Chiefs general manager John Dorsey and his scouting department have spent three offseasons overhauling the roster, with only 12 players remaining from prior regimes.
Those players are: Running backs Jamaal Charles and Cyrus Gray; wide receiver Junior Hemingway; offensive linemen Jeff Allen and Donald Stephenson; defensive linemen Allen Bailey and Dontari Poe; outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston; inside linebacker Derrick Johnson; strong safety Eric Berry; and punter Dustin Colquitt.
Armed with 10 draft picks, the Chiefs find themselves in a good position to finish the remake of this roster in the current regime’s image.
1.18: ILB Eric Kendricks, UCLA
The Chiefs need to find a long-term replacement for Derrick Johnson, who turns 33 in November. The 6-0, 232-pound Kendricks would provide Kansas City an instinctive inside linebacker, who diagnosis plays very well and doesn’t hesitate on getting to the point of attack.
Kendricks is natural in his zone drops and can change his direction very quickly. He is a solid form tackler, but will drop his head on some occasions. Kendricks is a high-effort football player and is a film junkie.
2.49: WR Tyler Lockett, K-State [Note: The following overview appeared in the previously published “Chiefs have options among WR draft prospects” and continues to hold true]:
The Chiefs need to find additional wide receivers that can develop behind veterans Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant. The 5-10, 182-pound Lockett is fearless over the middle and always willing to make the tough catch despite the hit he may sustain. The Tulsa, Okla., native is very explosive in and out of his breaks. Lockett understands how to set up defenders with his routes to create separation and has effective double moves, adjusting to the football very well. The former Wildcat times back shoulder throws perfectly. He may not be the biggest receiver, but plays the game with the right attitude that is hard to ignore.
3.80: TE Clive Walford, Miami
Kansas City lost a significant veteran presence with the release of Anthony Fasano this offseason and need to add depth. The 6-4, 251-pound Walford provides an explosive tight end – unofficial 4.79 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine – and a solid run blocker, who will drive-block his defender even when the running back clears his area. The former Hurricane can line up all over the field and bring the same effectiveness at each spot. Walford does a good job of finding the ball, extending his hands to make a clean catch and getting up the field immediately.
3.98 (compensatory pick): OT Rob Havenstein, Wisconsin
The offensive line needs developmental depth for the long-term future at right tackle. The 6-7, 321-pound Havenstein moves well for his size, keeping his pad level down, plays with good leverage and when he locks on a defender they will not be peeling off. The former Badger has good foot quickness, correct steps and will drive block a defender out of the picture. Havenstein has a solid punch and wins the edge in pass protection.
4.118: CB/S Eric Rowe, Utah
Sean Smith enters a contract season and the Chiefs will need to develop a replacement in the event he leaves next offseason. The 6-1, 205-pound Rowe has a frame that fits the Chiefs style and played in a press-man scheme at Utah. The former Ute does a good job jamming at the line scrimmage and can disrupt a receiver’s route quickly. He does not shy away from helping in run support and is willing to make the tackle. Rowe has a natural comfort in zone coverage.
5.172 (compensatory pick): C Max Garcia, Florida
Kansas City is thin at the center position with the loss of Rodney Hudson to the Oakland Raiders, leaving Eric Kush as the only center on the current depth chart. The 6-4, 309-pound Garcia is a versatile guard and center with a strong punch and does a good job of getting his hands in the defenders shoulder pads. The former Gator recognizes stunts and picks up the correct defender. Garcia will continually work to secure the block and put a defender in the dirt. He will need to drop his pad level at the next level and continue to move his feet after initial contact.
5.173 (compensatory pick): WR Tony Lippett, Michigan State [Note: The following overview appeared in the previously published “Chiefs have options among WR draft prospects” and continues to hold true]:
The Chiefs will be in need of a receiver to groom behind veteran Jason Avant. The 6-2, 198-pound Lippett is a very physical down field blocker, and once he locks on a defender they do not typically shed the block. His skillset fits that of an X receiver, or split end, in the West Coast system. He understands how to get separation based on using his body size to box out defenders. The former Spartan is willing to make the tough catches. Lippett is a solid route runner that has the ability to high point a football. He has smooth cuts on his breaks.
6.192: DL Quayshawne Buckley, Idaho
Kansas City needs to find a rotational pass rusher that can help Dontari Poe reduce the 944 defensive snaps he saw last season. The 6-3, 309-pound Buckley has an explosive first step and tremendous hustle to go with it, possessing impressive quickness with his finesse pass rushing moves. He consistently gives equal effort throughout a game.
The former Vandal does a good job of keeping a defender away from his chest while reading and diagnosing in the backfield. He is very good at shedding the block when the back comes near the line of scrimmage. He has the burst of an edge rusher when getting to the quarterback. He will need time to improve his strength to add an effective bull rush to his skill set. He could immediately help the Chiefs in their nickel packages as a 3-technique. Chiefs beat writer Terez Paylor of The Kansas City Star also likes Buckley.
6.217 (compensatory pick): S Anthony Jefferson, UCLA
Free safety Husain Abdullah is entering a contract season and the Chiefs would be wisely served to groom a potential replacement at his spot. The 6-1, 198-pound Jefferson is a natural safety, who looks comfortable when allowed to play off and soft or in a deep-zone coverage. The former Bruin takes good pursuit angles and lays they wood when the receiver or back is coming out of the flats. Jefferson diagnosis well when the play is in front of him.
7.223: RB Breon Allen, ECU
The Chiefs have Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, Cyrus Gray, De’Anthony Thomas and Charcandrick West at the running back position, but lost a crucial element of speed to the run and passing game when Joe McKnight ruptured an Achilles tendon prior to Week 4. Enter the 5-8, 190-pound Allen, who is being ignored after sustaining an MCL injury during a December practice.
The former Pirate ball carrier has speed and elusiveness that jump out immediately. He can take it the distance on any play if given the room to work, evidenced by Allen’s 44-yard touchdown run against North Carolina on a third-and-28. He can cut on a dime and regain his explosiveness immediately. Allen has good open-field vision and sees the cutback. The East Carolina alumnus has a similar explosiveness to Jamaal Charles but also looks similar to Darren Sproles in his running style.