Kansas City Chiefs 2014 Mock Draft with Player Scouting Profiles
Even without picks in the second and seventh rounds, the Chiefs have enough selections to find talent for their main areas of need. In Round 1, head coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey may be unable to ignore a physically imposing wide receiver who can be a matchup nightmare in the pros.
Reid and Dorsey may also risk waiting to land their safety of choice, with the middle rounds likely to contain an intriguing prospect. That would make the later rounds a chance to bolster both depth and quality in the trenches.
Round 1, Pick 23: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
Kelvin Benjamin is just too good for the Chiefs to pass on with the draft's 23rd overall pick. He is the big-bodied, roving playmaker this offense needs.
WalterFootball.com believes the Chiefs will likely take a chance on Benjamin.
The only real question about Benjamin concerns his modest experience and production at the position. NFL.com College Football 24/7 writer Dan Greenspan highlights Benjamin as something of a late bloomer:
At 6-foot-5 and 234 pounds, Benjamin was the Seminoles' most impressive specimen, but only started tapping into his potential late in his redshirt sophomore season. Benjamin had 18 receptions for 385 yards and six touchdowns in his final three games at Florida State, one quarter of his career receiving yards and nearly one third of his career touchdown receptions.
In two seasons, Benjamin caught 84 balls for 1,506 yards and 19 touchdowns, the kind of production the other top wide receivers in this crop -- Sammy Watkins of Clemson, Marqise Lee of USC, Mike Evans of Texas A&M and Brandin Cooks of Oregon State -- delivered in just one year.
He may have caught on late, but Benjamin is worth a risk as a first-round selection. Not many cornerbacks can cover a 6'5", 235-pounder who matches that giant frame with blazing speed.
Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson would craft many ways to get the ball in the hands of such a fleet-footed bruiser.
The Chiefs have been burned drafting a receiver with eye-popping physical intangibles before. Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star rightfully asks if Benjamin is not just another Jon Baldwin, the team's failed first-round draft choice of 2011.
But as Paylor points out, Benjamin has gotten better every year, rather than just leaning on his physical gifts:
However, Baldwin's profile also revealed that he was a sloppy route runner who wasn't a willing run blocker and occasionally took plays off. There have been some questions about Benjamin's work ethic ― he reportedly ballooned to 260 pounds as a true freshman, when he knew he wasn't going to play as he learned a complex playbook – and even headmitted that he was lazy on and off the field when he first arrived at Florida State.
But he's since cut a significant amount of weight, which shows a commitment to getting better, and has flashed ability as a run blocker, a potential boon in a Chiefs offense that is heavy on screen passes and reliant on downfield blocking for star running back Jamaal Charles.
With Reid and assistant head coach David Culley working closely with him, Benjamin will soon learn the techniques he'll need to thrive in the NFL.
That refinement, combined with his awesome physical potential, will make the ex-Seminoles star the focal point of the Kansas City passing game.
Round 3: Dion Bailey, FS, USC
The need for a more accomplished safety is obvious after defensive coordinator Bob Sutton's single-high concepts were destroyed during the second half of the season.
If they roll the dice in Round 3, Reid and Dorsey can land a true steal in former USC ace Dion Bailey. He is projected as a fourth-rounder by CBS Sports in their updated, post-Senior Bowl position rankings. But Bailey is worth a so-called "reach" to the Chiefs.
The converted linebacker is a heavy hitter, but he does his best work breaking on the ball in coverage.
CBS Sports writer Rob Rang highlights attributes of Bailey's game that would make him perfect for the deep-safety role in Sutton's coverage schemes:
Quick, short backpedal and good fluidity in his hips to change directions. Accelerates smoothly and has good speed, overall. Good body control and hands for the interception (11 over his career). Durable. Missed one game due to injury in three seasons as a starter.
That ability to shift his feet and turn will be essential in a Cover 1 scheme where the deep safety has to make quick reads and go.
Just like with Benjamin, some scouts and teams may be put off by Bailey's limited experience at his position. He has only has a year lining up at free safety to his credit.
