Nick Jacobs’ team picks Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Every year I try to do two different types of fictional drafts for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The first, which is shown below, is a mockup of what I would do in Teams’ shoes. The second, which will be unveiled early next week, is what I think they will do.
What makes the NFL Draft unique is that there are 32 teams, all of which have different preferences in the characteristics and skills they value for their programs.
Draft boards are always going to value athletes and technique, but the third rounds and beyond are where teams have to decide what they are willing to work with in terms of flaws versus unique characteristics that can help a player succeed in their cultures and patterns.
The Chiefs have a unique tightrope this year. They need help with edge carrier, wide receiver, cornerback, safety, offensive tackle and linebacker.
The premium positions that will go faster from my cinematic study will likely be edge rusher, wide receiver, and safety.
Cornerbacks are available throughout the first four rounds, while attacking tackle must be taken early or wait until day three.
Here’s what I would do if I were Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach:
1st round, No. 29 overall – DE Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State
Ebiketie would provide the Chiefs with a Leo to learn from behind Frank Clark. He is a finesse rusher who wins with his speed and acceleration.
Ebiketie has a good rip motion and great lateral quickness. He can perform stunts very well.
1st round, No. 30 – DT Devonte Wyatt, Georgia
Wyatt, who seems to be slipping into fictional drafts, has a quick first step on tape. He also has very good lateral vivacity, which allows him to reach three gaps.
Wyatt has a good hand and deciphers. He shines when he is allowed to attack gaps rather than trying to use force.
2nd round, No. 50 — DE Josh Paschal, Kentucky
Some will probably see this as a reach and get it, but the tape on Paschal shows a mentality the Chiefs need along their defensive line.
The former Kentucky Wildcats standout player plays football the way it’s supposed to be played with hard hands and has a quickness with them that’s hard for offensive linemen to defend.
Paschal reminds me so much of Melvin Ingram and Za’Darius Smith on tape.
2nd round, No. 62 – S Jalen Pitre, Baylor
Pitre would provide the Chiefs with unique security. He flies all over the football field and makes plays everywhere.
He must be taken into account at all times, he is a very good athlete, a fantastic blitzer and a great running support.
3rd round, No. 94 – CB Koby Bryant, Cincinnati
Bryant shines with his vertical leap. He is able to climb the ranks with some of his deviations.
Bryant can also spin and run with receivers without any issues. He trusts his speed and his ability to stay in good position.
3rd round, No. 103 – WR Erik Ezukanma, Texas Tech
Ezukanma has sneaky speed for his size. He has the ability to keep a step on turns and safeties while boxing them to win contested holds with his size and jumping ability.
In the open, Ezukanma was better than I expected and has good contact balance to stay upright after taking hits. He is a possession receiver with good speed against good matchups.
4th round, No. 121 – CB Damarri Mathis, Pittsburgh
Mathis plays a physical brand of football at cornerback. It has a physical press and it delivers the stroke support boom.
Mathis plays with the attitude you want in a defensive player. He’ll have to limit how much he catches receivers after being beaten on the line, but the Chiefs could use a physical corner mark like Mathis.
4th Round, No. 135 – DT John Ridgeway, Arkansas
Ridgeway would provide the Chiefs with physical technique. He has more value in the fifth or sixth rounds, but the Chiefs don’t have that option with their current picks and need to reach here.
Ridgeway might be one of the strongest players in the draft with his bull rush. He has good pop with his hands and can bring the offensive lineman back to the quarterback’s lap with his power.
Round 7, No. 233 – LB D’Marco Johnson, Appalachian State
Johnson will provide the Chiefs with a special team physical performer with good athletic ability who could potentially become their weak side linebacker.
Jackson has a ton of hustle and gives his all on the football field. He will fight through blocks and refuses to lose the advantage.
7th round, No. 243 – WR Slade Bolden, Alabama
Bolden is a promising slot receiver. He has a good feel for cover voids and a great presence inside the numbers.
Mahomes could get his own take on Hunter Renfrow given time to develop.
Round 7, No. 251 – OT Ryan Van Demark, UConn
Van Demark is an attacking tackle project. He has good steps to get a gap or two and seal with quick feet for his height.
Van Demark has good hand placement and is ready to hit in his sets. He also understands how to properly expand the pocket, but must learn to stop repeatedly ducking his head, causing him to flap.
Round 7, No. 259 – TE Gerrit Prince, UAB
The local Shawnee Mission Northwest kid finds his way through this fake draft.
Prince has serious athletic ability with quality size to match. He would be a great understudy for Travis Kelce.
Prince has excellent open-field vision and is a solid road runner who can outrun corners secondaries don’t expect as long as his speed doesn’t exceed them.
There are a ton of perks here that you don’t want to leave to chance in the open market as a Priority Free Agent.
Next week, I’ll post a first-round mock draft for all 32 teams and another Chiefs mock draft that attempts to predict the 12 picks Kansas City will make.
I will also have an article on options for the Chiefs in the first round.
Host Tod Palmer and I will also be recording a new “4th&1” podcast debating fake drafts and discussing the Chiefs’ overall picks.
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Want more information on the Kansas City Chiefs? The “4th & 1” podcast is the bi-weekly chiefs-centric podcast of KSHB 41 News, the official “Home of the Chiefs” show. Analyst Nick Jacobs and host Todd Palmer analyze and break down the Chiefs’ opposition and performance for the pre- and post-game episodes – available on iTunes, Spotify, Omny or your favorite podcast platform – every week during the season.