Grading the Draft: Kansas City

The Chiefs eyed their man all along as Jerome McDougle was the player they coveted to improve the defense…that was until the Eagles moved up and grabbed him. Then it was onto " plan B" which shocked everyone.

Round Pick Player Pos School
1 27(27) Larry Johnson HB Penn St.
2 15(47) Kawika Mitchell ILB South Florida
3 28(92) Julian Battle S Tennessee
4 16(113) Brett Williams OT Florida St.
5 18(153) Jordan Black OT Notre Dame
6 16(189) Jimmy Wilkerson* DE Oklahoma
7 16(230) Montique Sharpe DT Wake Forest
7 38(252) Willie Pile S Virginia Tech

UDFA of Note: RB/Henri Childs/Colorado St, TE/Mike Pinkard/Arizona St, FB/Tank Reese/Kansas St, WR/Wilson Thomas/Nebraska, WR/LaShaun Ward/Cal

After losing out on McDougle, Kansas City slid down 11 slots, picked up additional choices then to everyone's surprise, selected Larry Johnson. While we feel Johnson was good value late in the first, and can be an effective feature runner in the NFL, why the Chiefs took him is still a mystery to many. They say he is needed security in case Priest Holmes injured hip does not heal and also offers flexibility when it is contract time for their Pro Bowl runner. Yet several highly rated prospects were available and could have offered Kansas City immediate help. Sources also told us that coach Dick Vermeil was ready to take Johnson with the 16th pick but was talked into trading down.

Kawika Mitchell had been flying up draft boards ever since the combine and went from a fringe first day pick into the middle of round two. Mitchell offers an injection of impact to an aging Kansas City linebacking core that is being revamped.

Julian Battle was good value in round three as was Brett Williams the following frame. We feel Battle is better off at free safety, facing the passer, rather than out at cornerback. That said, he has a chance as a press cover corner. Williams was always a terrific college player and has the versatility to be used at any of four blocking positions. He will be able to learn from a few savvy veterans and could eventually move into the starting line-up as age is creeping up on the likes of Willie Roaf and Will Shields.

Likewise, Jordan Black was a solid pick in the fifth frame. Another blocker with versatility, Black can play either guard or tackle on the strong side and offers inexpensive depth.

Jimmy Wilkerson was selected where he deserved to be after making the poor decision of leaving college early. He is a great athlete that flashes the ability to be a good football player but needs a lot more consistency and physical maturation. Wilkerson could be headed to the practice squad.

With two picks in the final frame, the team went defense. Montique Sharp is best on the nose and will have a hard time making it while Willie Pile played much better as a senior then he worked out in the post-season.  We would not be surprised at all to see the strong safety make it as a back-up and special teams player.

The Chiefs signed several interesting free agents.  Mike Pinkard is an excellent compliment for Tony Gonzalez and could be the team's second tight end.  LaShuan Ward could be a return specialist eventually switched to cornerback and surprisingly enough the team will use Tank Reese at fullback.

Analysis: Most will focus and rate this draft on the choosing of Larry Johnson but the organization selected quality players that will offer immediate impact from round two through the final frame. All but a single player could end up making the active roster.


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