But in that lone season, he managed to intercept five passes and break up six more, according to cfbstats.com. That production is evidence of the playmaking skills the Chiefs need at an essential position on their defense.
Round 4: Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida
The nickel cornerback position was a huge problem in Kansas City last season. Free agent Dunta Robinson flopped, while rookie Marcus Cooper became a target for most quarterbacks.
Considering the importance of the position in an AFC West featuring stellar passer Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers, the Chiefs should use one of their top three selections to find a solution.
That player should be Jaylen Watkins, who played the slot expertly at Florida. The Gators ace has been identified as a true sleeper by WalterFootball.com:
Watkins recorded 54 tackles with seven passes broken up in his senior season. He had some miscues against Miami, but generally played well. Watkins would be starting for most teams in the country and did well filling in while Marcus Roberson was injured. Watkins is a sleeper prospect who has a good athletic skill set - it runs in his family - and could be a mid-round steal.
CBS Sports reporter Dane Brugler noted that Watkins impressed during the Senior Bowl:
He showed smooth feet and hip action to quickly redirect and get his body under control to mirror the movements of the receiver. Watkins also did a nice job getting his head turned around to find the ball, elevate and break up the play. He is noticeably lean and his lack of muscle showed up on tape, but he weighed in at 194 pounds and his scrappy style of play serves him well.
That willingness to "scrap" with receivers is a necessary quality for working in the slot. That should make the former wide receiver an attractive prospect to the Chiefs.
Round 5: Michael Schofield, T, Michigan
Offensive lineman Branden Albert, Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz are all ticketed for free agency. That should put a player like Michigan tackle Michael Schofield on Reid and Drosey's radar in Round 5.
Schofield is not a behemoth at 6'6" and 304 pounds. But he plays bigger than the tale of the tape would suggest.
Schofield was identified by several NFL draft analysts as a player who stood out at the Senior Bowl, per a report from NFL.com College Football 24/7 writer Mike Huguenin.
As an agile right tackle, who switched from tight end, Schofield was often unfairly overshadowed along the Wolverines' O-line by standout left tackle Taylor Lewan.
But Schofield can suit some of the mobile blocking principles Reid installed as part of his version of the West Coast offense in Kansas City.
Round 6: Shamar Stephen, DT, Connecticut
The Chiefs need some help at defensive end. Tyson Jackson is a free agent, and Mike DeVito was largely uninspiring during his debut season in Kansas City.
A player who could provide an immediate boost is Connecticut defensive tackle Shamar Stephen. At 6'5" and 308 pounds, he has the size to play 5-technique end in a 3-4.
As Bleacher Report draft writer Matt Miller mentions in the scouting video above, Stephen combines imposing power with underrated pass-rush skills.
Miller also emphasizes that Stephen has weaknesses technically, highlighting hand use, stance and leverage.
Some players just naturally possess sound fundamentals, but for most, good technique is taught. Working to refine Stephen's game is where line coach Tommy Brasher would earn his salary.
Teach a player as physically capable as Stephens a few tricks, and he could soon develop into a feared end.
Round 6: Russell Bodine, G/C, North Carolina
Russell Bodine is a mobile interior lineman who would act as excellent depth along the Kansas City offensive front.
The Tar Heels starter has operated at both center and guard, with his experience at the latter position more valuable to the Chiefs.
CBS Sports writer Rob Rang emphasizes move skills as the notable feature of Bodine's game:
Possesses squatty powerful frame, with broad shoulders and thick limbs. Good initial quickness. Capable of firing the snap (shotgun or typical) and turning to seal off defenders in one fluid motion. Plays with very good knee bend and on the balls of his feet, helping him anchor against the bull rush and mirror quicker defenders while in pass protection. Latches on and turns with defenders, keeping himself between the defender and the ball.
Bodine can cover any of the three interior spots in Kansas City. He also possesses the agility to suit the demands of Reid's quick-paced offense.
Those qualities make Bodine good value for the Chiefs with their final pick.