatility likely has put him on the Chiefs’ radar. If he can show he’s added strength in his workout, it would be a big win for him.
5. Alec Ogletree—ILB, Alabama
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The Chiefs would like to upgrade from Brandon Siler, but until recently, Ogletree was not an option unless they traded way back in the first round. Ogletree’s recent DUI, combined with behavior problems in college, seems to have him poised for a slide. He likely will not make it to the Chiefs’ second round pick, but he may be an option if they trade back into round one. The interview process will be huge for Ogletree, as he will need to show maturity and let teams focus on his unparalleled range and athleticism.
4. Dee Milliner—CB, Alabama
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Milliner could absolutely be a dark horse candidate for the Chiefs No. 1 draft pick. He has the instincts, coverage skills and competitiveness of a top tier corner. The aggressiveness he shows on the field makes a Charles Tillman comparison seem realistic.
Milliner could fill the void in the Chiefs defense left by Brandon Carr. Cornerbacks do not go No. 1 overall though. Milliner likely needs a monster combine to get into the conversation. That is not out of the realm of possibilities though.
3. Tyler Bray—QB, Tennessee
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Geno Smith may be the hot name at the combine, but Bray is another to look at. Bray is going to throw at the combine, and he could really shoot up the boards. The tape does not lie, Bray has arguably—the only other argument being for Mike Glennon—the strongest arm in this class.
He already shows great touch on deep balls, and his accuracy, in general, is not bad. It is an area he showed real improvement in from his sophomore to junior year. Bray’s arm is electric and could make him a riser at the combine. If the Chiefs decide not to go quarterback in round one, then Bray could be their target.
2. Mike Glennon—QB, North Carolina State
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Glennon’s size, arm strength—tops in this draft class—and experience in a pro-style offense are the type of things that scouts dream of in a prospect. His decision-making, footwork and lack of mobility are not. Still, Glennon is, along with Bray, one of the quarterbacks in this draft that could be elite. All the tools are there.
He has a chance to look good this week at the combine since he’ll simply be showing his arm off with no pass rush. He could be a riser this week and may well catch the eyes of the Kansas City Chiefs.
1. Geno Smith—QB, West Virginia
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We all know the deal with Geno Smith. He put up Playstation-caliber numbers at West Virginia this year. The issue is that he struggled against good competition. He has good, but not great, arm strength and has just decent accuracy. He probably will start in the NFL at some point, but what is his upside?
It will be important to see how he throws this week. If he convinces Kansas City that his upside is high enough he may be the No. 1 overall pick. He will also need to show teams he can succeed in an NFL offense. This will be a big week for Geno Smith.