Kansas City Chiefs NFL Draft Recap/Grade – 2018
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Kansas City Chiefs Draft Picks (2018)
Key Positional Needs Entering Draft
- Defensive Tackle
- Offensive Line
- Defensive End/Outside Linebacker
The Kansas City Chiefs did not have a day 1 selection due to moving up in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft to get Patrick Mahomes. The 2018 NFL Draft was all about replenishing defensive talent in K.C. This was one of the top defenses in the league for a quite some time but with roster turnover the core group is almost entirely gone. The Kansas City Chiefs used this entire draft to go after defense starting up front and working their way back to the secondary.
On day 2 of the draft the Kansas City Chiefs added 3 guys to their front 7. With their first pick the Chiefs selected Breeland Speaks, who brings much needed size to the defensive edge that was gashed last year in the run game. He projects as a base line player and will play 5 technique in their 3-4 defense. The Kansas City Chiefs added more size on day 2 when they added Derrick Nnadi so they could kick Speaks outside as Nnadi projects as a nose who plays the run well and has the ability to eat up blocks to free up their linebackers. The Chiefs finished day 2 by grabbing Dorian O’Daniel from Clemson. He is an undersized linebacker at 223 lbs and they will have to figure out how to use him as he is built more like a safety than a linebacker or edge rusher. This pick was a bit of a head-scratcher in the third round particularly with Tamba Hali retiring and Dee Ford in the last year of his deal. The Chiefs are in need of a pass rush.
During the final day of the draft the Kansas City Chiefs prioritized adding depth to the secondary. Armani Watts doesn’t have ideal size but he was a very productive free safety and looks like he can play both safety spots with his ability to play in the box and get tackles for loss. They grabbed one corner and it was Tremon Smith, who could compete for time early due to the team’s lack of depth at the position. With their last pick, the Kansas City Chiefs finished the draft off by selecting the Oakland Raiders GM’s son Reggie McKenzie Jr. another big body to help shore up the run game.
Overall, I don’t know why the Kansas City Chiefs climbed up the power rankings going from 14 to 10. I really didn’t love this draft. They have a young offense and could really have used some help on the offensive line. They also failed to address huge needs at edge rusher and corner. A lot of talent left this off-season and I don’t see this team as a top 10 team, especially after this draft. I’m not saying you need to use the draft solely to fill needs and I generally favor taking value over need. But I feel like the Chiefs didn’t get great value with their picks on top of not addressing needs. I don’t see how this team got much better throughout the draft.
I thought that Nnadi offered the best value and fills a big hole on that defense. The Kansas City Chiefs are rebuilding on defense and he is a huge foundational piece right at the pivot of defensive line. He is not a guy that will show up much on the box score but he will be a guy that does a lot of the dirty work that frees up some of those play-makers on defense.
Fantasy Football Implications
It wasn’t the moves that were made, but the moves that were NOT made that had fantasy implications. Sammy Watkins should get a ton of targets as the Chiefs did not add another weapon. Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Watkins, and Kareem Hunt should receive the vast majority of the targets. They did attempt to add to the defense, but this defense won’t be the fantasy defense we loved in the past and I recommend avoiding them. Marcus Peters himself got a ton of IDP points through turnovers and TDs on top of shutting down offenses single handily at times. The offensive players might actually benefit from the defense not being as good, expect a healthy number of shootouts in Kansas City this year.