The Kansas City Chiefs finished the 2020 NFL draft with six selections, adding one pick late to cap their Day 3.
LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire came off the board first, with Kansas City selecting him with the final pick of the first round. On Day 2 the Chiefs addressed a couple areas of need, selecting linebacker Willie Gay from Mississippi State and offensive tackle Lucas Niang from TCU. The last two picks of this year’s draft were defensive back L’Jarius Sneed from Louisiana Tech and defensive end Mike Danna from Michigan.
This is the fourth year in a row in which Kansas City has made exactly six picks. This is also the sixth year in a row the Chiefs have taken at least three defensive players and the fourth time in six years they’ve drafted at least four on defense.
Below is a brief synopsis of each pick, plus links to their draft write-ups. Additionally, there are links to player and coach audio throughout the draft with reaction to the Chiefs’ picks.
You can also see where each player ranked on the 580 Sports Talk composite big board here.
Edwards-Helaire emerged as one of the best playmakers for the national champion LSU Tigers in 2019. He finished his last season in Baton Rouge with 1,414 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, while showing off his pass-catching ability with 55 receptions for 453 yards. He was named LSU’s team MVP over Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. He’s the first running back taken by the Chiefs in the first round since 2003 (Larry Johnson).
Introductory media session
Gay was suspended for eight games during his final season at Mississippi State, partially due to a fight with his quarterback, but he made a major impact in the five games he did play. “I make it work even with five games, I don’t need 10-15 games to make plays,” Gay said. One of his best skills is coverage, with Pro Football Focus grading him as the best coverage linebacker in this year’s class (with data going back to 2017).
Despite missing time due to a hip injury in 2019, Niang still played well and was able to build on an excellent 2018 season at TCU, when he was named second-team All-Big 12. He played in 20 games between his junior and senior season and didn’t allow a sack in any of them. According to Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports, Niang is a potential future starter at tackle who could start his career at guard.
Sneed is a natural cornerback and will likely play that position with the Chiefs, but he was moved to safety during his senior season. In his one season as a safety, Sneed led Louisiana Tech in tackles with 72 and also recorded three interceptions. He was also one of college football’s active leaders in pick-sixes with three. He’s one of the best defensive back athletes in the draft, with a 4.37 40-yard dash, a 41-inch vertical and a 9.45 RAS.
Danna was a reserve last season at Michigan, playing in all 13 games for the Wolverines but only starting one. He starred at Central Michigan, though, where he started his career, being named a 2018 Pro Football Focus first-team All-American. That season he was also named first-team All-MAC and was the CMU team MVP. his athleticism is considered unusual for most defensive ends in Steve Spagnuolo’s defenses. Danna is also now the eighth defensive end currently on the Chiefs’ roster.
The Chiefs made a late move to get back into the draft on Day 3, trading a 2021 sixth-round draft pick to pick up Keyes. While he has only played football since he was a junior in high school, Keyes was an All-American Athletic Conferece honorable mention as a senior, recording 47 tackles and an interception. After getting pick, he said he’s excited by the thought of playing alongside Tyrann Mathieu.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid was a guest during ESPN’s NFL draft coverage on Saturday. Click here to listen to what Reid had to say about moving on from the Super Bowl and this year’s draft class.
The Chiefs have been busy going undrafted free agents, including signing several who were legitimate draft prospects. Below is an updated list of which UDFAs have signed with Kansas City