Kansas City Chiefs Day 3 Draft Primer

Brett GeringCorrespondent IMay 10, 2014

Kansas City Chiefs Day 3 Draft Primer

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images|Edited by Brett Gering

    Fresh off headlining another unforeseen but critically acclaimed pick, small-school cornerback Phillip Gaines, the Kansas City Chiefs enter Day 3 of the NFL draft with no shortage of holes to cork. 

    No. 1 on that list? Wide receiver. 

    However, it's clear that John Dorsey is laying a blueprint for the future without sacrificing the present. Thus far, the Chiefs' 2014 draft resembles some of the recent iterations authored by the Seattle Seahawks, where length and pass rush were the name of the game.

    Looking ahead, Dorsey will enter Radio City Music Hall on Saturday with four picks at his disposal. And make no mistake: Plenty of big fish are remaining in this year's talent pool. 

Day 2 Recap and Analysis

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    As was the case with Day 1, the Chiefs only had one pick to their name, and they used the selection to bolster a defensive unit that isn't starving for talent. 

    However, by this time next year, Brandon Flowers and/or Sean Smith, primarily due to their hefty contracts, might find themselves in the unemployment line. John Dorsey simply drafted their potential replacements, freeing up future cap space in the process. 

    Gaines is a lengthy outside corner with average hands but grade-A ball skills, affording opponents just 13 receptions throughout 40 targets (32.5 completion percentage) in 2013. 

    Also, atypical for larger corners, he touts laudable speed, as his 4.38 40 time tied for second among cornerbacks at the 2014 combine—he finished just one-hundredth of a second slower than Justin Gilbert.

    Gaines also exhibits fluid hip maneuverability, allowing him to change direction rather seamlessly.

    Among scores of other draftniks, Bleacher Report's Ryan McCrystal applauded the pick:

    I put Phillip Gaines on my list of biggest steals.. I know some will disagree, but I had early 2nd rd grade on him. Love the fit in KC too

    — Ryan McCrystal (@Ryan_McCrystal) May 10, 2014

    NBC Sports' Josh Norris echoed the same sentiments:

    Another pick I love in Phillip Gaines to the #Chiefs. Was at his best when pressing, but also flashed playing the catch point & catch up spd

    — Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) May 10, 2014

    Gaines needs to improve his run support. He embraces contact—and all but decapitated some victims in the past—but he needs to refine his form, and his effort occasionally wanes when pursuing rushers. 

    All things considered, after a year or so of NFL experience, his upside pegs him as a potential starter.

Updated Needs for the Kansas City Chiefs

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    No. 2 Receiver

    Judging by the way the draft has unfolded, one might believe that Kansas City's coaches are absurdly high on A.J. Jenkins' potential. 

    He was the proverbial human highlight throughout college, and if he can revert to said form, then the overlying topic is moot.

    However, struggles against press coverage and issues with digesting the playbook (at San Francisco) have rendered him a shell of his former self. With a full Chiefs training camp awaiting him this season, no excuses are left—this is his tipping point.

    One thing is certain: Donnie Avery's one-dimensional skill set and untrustworthy hands aren't the answer. 



    Jeff Allen, Rishaw Johnson and Jeff Linkenbach aren't keeping any opposing coordinators up at night. 

    Most guards would kill for Johnson's tangibles, and in the one game where he posted a significant snap total, he raised eyebrows. That being said, his off-field demeanor has served as the road block on his path to success. 

    According to The Kansas City Star's Terez Paylor, Allen worked with former Pro Bowler LeCharles Bentley this offseason.

    Sounds like @Don59Wayne is working with LeCharles Bentley, along with @JeffAllen71. Bentley helped Geoff Schwartz have a career year in 2013

    — Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) March 25, 2014

    The NFL is a "see it to believe it" league, though, and Allen's past doesn't bode well for him in that regard.


    Free Safety

    I've beaten this drum to death, but I'll continue to say it: In terms of tangibles, Sanders Commings flaunts a nearly unparalleled skill set that's tailored for free safety. 

    Having said that, if he's relegated to the sideline to due injury again, Kansas City will find itself in a similar predicament to last season. 

