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Mock Draft Monday: Draft simulations, Part 1

NFL draft

This week for Mock Draft Monday we’re building on last week’s theme, when we looked around the NFL world at what various evaluators, analysts and Mel Kiper wannabes think the Kansas City Chiefs will do with the 32nd pick in the NFL draft.

The Draft Network has a mock draft simulator that you can use to test out how the draft could shake out for your favorite team(s). For MDM we ran four different simulations, two using TDN’s predictive board and two with their prospect rankings, to see some possible ways the Chiefs could go this year. Instead of just the first round, we’re doing five-round mock simulations, accounting for all five of the picks Kansas City (currently) has.

At the end, we’ll take a look at which scenario looks the best for the Chiefs.

Mock draft #1 (Predictive board)

It’s not surprising that a running back is picked for the Chiefs here, but that’s a bad value pick when you consider the position and the offense, even if Swift is arguably the best running back in this class. A.J. Terrell struggled in the National Championship Game versus LSU, but otherwise put together an excellent last season at Clemson and fills a need in R2. Smith is an interesting choice but makes more sense if Emmanuel Ogbah walks in free agency. Jordan Elliott is the best value pick in this mock draft, going 47 spots after his current ranking on the 580 Sports Talk composite big board. Waiting until the fifth round to address a somewhat glaring interior offensive line problem may not be the best course of action.

Mock draft #2 (Predictive board)

D’Andre Swift is a good player who will make a team happy, but he’s not a smart pick at No. 32 given Kansas City’s other, far more pressing needs. Taking a corner in the second round is again a smart path, this time going with Bryce Hall from Virginia (currently CB8 on the composite big board). Much better this time with the decision to take an interior lineman in the third round. Once again, there’s nothing wrong with taking edge rusher depth. Brooks is an interesting choice, a box safety who defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo could find a package for as effectively an extra, smaller linebacker.

Mock draft #3 (Prospect rankings)

Ruiz is a strong pick and addresses a major need early. He’s in the third-round range in the composite currently but that will change with the next update for this late riser who has garnered a lot of hype. This is the first we’ve seen a linebacker pick, but Harrison makes sense, especially with a BPA pick (63 is his exact ranking in our composite). Once again, edge depth in the third round, this time with a high-motor, prototypical 4-3 defensive end. Vaughn is a smart pick in R4, a productive and exciting player who goes off the board right around where the Chiefs might consider actually taking a running back. The biggest flaw here is waiting until R5 to take a cornerback, even for a team that doesn’t value the position particularly highly.

Mock draft #4 (Prospect rankings)

Cushenberry is another late riser and another center by trade, but could be used anywhere on the interior. Just like Swift above, Taylor is a good running back but for the Chiefs’ offense it’s simply bad value to take anyone at that position in the first couple rounds. Better job with this mock draft addressing the cornerbacks earlier, although Robertson isn’t listen in the top 200 on the composite as of now. We finally have a wide receiver picked for the Chiefs and this is my favorite pick of this entire exercise. Johnson was a stellar player at Minnesota and would be a fun fit with Kansas City. Jennings could go far higher than the fifth round so he’s good value at No. 159.

The best option for Kansas City

Weighing every position and every pick, the strongest overall mock draft for the Chiefs is No. 3. It addresses the team’s biggest needs, makes a smart first-round pick and waits to get a running back until later, when the production will still be good and at a far lower price. Ruiz is the best pick of the group. The best and most fun pick is Tyler Johnson in No. 4, and that mock draft gets points for being the only one to address the wide receivers room.

With the NFL scouting combine this week players will be moving all over the place in terms of prospect rankings, and in just a week’s time every mock draft and mock draft possibility out there could look different. As of now, though, if the Chiefs could plug their important holes with quality players at a good value like they do in simulation No. 3 it would be a rousing success for general manager Brett Veach.


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