Chiefs’ 2019 Draft Class recap
With the 2019 NFL season almost upon us, I’m taking a look at the Chiefs’ draft picks.
Let’s start off with our 1st round pick at 29, which we traded for Frank Clark. No one can complain about this move since Dee Ford and Justin Houston are no longer on the team. The Chiefs had to fill this void and Frank Clark is the best option. Ford and Clark both recorded 13 sacks last year. Could we have drafted a defensive end? Sure, but the Chiefs needed someone ready to perform at a high level right now and that’s exactly what you get with Frank Clark.
The Chiefs first pick in the draft came in the second round at number 56. Controversy was surrounding Tyreek Hill, which factored into the Chiefs drafting Mecole Hardman, wide receiver from Georgia. This guy is a burner that ran 4.33 40 yard dash at the combine. That put him tied for fifth overall and tied for third among receivers for the fastest 40. You can’t get enough speed in a passing league. As it turns out, Tyreek Hill will play this year, so now you’ve got two guys who can fly. This could turn into a thunder and lightning combination on the outside and make the Chiefs passing attack even more potent. As a junior, Mecole had 34 catches for 532 yards and seven touchdowns. He can also return kickoffs and punts.
Several picks later at number 63 in the second round, the Chiefs selected Juan Thornhill out of Virginia to play with Tyrann Mathieu. Juan was the fifth fastest safety at the combine with a 4.42 40 and put up 21 reps on the 225 pound bench press, good for second among safeties. He jumped a 44 inch vertical, which was the highest for any player at the combine and his broad jump was tied for the top spot. Since 2006, Thornhill’s vertical puts him tied for fourth best during that time period. At 1 inch higher with a 45 inch vertical jump in 2015, former Chiefs player Chris Conley is tied for the top spot. Thornhill is exactly what the Chiefs need to replace Eric Berry and help rebuild this defense. This could be the most impactful pick the Chiefs make this year and a key piece to turning the defense around.
The 83rd pick in the third round was Khalen Saunders, Defensive Tackle for Western Illinois. Khalen is a good fit on a defense that needs to improve. His ability to move and disrupt will work well in the new 4-3 defense. Also, he’s from St. Louis. Welcome back to Missouri.
It was a while before the Chiefs had their next pick, which was in the sixth round. With the 201st pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Chiefs selected Rashad Fention, South Carolina cornerback. For defensive backs at the combine, Rashad scored the third highest broad jump and the fourth highest vertical. He played against tough competition in college and did pretty well, so I’m looking forward to seeing if he can step up for the Chiefs.
Next came Darwin Thompson, running back from Utah State. He’s quick, dynamic, and flew under the radar. He wasn’t invited to the combine, but at his pro day had the second most bench reps compared to running backs at the combine and third best vertical and fifth best broad jump. Maybe it’s because Thompson played for Utah State for just one season after transferring from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M junior college. I think the Chiefs came up big with this pick in the sixth round. Darwin has a lot of upside and could be the steal of the draft.
With their last pick in the sixth round at 216, the Chiefs took offensive lineman, Nick Allegretti, from Illinois. He played guard and center in college, but the Chiefs will probably be playing him at center.
That sums of the Chiefs 2019 draft class. These young men have worked hard to get here, but will have to work even harder to succeed at the NFL level.
All in on defense, Chiefs draft recap
The 2018 draft was simple: defense. After finishing 28th in the NFL in yards given up, Andy and co. decided to double down on defense, picking only one player, Kahlil McKenzie, who played defensive tackle in college, to play offense as a guard. As everyone knows, he’s also the son of Raiders GM, Reggie McKenzie, which should make things interesting during the holidays. The motto for this year’s draft was know your weakness and the Chiefs did that with their picks.
It will be interesting to see the defense develop with this draft class:
Breeland Speaks, DE, Round 2 (46th pick) Ole Miss
Derrick Nnadi, DT, Round 3 (75th pick) Florida State
Dorian O’Daniel, LB, Round 3 (100th pick) Clemson
Armani Watts, S, Round 4 (124th pick) Texas A&M
Tremon Smith, CB, Round 6 (196th pick) Central Arkansas
Kahlil McKenzie, DT, Round 6 (198th pick) Tennessee
The Chiefs also added linebacker Anthony Hitchens from the Cowboys with a 5 year $45 million dollar contract. A lot of people in the Chiefs organization think he can be a big time player.
Adding these free agents and all the draft picks to the defense will help. It may take these guys time to learn the system and become ready to contribute, but there are 2, 3 or 4 of them that could make an impact immediately.
I know the Chiefs don’t want me to bring up our poor defensive statistics and this is a good start to preventing it from happening. I like the moves. It reminded me of when Andy Reid came to Kansas City in 2013 and the first thing he did was sign Alex Smith because he knew we needed a quarterback. Identify where you need to get better and improve.
Chiefs top three picks
It was an exciting draft for the Chiefs this year. Here is information on our top three picks:
Patrick Mahomes III, quarterback, Texas Tech – The Chiefs were able to draft Mahomes by trading the 27th pick, a third round pick, and next year’s first round pick to move to the 10th overall pick. Obviously, Andy and Dorsey like this kid and I do too. I’ve been talking about him before the draft because I like his personality, the fact that his dad was a major league pitcher, because he put up huge numbers, and most importantly, he has a legit arm. This guy can spin it with accuracy. People talk about his aggressive gun slinger style being a big part of his game. That doesn’t work without a big arm, which he has. During his three years at Texas Tech, the Red Raiders quarterback had 857 completions out of 1,349 attempts for 11,252 yards and 93 touchdowns with 29 interceptions. Some picks in there, but that’s a lot of yards and touchdowns and if you watched Mahomes play in college, you are going to be excited to see what he can do at the next level. It probably won’t be for a year, but you never know.