    Husain Abdullah is both underrated and underutilized, but at this point in his career, he might not have sufficient sideline-to-sideline speed to play deep. He's at his best when hugging the line of scrimmage or hovering in intermediate zone shells. 


    Slot Receiver 

    Being that the bulk of slot receivers have yet to find homes, this is a position that can still be masked with a top-tier prospect on Saturday. 

    Pinning hopes on an unproven CFL star—in this case, Weston Dressler—might end in regret. 


    Inside Linebacker 

    Prospects like Jordan Tripp and Shayne Skov are still on the board, and the Chiefs can benefit from some depth at the position. 

    Players such as the aforementioned two can remedy the issue and evolve into effective starters down the line.

Top Day 3 Targets

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    1. David Yankey, G, Stanford

    A number of high-profile offensive linemen have fallen, and Yankey tops said list.

    He has above-average (but not great) athleticism, and he's a dependable, fundamentally sound pass-protector.


    2. Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina

    Ellington is one of the top players, regardless of position, left on the board.

    He isn't as shifty as some of his peers, but he always manages to find crevices in space and move the chains.

    He owns a set of the most reputable hands in the draft, and on rushing downs, he's not afraid to get them dirty.


    3. Jordan Tripp, ILB, Montana

    A relatively raw but supremely athletic linebacker with an eclectic skill set.

    He projects best as "Will" linebacker (Derrick Johnson's position), as he exhibits the speed to chase down rushers and the agility to drop in coverage.


    4. Dakota Dozier, G, Furman

    A small-school guard who plays with a mean streak.

    He's an accomplished run-blocker, and he's athletic enough to meet the demand of Andy Reid's screen-heavy offense.


    5. Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest

    Campanaro left Wake Forest as the all-time leader in receptions with 229

    He puts a premium on subtleties that many receivers dismiss. And unlike most slot targets, his hands are secure enough to be sponsored by ADT. 

    He is also stronger than one would assume.


    6. Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson

    This big-bodied (6'4", 211 pounds) wideout can stretch the field, embodying a rare brand of speed for someone of his stature.

    To an extent, he's also capable of shaking defenders in the open field, but he still needs to learn the nuances of route running and prove that the sport has his undivided attention.


    7. Marqueston Huff, FS, Wyoming

    Only a scattering of players remain at the position, and even fewer flaunt the prerequisite speed to line up as a single-high safety.

    Huff satisfies the criteria and reigned as a ball-hawking playmaker throughout college, but he'll need at least a year of grooming before any chance of progressing into a weekly contributor.


    8. Shayne Skov, ILB, Stanford

    Skov was a budding up-and-comer a few years ago, but an ACL tear derailed his development.

    Still, he's a two-down run-stuffer with ill intentions who can potentially supplant Joe Mays in due time.


    9. Jalen Saunders, WR, Oklahoma

    Saunders is a bite-sized slot receiver at 5'9", so his frame is bound to raise concerns—despite the fact that he authored an ironclad attendance record at Oklahoma.

    He's relatively sure-handed and runs clean, precise routes.

    If he secures possession and is greeted with open space, at least one defender is certain to nosedive into the ground empty-handed.  

What Are the Experts Saying?

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    Jim Cowsert/Associated Press

    Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

    Round 4, No. 124: Josh Mauro, DE, Stanford

    Round 5, No. 163: Andre Hal, CB, Vanderbilt

    Round 6, No. 193: Avery Williamson, ILB, Kentucky

    Round 6, No. 200: Walt Aikens, CB, Liberty

    Before Day 2 (and the above mock was published well before the draft began), I would have agreed with all of the above picks. However, Phillip Gaines' addition now negates the need for another corner (though Hal is a steal in Round 5). 

    Like Mike DeVito, Mauro is a one-dimensional run-stuffer. But the Chiefs already have Allen Bailey, who has proved that he's more than a situational pass-rusher. 

    Avery Williamson is a solid two-down thumper who will bring leadership to the locker room. If the Chiefs were to draft him, it would spell trouble for Nico Johnson, whom the team drafted just last year. However, that hardly means that the idea is unfeasible. 


