2017 NFL Draft: 3 positions Chiefs are likely to target

2017 NFL Draft: 3 positions Chiefs are likely to target

This is something Chiefs fans are thinking about during the 2017 NFL Draft season:

John Dorsey’s first pick always seems to come from a position group where a current starter may be entering free agency soon.

Let’s put that to the test and see if we can predict the Chiefs draft focus for this year.

2013: Chiefs draft LT Eric Fisher

Branden Albert was the Chiefs starting LT at the time and had received the franchise tag in the March prior to the 2013 draft. Albert had a great year for the Chiefs in 2013 which earned him a big contract from Miami.

2014: Chiefs draft OLB Dee Ford

Justin Houston was playing on the last year of his rookie contract in 2014. Houston was eventually tagged through the 2015 season, and then later signed long term. Tamba Hali was aging at the time and was scheduled for free agency after the 2015 season.

2015: Chiefs draft CB Marcus Peters

Sean Smith was playing on the last year of his three year contract with the Chiefs. He ended up signing with the Raiders. In 2014, prior to drafting Peters, the Chiefs were using a mixture of Jamell Fleming, Marcus Cooper and Ron Parker at CB opposite to Sean Smith.

2016: Chiefs draft DL Chris Jones

Allen Bailey: Under contract through 2018.

Jaye Howard: Under contract through 2017.

Dontari Poe was the on last year of his rookie contract after the Chiefs picked up his fifth year option.

The Chiefs didn’t draft Chris Jones to play nose tackle so it would seem they didn’t draft for Poe’s replacement specifically.

Impact Positions

Notice something about Dorsey in the first round? He has only selected impact positions. Different GMs will have different definitions for impact positions but I would call this the consensus: QB, LT, OLB and CB.

Dorsey has drafted a LT, OLB, and CB in the first round since coming to Kansas City. It seems wise to draft the highest impact positions early when you’re more likely to hit on them.

Looking Forward

So, who will they draft in 2017? Let’s look at which Chiefs are potentially leaving soon and see if we can get a clue.

  1. CB Philip Gaines – 2018 UFA
  2. LB Ramik Wilson – 2018 RFA
  3. NT Bennie Logan – 2018 UFA

If you look at the Chiefs immediate team needs as far as contracts go, it may be that Dorsey drafts a CB, ILB, or NT in the first round. I did not include DE as an immediate need since Chris Jones and Allen Bailey can replace Jaye Howard.

Dorsey has always placed an emphasis on impact positions. I’m not sure Dorsey would categorize ILB or NT as impact positions worthy of a first round pick. Of these three position groups I would expect a CB to be the most likely selection.

Let’s look a little further out and see less immediate contract needs. Let’s look at the list of Chiefs players who will contribute in 2017 and be free agents in 2019. (Note, I’ve excluded the 2018 free agents. Also, I assumed the Chiefs would pick up Dee Ford’s option.)

  1. OLB Dee Ford – 2019 UFA
  2. OLB Tamba Hali – 2019 UFA
  3. LB Derrick Johnson – 2019 UFA
  4. DE Allen Bailey – 2019 UFA
  5. QB Alex Smith – 2019 UFA
  6. RB Spencer Ware – 2019 UFA
  7. C Mitch Morse – 2019 UFA
  8. WR Chris Conley – 2019 UFA

Going simply by contract status alone, we can address the Chiefs position needs as the following.

  • Immediate Need: ILB, NT, CB
  • Eventual Need: QB, RB, OLB, DE

I chose not to include WR as an eventual need because the Chiefs have Maclin and Hill under contract through 2019. I also chose not to include C as an eventual need because I believe Mitch Morse will be given a contract extension or his replacement drafted.

Which position will the Chiefs draft in the first round?

I see three potential positions Dorsey could draft in the first round; CB, QB, OLB.

Each of these three positions are impact positions and have an immediate or eventual need. I also believe each of these positions could have the greatest impact on the Chiefs future success.

CB: Imagine if Dorsey grabs another lock down CB to pair with Marcus Peters. The Chiefs would have one of the best secondaries in the league, and it would be a great way to counter today’s ridiculous passing game.

OLB: The Chiefs pass rush has too many question marks. Dorsey grabs a solid pass rusher who can contribute 10 to 15 sacks a year. Suddenly the Chiefs don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to keep Dee Ford when his contract comes up for renewal. Also, it gives the Chiefs a potential way out of Justin Houston’s contract if Ford performs well and Houston never returns to his normal self pre-injury.

QB: We all know how great it would be to have a franchise QB, no need to divulge further.

My prediction for the first round

Since I’ve pinpointed CB, OLB, and QB as likely positions for Dorsey to draft in the first, here are my picks at each position:

CB: Kevin King 6’3” 200 lbs

OLB: Takkarist McKinley 6’2” 250

QB: Patrick Mahomes II (duh)

Who would you take out of these three position groups?

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Published at Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:30:02 +0000