2018 NFL Draft Recap – Kansas City Chiefs
The 2018 NFL Draft is over and the Kansas City Chiefs had six total picks, all of which were spent on defensive players. The Chiefs badly needed help in the secondary and depth along their defensive line, so those were the two major problems they decided to tackle in this year’s draft. Here are my thoughts regarding each of the players the Kansas City Chiefs drafted.
Round 2 #46 Overall : Breeland Speaks, DE, Ole Miss: Breeland Speaks is a terrific athlete in my opinion. I like this pick from the Chiefs because they (a) needed to add depth along the D-Line, and (b) I think Breeland Speaks has a good shot to start in place of Tamba Hali and has the chance to help contribute immediately. Furthermore, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. stated that he believes Breeland Speaks is “the most underrated defensive player’ in the 2018 draft. This pick also gives me a deja vu. I feel like Chris Jones was in a similar situation to Speaks coming into the draft. Both players were underrated and Jones has been regarded as one of the biggest steals of his draft class. Jones has proven himself to be a great defensive lineman and a key to the Chiefs defense these past two seasons, and I feel like Breeland Speaks has a chance to do the same. Plus, Speaks has the versatility to play DE or OLB, and I’m willing to bet the Chiefs would rather have him at the latter of the two.
Round 3 #75 Overall: Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State: Nnadi is another good defensive lineman in my opinion. However he may not start his first year in the league, as the Chiefs signed DT Xavier Williams. Nnadi will at least be given the opportunity to steal some of William’s playing time in order to help him develop during his rookie season, but he likely will not start. I love the pick though because with Nnadi, along with Speaks, the Chiefs got two players who have the opportunity to be outstanding young defensive players for this team several years down the line. Look for Nnadi to overtake Williams in the starting position after his rookie season.
Round 3 #100 Overall: Dorian O’Daniel, LB, Clemson: Again, I like this pick because it gives the Chiefs a young defensive player who also happened to be part of a tremendous Power 5 school the past couple of years. A national champion at Clemson, Dorian O’Daniel is a great athlete. He played ILB at Clemson, but the Chiefs are well stocked at ILB for now with Anthony Hitchens and Reggie Ragland. Look for O’Daniel to either gain weight so he can play ILB at the professional level or switch to safety at some point in his career. Either way, I believe the Chiefs will find a great use for his athleticism and natural instincts whether it be on defense or on special teams.
Round 4 #124 Overall: Armani Watts, S, Texas A&M: Again, I like the pick of Armani Watts. A four-year starter at Texas A&M, Watts has the ability to push for playing time sooner rather than later because of his intelligence and instincts on the football field. The Chief’s other two safeties, Eric Murray and Daniel Sorensen, can be a little shaky at times, which could pave the way for Watts to prove his worth in a secondary that badly needs help. Watts could be viewed as the replacement for Ron Parker, who the Chiefs lost during this offseason. Look for Watts to compete for a starting spot through the offseason and through training camp.
Round 6 #196 Overall: Tremon Smith, CB, Central Arkansas: I do not have a strong opinion on this pick. I do think it was good, however, that the Chiefs went ahead and drafted a CB. It adds a body to their secondary, which needs help, but the odds are against Smith. Not to say he won’t get out of camp, because he very well could. Heck, the Chiefs used a third round pick a couple of years ago on KeiVarae Russell, who didn’t make it out of camp (but is now on the Bengals). On the bright side, Smith will get better by competing against corners in the likes of Kendall Fuller, Steven Nelson, and David Amerson. I hope Tremon Smith gets his shot in the NFL because the Chiefs badly need secondary help, especially with Oakland acquiring WR’s Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant to go with Amari Cooper.
Round 6 #198 Overall: Kahlil McKenzie, DT, Tennessee: I’ll be completely honest, I like this pick because Mckenzie is the son of the Oakland Raider’s GM, Reggie McKenzie. He was a defensive tackle in college at Tennessee, but do not be surprised to see the Chiefs move him to somewhere else along the offensive line, as the Chiefs have already drafted two d-linemen in this draft alone. McKenzie is a competitor by nature. I think McKenzie has a great opportunity to be a solid backup for anyone on the Chief’s offensive line this season. I believe this is a smart pick by GM Brett Veach.
Overall, I think the Chiefs did good with the picks that they had. Would I have liked to see them try to move into the first round? Yes, but lets not forget that they didn’t have a first-rounder this year because they traded up to get Patrick Mahomes in last year’s draft.
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