The 2018 NFL Draft is less than one week away, which means that Draftmas is back. Draftmas will take a look at each NFL team heading into this year’s draft, what their needs are and who they could be targeting. Draftmas continues today with the 2018 Kansas City Chiefs NFL Draft profile.
The Kansas City Chiefs won 10 games and the AFC West last season but lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Tennessee Titans. It was a good season for the Chiefs, but there have been and will be more changes to the roster before next season starts.
The offense ranked in the top 10 in both passing and rushing yards per game and sixth in points per game at 25.9. Alex Smith led the offense last year, but has been traded to the Washington Redskins. That means Patrick Mahomes will take over. The gun-slinging rookie passed for 284 yards and an interception in his only game of last season. He will have to step up big time in his second season.
Mahomes will have some of the fastest receivers in the game to throw to between Tyreek Hill and newly acquired Sammy Watkins. On the inside, Travis Kelce is one of the best tight ends in the game and should act as a safe set of hands for Mahomes to throw to. Kareem Hunt had a fantastic rookie season and will be back to provide a good running game and a solid receiver out of the backfield. The offensive line will need some bolstering before through the draft.
The defense was average last season ranking 15th in points per game allowed at 21.2. Through offseason moves, the defense will also look a little different next season as well.
Marcus Peters was traded for draft picks. Kendall Fuller and David Amerson were both acquired this offseason and will start at the corners. Eric Berry will return from his torn Achilles to play safety. It is difficult to come back physically from this injury so he’ll have to rely on his instincts more than ever. Outside of him there isn’t much safety talent on the roster.
Anthony Hitchens was brought in from Dallas to play one of the inside linebacker positions, while Reggie Ragland mans the other. Dee Ford and Justin Houston are good pass rushers from the outside linebacker spots. Chris Jones is a good 3-4 defensive end, but more is needed on the defensive line.
A lot has changed with the Chiefs, but with the right moves in the draft and new faces living up to their potential, they can make the playoffs once again.
Picks and Needs
The Chiefs have eight picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, but are without a first-round selection this year.
First round (0 picks):
Second round (1): 54
Third round (2): 78, 86
Fourth round (2): 122, 124
Fifth round (0):
Sixth round (1): 209
Seventh round (2): 233, 243
Guard- Zach Fulton is now a Texan and needs to be replaced. If they want Hunt to have another successful season, they need to find a good, physical guard in this draft.
Tackle- Eric Fisher hasn’t lived up to expectations after being the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. He likely won’t be replaced in this draft, but a developmental tackle might be selected to eventually take over.
Edge Rusher- Houston is aging and Ford didn’t have as good of a season as last year. Outside of these two there isn’t much in terms of a pass rusher on the roster.
Nose Tackle- Xavier Williams was signed, but if he doesn’t work out another nose tackle will be needed.
Safety- Berry is coming off the Achilles injury and the rest of the safeties on the roster aren’t great.
Pick No. 54: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
Brown had a bad combine, but his tape over the last few seasons at Oklahoma was good. He has been falling down most mock drafts, but if he falls to the Chiefs, they can select him and develop him into a solid left tackle. A good left tackle will be needed to protect Mahomes as he develops.
Pick No. 78: Tim Settle, DT/NT, Virginia Tech
Settle is another prospect that didn’t have the best combine, but could be a steal in the draft. He is the perfect fit for the Chiefs’ 3-4 defense at nose tackle. With better technique and a little more quickness, Settle can become a solid player at the NFL level.
Pick No. 86: Frank Ragnow, C/G, Arkansas
Ragnow can play either guard or center, but can start right away in the right situation. This fits an area of need for the Chiefs and could pay off big time if he plays up to his potential.