Analysis

Linebackers, Tackles and EDGE Oh my!

With the 2021 NFL draft still two weeks away we are bombarded daily with a new mock draft or article about who the Chiefs will or should pick at their Super Bowl runner-up #31 spot.

Side note: It is grueling to wait for that pick on draft day, but we are picking at that spot for a reason, the Chiefs are a mighty fine football team. Speculation is all an NFL sportswriter has in mid-April and May, June, July, and August too. So, as I absorb my daily off-season Chiefs news, I started to wonder, when it comes to the Chiefs is it really possible to predict their pick?

Now, this article is not meant to chastise those who are trying, I fully appreciate the wealth of information and thoughts of those attempting to predict who will be on the Chiefs radar each year. It is invaluable insight.

The folks here at Arrowhead Live are giving a lot of consideration to crafting content directed at this topic, but if the last few years are any indication, wow is it tough to figure out the Chiefs pre-draft day. Just for myself going back the last four or five years waiting for the Chiefs to be on the clock, I can’t remember being close to correct on their selection with the possible exception of CEH last year.

Even then, can we agree there were more pressing needs than RB in the 2020 draft? How many years has cornerback been a position that should have been at least considered in the early rounds? I recall going back at least three drafts combing the board for defensive secondary talent just the watch Veach, Reid and company pull a surprise I never saw coming.  

Rarely does my schedule allow me to tune in for the whole drawn-out first round, especially when as of late the Chiefs pick is deep in the round. So, imagine my surprise when they traded up 17 spots in the 2017 draft to nab Mahomes out of the blue. Anyone predict that move?

That could end up as one of the best moves in professional sports ever. In the 2017 draft, Mahomes was projected to be drafted anywhere from 13th to 38th. If you recall the Chiefs were connected to Mahomes pre-draft but clearly played their cards close to the vest before pulling off the now-infamous move that changed the history of this organization. You simply just could not have predicted such a move.

Similarly, the 2016 second-round pick of Chris Jones out of Mississippi State turned out to be one of John Dorsey’s finest, but mock drafts had them looking for CB help, which I was certain they would address while watching five years ago. Eli Apple was a popular pick for the Chiefs first selection in that draft. I, for one, am glad they surprised everyone with Jones, an excellent move.

With those two major first round hits, the Chiefs war room has supplied us with more headscratchers that we would all like to forget. There are several positions over the last five or so drafts that seemed obvious for a high draft pick, LB, CB, OL, WR to name a few.

But yet, while we all looking over here, the Chiefs are picking from over there, hello Breeland Speaks pick in the first round of the 2018 draft. Speaks was a project 3rd or 4th round pick if you were wondering. 2018 was a year where LB was beyond a need after a dismal performance from that group the season prior, they decided to kind of address that need with the 3rd round selection of Dorian O’Daniel.

Again, O’Daniel was a projected 6th round pick which the Chiefs grabbed three rounds early. One could argue not a particularly great selection. Still, unpredictable. Perhaps we should fill out draft brackets like March Madness? If you can successfully craft a perfect first-round bracket, you win. By the way, the odds of filling out a perfect NCAA bracket are 1 in 9.2 quintillion.

We can all agree in the 2021 draft that the left tackle position is paramount as is the EDGE position, so maybe the Chiefs finally go CB. Or perhaps we all sit there on Thursday, April 29th waiting and waiting for hours only to see them trade back, that’s always fun.

Well, like many of the Chiefs Kingdom faithful, as Brett Veach leads the team into his fourth NFL Draft, I have my hopes, but my mock draft predictions? Here it is, I predict that no matter what the need or players available on the draft board the Chiefs will predictably do the unpredictable, guaranteed. But fingers crossed for some help for the oline.

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