In 2017, the Kansas City Chiefs selected a RB out of Toledo in the third round of the NFL draft, Kareem Hunt. From day one, Hunt had all of Chiefs Kingdom buzzing on if he could be the next franchise RB. Hunt seemed to put those questions to rest as he led the league in rushing in 2017 and was off to a great start in 2018.
Then this happened.
Hunt was released on November 30, 2018.
Now as the reigning Super Bowl Champions, the “what if,” questions surrounding Hunt have faded into the background. Still, it’s interesting to think what the Chiefs would look like if Hunt was still on the roster.
Would the Chiefs have selected Darwin Thompson in the 2019 draft? Would Damien Williams still be on the team? And if he is, he surely wouldn’t have his current contract or the nickname “Playoff Damien”. Would we have gone through having to watch Carlos Hyde in the preseason (which was honestly a good thing because I really like Martinas Rankin who we traded Hyde for)?
One thing I can almost guarantee wouldn’t happen is the selection of running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire out of LSU with their first pick in the 2020 draft. The Chiefs would have no need for a RB if Hunt were still around. The Chiefs would have had to gone a different direction. Here’s a couple options the Chiefs would have considered.
*I’m assuming the first 31 picks happened the same way
Tackle Robert Hunt- Louisiana-Lafayette (Round 2 pick 39 to Miami)
If Kareem Hunt was still around, the Chiefs would have taken a different Hunt at pick 32. Robert Hunt is an athletic, diverse tackle who can play some guard as well. He missed time his senior year with a groin injury but was still named first-team All-SBC for his play at right tackle. Hunt is very similar to the Chiefs third-round selection, Lucas Niang. With CEH not on the radar, the Chiefs get their lineman a couple picks early.
Wide Receiver Tee Higgins- Clemson (Round 2 pick 33 to Cincinnati)
The player taken directly after CEH in real life, could have potentially gone a pick early. This may be an aggressive pick, but the Chiefs clearly wanted to add to their already lethal offense. Higgins is a big receiver at 6’4 and can go up and get any pass. In most years, Higgins is a first round talent. The Chiefs future at wide receiver is also murky. Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman will still be around after 2020, but neither are very big receivers. Adding Higgins would lock up the receiving core for the future and give Mahomes a big body receiver. Offense, offense, offense!
Kristian Fulton CB LSU (Round 2 pick 61 Tennessee Titians)
The Chiefs first pick still could’ve come out of LSU in the form of Kristian Fulton. Fulton is a big physical CB and fills a position of need. Fulton is always looking to make plays highlighted by his team leading 14 pass breakups in 2019. He fits well into Steve Spagnuolo’s defense.
Fulton has had some off the field issues for having someone else provide urine for a PED test sample. Taking him 30 picks earlier than where he was actually selected could be a reach even if it does fill a need. That’s why ultimately I believe….
The Chiefs trade back and see how things develop
If the Chiefs have Kareem Hunt and don’t need a RB, trading back would have been the best option. It’s something they considered this past draft and may have been more serious about under these circumstances. A lot of the best positions available in round two were positions the Chiefs didn’t need or players similar to guys they could draft later.
I played with the idea of them trading up for a player like Patrick Queen or Kenneth Murray but the Chiefs wanted to add draft picks, not give them away which is what it would have taken to move up. Who knows what would have happened?
Now we get to look forward to Clyde Edwards-Helaire taking handoffs and seeing what crazy screens Andy draws up for him. Kareem who?