With the NFL Draft less than a month away and the recent trades in the first round by the Niners, Eagles, and Dolphins, here are some prospects the Chiefs should consider for a day one trade.
With the Kansas City Chiefs still comfortably in their championship window, but starting to get in the early years of the expensive contracts, there are some prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft who should make Chiefs fans salivate. I’m not saying these prospects are the end-all-be-all, but they would be great players to add to a championship-caliber roster.
Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami
The University of Miami pass rusher is one of the best pure defensive players in the draft would add a great defensive playmaker to the front four. The 6-foot-5, 266-pound prospect only had eight sacks in his last season at Miami, but he was routinely double-teamed.
He wasn’t only a sack artist, he always was able to make plays in the run game, which would be important to the Kansas City defensive unit that struggled to stop the run for most of the season. With the Chiefs’ edge-rushing rotation hurt by the loss of Taco Charlton last season, Phillips would add a needed boost to a unit that struggled at times during the postseason to get pressure without the blitz.
Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
The Chiefs have plenty of very good corners with Ward, Sneed, and Breeland (if he re-signs). But Jaycee Horn’s Pro Day should have made every Chiefs fan very interested in the corner from South Carolina. At a 6-foot-1, 205-pounds he ran an unofficial 4.37 in the 40-yard dash, which is super fast for a bigger corner.
Even though he opted out of the season after the dismissal of Will Muschamp at South Carolina, he would have gotten All-SEC honors while with the Gamecocks in 2020. Pairing Sneed with Sneed would make a deadly young corner and he is physical enough to fit in a Steve Spagnuolo system, he was used in some blitz packages at South Carolina and was able to get a couple of sacks. He would be a perfect addition to a defense that could use a pure number one corner.
Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
It’s no secret the Chiefs are in need of offensive line help, they went out of their way to improve it in free agency by signing Joe Thuney and Kyle Long. But they released Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz to help with the cap, so they should be looking for a replacement at offensive tackle. This draft is deep with offensive tackle and I really don’t expect the Chiefs to move up unless they have to.
But they should seriously consider Christian Darrisaw as a great prospect to fill the shoes of the veteran Eric Fisher at left tackle. At 6-foot-5, 314 pounds he is a mountain of a human being and is an athletic standout in the run and pass game. He moves his feet well and was able to bury most defensive ends at his time at Virginia Tech. He is almost a guaranteed day one starter for Kansas City and would help protect Patrick Mahomes for the next ten seasons.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Possibly one of the most interesting linebacker prospects of the past couple of years, he’s small at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds. But he’s got sideline-to-sideline range with the explosiveness to make a huge splash in blitz packages. He was a unanimous All-American, ACC Defensive Player of the Year, and Butkus Award winner last season, so it is interesting to see him in the middle of most first-round mocks.
It was no secret that one of the weaknesses of the past two seasons for the Chiefs defense has been the linebackers. Hitchens and Gay seemed to work well together when they were on the field together, but Gay was inconsistent and got hurt right before the playoffs. The Chiefs do need a playmaker at the linebacker spot and should jump at the chance to get a rangy standout from Notre Dame. Kansas City may not even have to give up a lot of draft capital to get him as well.
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Well speaking of the loss of draft capital, you will have to give up multiple first-round picks to draft the best pure linebacker in the draft. At 6-foot-3, 245 pounds, he sounds like a huge human being and he is. He is an athletic monster with him making plays with pure instinct, strength, and speed.
He opted out of the 2020 season but in 2019 he racked up 109 tackles, five sacks, four forced fumbles for the Nittany Lions. He ran an unofficial 4.39 40 yard dash and benched 225 pounds 24 times at his pro day at Penn State. This is more of a pipe dream than anything else, but a prospect who echoes the instincts of Luke Kuechly or Bobby Wagner is hard to ignore. Brett Veach is constantly looking to make the Chiefs better and Micah Parsons would be worth the loss of draft capital.