Tanoh Kpassagnon, defensive end, Villanova – With their second round pick the Chiefs drafted a player with tremendous upside. Tanoh’s athleticism, length, and raw ability could make him an elite pass rusher in the NFL. His 6 foot 7 289 pound frame could give offensive tackles nightmares in the NFL as he improves. At the combine, his broad jump was 10 foot 8 inches, third place overall for defensive linemen with only Myles Garrett and Haason Reddick jumping farther. He is also smart and had an internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Majoring in both accounting and finance, no easy feat, Tanoh is the son a chemical scientist. It will be fun to watch him develop and reach is his full potential under Andy Reid and co.
Kareem Hunt, running back, Toledo - And then there is the third round pick, Kareem Hunt. He rushed for 4945 yards at Toledo and there’s lots of excitement around this guy’s ability to stay up and keep going. After trading our fourth, seventh, and third round picks to Minnesota, the Chiefs moved up eighteen spots to select Hunt. He’s quick for his size and will pick up yards on the ground, but can also catch. With Jamaal gone, the addition of C.J. Spiller, and Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West, the running back position will be interesting to see this season. Most people probably think Spencer Ware will get the most carries, but Kareem could be up there in rush attempts. Look for Hunt to make an impact early.
All three guys have talent and are in a great system. We’ve seen some incredible rookie seasons under Andy Reid and hopefully one or more of these rookies can continue that tradition.
Go download the SportFan mobile application on the App Store for your iPhone. You can follow all of the teams in the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and MLS that you select! View the latest breaking news about your favorite teams. Coming soon for Droid and Windows.
Proud of Bobby Voelker for getting the win by knockout in Shamrock FC's main event after returning from the UFC to continue his run as the greatest mma fighter to ever come out of Kansas City. Thanks Alpha Pawn for sponsoring the event. Go visit Kansas City's premier pawn company alphapawn.com
Here's how I feel about the Royals winning the 2015 World Series
I’ve had close to two months to reflect on the Royals World Series victory and it still seems unreal. The way we came back from being down late in eight of the games has been well documented, but it’s always worth mentioning when discussing the 2015 World Series champs. The best game, in my opinion, was the game against Houston where we, once again if you remember back to the Wild Card game in 2014, came back from four down going into the eighth. As one fan said to me at the bar a few nights ago, lightning struck twice. That game and the game the season before defined our team and the magic associated with the Royals.
When you look at what the Royals accomplished with the way baseball is set up, you look to the owner, gm, and coach and have to tip your hat. It wasn’t long ago that a disgruntled fan, in Joseph Accurso published a letter in the Kansas City Star to David Glass imploring him to make some moves to help the Royals or sell the team. When we advanced in the playoffs last year, Ned Yost said in a postgame interview they have been planning this for five years. With all due respect, it almost sounded like a joke when he made that statement, but it was true. This is what David Glass and co. had set out to do. Build a team for the most part from within, bringing up players through their minor league system they had drafted or through their baseball academy, and occasionally signing key free agents. Props to ownership and management.
As for the players, you guys are the ones that are most responsible for this epic World Series win. Guys not only played as well as they did last year when we went to the World Series, but actually improved. Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar and others lifted themselves to a new level. It would have been easy to get complacent after the run we had last year. Thank you for never giving up, sticking together, and playing your hardest all the time. It’s special that most of these guys have been with each other for a while, so there are relationships that go beyond the club house. When it came time to name the MVP of the World Series, it was tough to pick who deserved it most. Salvadore Perez came away with the award after batting .364 in the series, controlling the game, and playing incredible defense. My only hope is that we can keep you all together for as long as possible. I’m so proud of Edison Volquez for pitching two great games with his dad passing right before his first start of the series. Both of those performances where he gave up just three runs and two runs were special outings and played a huge part in helping us win the World Series. I’m also proud of Mike Moustakas who lost his mom earlier in the year. He played great for us through a tough time in his life. Chris Young played through losing his dad recently as well. That was a guy who kind of came out of nowhere to play an important role in the postseason. I’m proud of you Chris and I’m proud of all the other players on the Royals. No matter what happens for the rest of your lives, no one can take this away and the fact that you all are the 2015 World Series Champions.
And then you have the fans. Wow. The people in Kansas City put us on the map and supported the Royals in a big way, but it’s not just what the fans did this year. It’s also the way they stuck with the team in previous years when the Royal’s weren’t rolling. Thank you to the fans for supporting the Royals and stepping up in a big way when they needed you most. My dad, a big baseball fan, put it best when we first talked after the Royals won the World Series when he said “I’m glad we won, but I don’t want this to stop, I want to keep having fun watching the Royals play great baseball.” I think that’s the way a lot of people feel and why everyone is looking forward to 2016. The support the fans have given this team really is unbelievable. You saw it at the parade. It was incredible to see the amount of people that converged upon downtown Kansas City for the day. That’s what people do in Kansas City. We are all friends and support our teams to the max and I honestly think and know that support and spirit helped this team battle and win the 2015 World Series. Thank you Royals fans.
Chris Conley, Dontari Poe, and Ron Parker after setting a franchise record with ten wins in a row
Ron Parker, Mike DeVito, and Mitch Morse after beating Cleveland and clinching a playoff spot