2018 NFL Draft Grades: Kansas City Chiefs Restock the Defense
The Kansas City Chiefs only had six picks in the 2018 NFL Draft and they use five of them to restock the defense. KC was without their first-round pick after giving it up in the trade for Patrick Mahomes a year ago. There is nothing sexy about this draft at all but they made some solid selections.
Round 2 – Pick 46 Breeland Speaks – LB/DL – Mississippi – Jr
Kansas City moved up eight spots to make this selection by dropping 22 spots in the third round with Cincinnati. Breeland Speaks as a defensive end showed a ton of potential but had not quite put it all together. The Chiefs announced him as a linebacker which makes this even more confusing. Speaks will have to drop weight to make that make sense. Definitely a reach by the Chiefs.
Round 3 – Pick 75 Derrick Nnadi – DL – Florida State – Sr
Derrick Nnadi is a potential long-term starter at nose tackle. When motivated he is can cause plenty of disruption in the backfield. Athletically he tested very poorly, but his tape overcomes that. Kansas City thought enough of him to trade a 4th round draft pick to move up eleven spots with Baltimore.
Round 3 – Pick 100 Dorian O’Daniel – LB – Clemson – Sr
Dorian O’ Daniel is a tremendous coverage linebacker but at 6’0” 215 is undersized. He is very athletic and could be a hybrid LB/S for the Chiefs.
Round 4 – Pick 124 Armani Watts – S – Texas A&M – Sr
Watts is a multi-year starter for the Aggies. He is not reliable in coverage but he is a good tackler in space. Watts will likely earn his money on special teams early on.
Round 6 – Pick 196 Tremon Smith – CB – Central Arkansas – Sr
I watched zero game tape of Tremon Smith. The 5’10” 220-pound corner is fast. He ran a 4.38 at his pro day. Smith also had 15 career interceptions. He could be a diamond in the rough for KC.
Round 6 – Pick 198 Kahlil McKenzie – G/DL – Tennessee
Kahlil is the son of Oakland Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie. He played defensive tackle for the Vols but the Kansas City Chiefs announced he would be playing guard for them. Hence, I would expect him to spend a year on the practice squad to try to figure that out.
In hindsight, Litton probably should have stayed in school. He has tremendous size and arm strength but has mechanical issues. A definite practice squad candidate. Mack is too small to play traditional tight end but he could earn a roster spot as an h-back. He was very productive at Arkansas State. Pringle is a tremendous route runner and very fast. Thus, I expect him to make the 53 as the #5/6 WR and to excel on special teams.
The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t do anything flashy at all. Minus a first from the Mahomes trade, it is hard to blame them either. They added some depth pieces for their defense. Outside of Derrick Nnadi however, I do not see any players that have a chance to make an instant impact in 2018.