The Kansas City Chiefs changed up their draft strategy a bit when the team selected former Missouri offensive lineman Mitch Morse in the second round (49th overall).
The Chiefs went after the top guy on their draft board when they drafted Washington cornerback Marcus Peters. Grabbing Morse helps to fill a big need on the Kansas City offensive line.
Morse primarily served as a tackle with the Tigers but will kick inside to either guard or center with the Chiefs. This makes him a good fit because Kansas City could use a makeover in the middle of its line.
As a team, the Chiefs ranked just 19th overall in run blocking a season ago, according to Pro Football Focus. For a team that bases its offense on Jamaal Charles and the running game (the team ran the ball 100 more times than it attempted pass plays in 2014), this is an obvious issue.
The Chiefs also watched as starting center Rodney Hudson left to join the division rival Oakland Raiders during free agency. This is why the selection of Morse proves to be an even bigger win if he can make a successful transition to center.
Regardless of whether he plays center or guard, Morse has the talent to start as a rookie and make an immediate impact. He is a 6'5", 305-pound run-blocking machine that will help pave the way for Charles in 2015 and beyond.
Bleacher Report Lead NFL Draft Analyst Matt Miller wrote the following on Morse in his predraft analysis:
An impressive run-blocker who has a high football IQ and a great motor, Mitch Morse is flying under the radar as a prospect. He’s tough and will fight for position without giving up ground. In the trenches he’s impressive with instincts and leverage, and he understands angles to get the hook on defenders.
Morse has the strength to stand up to bigger NFL defensive linemen, and he possesses enough athleticism to get out and make plays at the second level and in the screen game.
There isn't a ton of upside with Morse, but he is a high-floor prospect that is ready to contribute right away and potentially stick around for quite some time. He may never develop into an elite NFL lineman, but he shouldn't take an extended period to adjust, either.
"He'll have to move inside but I like him. He's tough and sustains as a run blocker. I think he'll be a long-time starter," one unnamed offensive line coach said of Morse, per NFL.com.
Despite the fact that Morse has enough versatility to fill multiple roles, he wasn't the most highly touted guard prospect on the board at No. 49. There is some chance that Morse may have fallen into the third round. However, he fits what the Chiefs want to do on offense, and Kansas City general manager John Dorsey deserves credit for pulling the trigger when he did.