KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 2017 NFL draft stands as one of the deepest in years for cornerbacks, and that’s where the ChiefsDigest.com mock draft has the team going in the first round, selecting Adoree’ Jackson from USC.
The Chiefs hold 10 picks and should emerge as one of the more active team’s in this year’s draft.
The Chiefs don’t have many obvious roster vacancies, which makes finding a home for 10 rookies a steep challenge. Fans shouldn’t be surprised if general manager John Dorsey finds a way to move around in this year’s draft when needed.
Dorsey may also find a way to turn this year’s picks into 2018 selections, a year in which the Chiefs should have more demonstrable needs.
But if the Chiefs stand pat with 10 selections, here’s one way this year’s draft could unfold:
First round, No. 27: CB Adoree’ Jackson, USC
The Chiefs are a Super Bowl contender, and upgrades at three positions could give them an immediate payback in year one. Cornerback is a position of need both now and in the future. Steven Nelson settled nicely into the nickel back role a year ago. But the Chiefs don’t know truly what they have with Phillip Gaines and Terrance Mitchell. Shoring up the secondary puts lets stress on the pass rush and can help lessen strain on run defense as well.
Second round, No. 59: QB Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee
Joshua Dobbs passed for 2,946 yards and rushed for 831 more last season. In his final college season, Alex Smith passed for 2,952 and rushed for 631. The physical parallels among Smith and Dobbs are eerie. There may be better quarterbacks in this year’s draft, but Dobbs may be the best fit for Reid’s offensive philosophy.
Third round, No. 91: ILB Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State
The Chiefs have names at inside linebacker but plenty of questions as well with Derrick Johnson and Justin March-Lillard returning from injuries and Ramik Wilson still growing into his role. McMillan brings the intangibles Dorsey covets – he served as Buckeyes team captain as a junior. He possesses the skills to develop into a three-down linebacker and will find no better place to learn than alongside Johnson.
Third round, No. 104: RB D’Onta Foreman, Texas
The Chiefs using a third-round pick from Texas? It worked pretty well the last time. The 6-0, 233-pound Foreman is a bit bigger than Jamaal Charles but shares a burst of acceleration. Foreman struggled to stay on the field as a freshman and sophomore, but his senior year proved electric. He totaled 2,028 yards with a 6.3 yards per carry average last season.
Fourth round, No. 132: TE Jonnu Smith, Florida International
Smith may offer one of the better combinations of pass catching and blocking skills among tight ends in this year’s draft. The 6-3, 248-pound Smith showcases speed and quickness in route running, but did struggle with drops at times in college. But his experience as an inline blocker is a huge plus.
Fifth round, No. 170: OL Aviante Collins, TCU
A left tackle by trade – and Dorsey loves draft college left tackles – Collins could fit well with the Chiefs’ zone blocking scheme and has the size to play multiple positions along the offensive line.
Fifth round, No. 180: OLB Elijah Lee, Kansas State
The 6-3, 230-pound native of Blue Springs, Mo., played in the shadow of Big 12 defensive player of the year Jordan Willis. But Lee earned first-team Big honors in his final season at Kansas State. He compiled 110 total tackles, two interceptions and 1.5 sacks last season.
Sixth round, No. 216: WR Chad Williams, Grambling State
The speed Williams ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at his pro day and showcased strong strength and agility as well. The 6-foot, 207-pound receiver posted a strong performance at the Senior Bowl. He caught 64 passes for 1,012 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior for the 11-1 Tigers.
Sixth round, No. 218: DE Cameron Malveaux, Houston
The 6-5, 273-pound Malveaux lines up a bit undersized for his tall frame, but showcased excellent speed and athleticism during his pro day workout. Malveauz was a team captain for the Cougars and finished with 81 tackles in his career, 17 of them for a loss.
Seventh round, No. 245: DT Josh Augusta, Missouri
The 6-4, 347-pound Augusta owns the look of a poor man’s Dontari Poe. He took a step backward his senior year as Missouri changed its defensive scheme. Augusta posted 19 tackles for loss in his college career, including 8.5 as a junior. He also scored two rushing touchdowns lining up in the backfield, which is the most Poe-like thing a defensive tackle can do.