    Peter Schrager, Fox Sports

    Round 4, No. 124: Cameron Fleming, OT, Stanford

    Round 5, No. 163: Ethan Westbrooks, DE, West Texas A&M

    Round 6, No. 193: Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon

    Round 6, No. 200: Chris Watt, G, Notre Dame

    Fleming is an exceptionally intelligent prospect, but his game is better suited for a more traditional, rush-centric offense. Also, his athleticism is fairly pedestrian, and he doesn't perform well in space. 

    Westbrooks oozes with pass-rushing talent, but he needs a healthy dose of coaching. Due to his talent, his college coaches basically allowed him to roam as he pleased, playing like some kind of nomadic vigilante. 

    He lacks discipline in a variety of facets, but from a tangible standpoint, he has an alluring foundation. He has an impressive set of tools, and if Andy Reid thinks he can sharpen them over time (and it will definitely take just that), then the selection can eventually pay dividends. 

    Lyerla won't be arriving at KCI anytime soon. A slew of off-field headlines (rule violations, a cocaine arrest, evading the police, etc.) forced Oregon to part ways with him, and Kansas City already oversees a strong trio of tight ends. 

    Watt somewhat lacks in the athleticism department, but his pass protection is sound enough to draw the attention of John Dorsey. Too bad he was already drafted to San Diego.

3 Predictions for Day 3

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    USA TODAY Sports

    No Trades Will Occur

    John Dorsey has four picks at his disposal, and being that Kansas City is slotted in the latter half of each round, the general manager isn't going to surrender any more ground in the name of extra selections. 

    The opposite will also hold true; given he finally enters a day with multiple picks, he won't want to sacrifice opportunities in a talent-rich draft. 


    Chiefs Will Draft a Shifty Slot Receiver

    Andy Reid had a soft spot for Dexter McCluster's skill set, and according to The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre, ESPN's Chris Mortensen spread word that Kansas City's coach felt the same way about Brandin Cooks:

    Mort on ESPN's best show (NFL Insiders): Andy Reid likes Brandin Cooks; GM John Dorsey likes bigger WRs. No 2nd rd pick. Tough spot for KC

    — Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) May 5, 2014

    A buffet of candidates fit the bill, so the selection borders on inevitable. 


    Dorsey Will Keep the Trend of Surprises Rolling

    Honestly, who knows what's next?

    Nobody foresaw either of the previous selections, and there's no reason to believe that Saturday will veer from the course. 

    A gang of intriguing quarterbacks remain on the board. If you know anything about Reid, the last line is self-explanatory. 

Updated Kansas City Chiefs Mock Draft

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    Round 4, Pick No. 124: David Yankey, G, Stanford

    The consensus was that Yankey would be plucked from the lineup in Round 2 or 3.

    If he's still awaiting a call at No. 124, the Chiefs would be foolish not to grab him in a heartbeat.

    His skills meet the demands of Andy Reid's offense, and the Chiefs desperately need a shot of stability at guard.


    Round 5, Pick No. 163: Marqueston Huff, FS, Wyoming

    Huff is a project, but after a year or two of coaching, he'll progress into a worthwhile one.

    When tracking down ball-carriers, he morphs into an incoming missile without a drop of fear in his blood.

    However, he also shows the required brand of closing speed to secure the back end of a Cover 1 defense.


    Round 6, No. 193: Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest

    That "shifty slot receiver" that was alluded to earlier? This is him.

    Campanaro pays painstaking attention to the intricacies of the position and, relative to slot receivers, owns fail-safe hands.

    Unless defenders jam him at the line (which is rare), he exploits nightmarish mismatches on a regular basis.


    Round 6, No. 200: Ryan Carrethers, NT, Arkansas State

    John Dorsey already enlisted stunt doubles for his outside linebackers and cornerbacks, so why not follow suit for the 340-plus-pound mobile mountain who, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), partook in 1,004 snaps last season?

    Carrethers is a former wrestler who's endowed with a blue-collar work ethic. 

    He can only supply a fraction of what Dontari Poe brings to the table, but he's an effective run-stopper with a Hulk-like frame and freakish endurance, just like the Pro Bowler. 


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