I’m a mock draft guy. Everyone that knows me knows this. It’s the drive to do multiple mock drafts every day, starting week 16 of the season, that makes me the worst possible Madden franchise partner. I’ll spend more time tinkering with the draft classes than I will playing games.
But when the Chiefs boner away an easy victory at home in a conference championship game, the only things left to do are argue in your group text about what’s wrong with the coaching staff, and do mock drafts.
Doing Chiefs mock drafts are difficult because there’s no way you’ll make the appropriate trade-downs/trade-ups given the history of GM Brett Veach. Hell the likelihood he trades this years #1 for a receiver or a pass rusher seem pretty high. But like I said, I’m a mock draft guy, so a mock draft I will do.
Keep in mind I’m not doing this from a perspective of what I think the Chiefs will do, this is me, Madden franchise style, making the moves I think would be best based on how the board is falling.
For the purposes of this mock, I’ll be using the PFF mock draft simulator, with all default settings*.
I’m entering the draft with nine picks, three of which come in the 7th round.
I’m not targeting anything specifically. If I had to rank the positions I’m most looking to fill they would go:
- Wide Receiver
- Tight End
- Interior D-Line
But truly I don’t think there are any real needs for the Chiefs. Truly. I could see any number of scenarios including taking a tackle in the first. One thing I’m for sure looking to do is pick up more middle round picks. If that comes at the expense of so many 7ths, so be it.
Let’s build our house:
Pick 30 falls to me and I’m already in a bind. PFF’s 5th rated tackle (No. 15 overall) Bernhard Raimann is still on the board, as well as WR Treylon Burks. I love both fits. I know tackle isn’t a ‘need’ for the Chiefs, but the prospects of putting another blue chipper on the line in front of Patrick Mahomes, and having 3/5ths of the line be cheap and good while Joe Thuney and Orlando Brown eat up cap space is no small proposition. I think RT should be on the table for the Chiefs.
Treylon Burks is an obvious fit as big body receiver which, as my Madden friends know about me, I love me a body-positive receiver to compliment Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman. Plus to provide a redzone threat.
But because I’ve got multiple guys I love available, I’m working out a trade with the Houston Texans:
Pick 35 gets to me and I’d be doing back flips if I wasn’t still carrying 2012 holiday weight. Raimann and Burks are still on the board. I’ve got multiple trade offers but the best drops me down 8 spots to pick 43. Playing with fire thinking either of my top two targets will be available there.
I’m biting the bullet, taking Treylon Burks, WR Arkansas.
Things couldn’t have fallen better for me to this point. Available at 62 are:
Jalen Pitre, CB Baylor (#28 overall)
Travis Jones, DT UCONN (#45 overall)
Boye Mafe, EDGE MINN (#48 overall)
Kyler Gordon, CB WASH (#50 overall)
Nick Bonitto, EDGE OKLA (#51 overall)
This is a fairly obvious choice. The drafts fifth rated cornerback is still on the board late in the second, and operating under the assumption Tyrann Mathieu is not back with the Chiefs, some combination of corner or safety is high priority this offseason. Heck, even if he is back with the Chiefs.
Since this is my franchise mode, I’m not re-signing Mathieu, so corner is the pick here:
Jalen Pitre, CB Baylor.
Here’s where trading down with the Texans the first pick is really paying dividends. Five picks after nabbing Pitre, Jones, Mafe, Bonitto are all still on the board, as well as some reach choices in Abraham Lucas (tackle) for the reasons mentioned above.
With all these options on the table, the Chicago Bears are offering me to move down four more spots, and I’m going to take it.
As luck would have it the one guy of the previous bunch I wanted more than most was Nic Bonitto, and the team I traded with is the team that took him. Let this be a lesson to me, I suppose.
Skyy Moore, the #30 rated prospect, is still on the board and oh boy how intriguing would that be. You want to be sure Patrick Mahomes is always throwing to top-end talent on the outside, and doesn’t have to deal with two plays called for Demarcus Freaking Robinson in overtime of the AFC Championship Game? This would certainly be one way to do it.
One benefit of trading down is you can afford to draft for need when there’s extreme value to be had with a need pick and you have plenty of picks left in your bag. I’m about to make my third pick and I have nine left. Also operating from the perspective that I’m not bringing back either Jarran Reed or Derrick Nnadi, there’s a pretty big need to fill on the interior defensive line to help against the run.
I’m taking Travis Jones, DT UCONN.
My longest break of the draft is over and pick 94 falls to me and Skyy Moore and Boye Mafe are still on the board. God golly am I giddy.
I don’t pick again until pick #132, and the trade offer I have is from the Rams at #99. Dropping five spots in round 3 to maybe jump a few spots in round 4 or 5 is intriguing, but the draft’s #30 overall prospect is still on the board at pick #94. It doesn’t matter to me that I have my top three receivers on the roster already, drafting another receiver gives me the ability to walk on Mecole Hardman after the 2022/23 season, and provides some insurance just incase I can’t come to an agreement on a new contract with Hill.
I’m adding to my offensive weapons and taking Skyy Moore, WR Western Michigan.
Now comes the depth part of the draft but I’m still eyeing help for Mahomes.
Kellen Diesch (#9 tackle, #71 overall) is still on the board, and as intriguing as that is, his lack of thiccness with how the Chiefs line is constructed now is worrisome. I want some beef upfront. People movers.
Luke Goedeke (#14 tackle, #100 overall) is also there, who I’m taking a long look at, but I’ve got another idea in mind.
I like speed at running back. And on an offense like the Chiefs that’s built on big plays, big space, and an offensive line that creates Dixie Chicks running lanes, a back that can hit the homerun with his speed and catch the ball in the passing game is what I’m after.
I’m going James Cook, RB Georgia.
I haven’t decided yet if I’m cutting Frank Clark. Yes I know he’s been bad and he costs a lot of money, but there are options with that contract and what once was his talent. But I need to get someone on the EDGE to give me another lottery ticket to go with Joshua Kaindoh and the Perfectly FineTM Mike Danna.
Deangelo Malone has value here (pre-draft ranking #105) and had a good week at the Senior Bowl. My first “oh what the hell” selection of this draft despite being a little light in the pants for the typical Spagnuolo d-lineman.
Deangelo Malone, EDGE Western Kentucky
I like long corners, I cannot lie. And with losing Mathieu, Chavarious Ward, Mike Hughes, and Daniel Sorensen, there’s plenty of roles to be had in the secondary which the Chiefs have done a tremendous job of finding undervalued talent during the Reid/Veach era.
Tariq Woolen is listed at 6’4 205 on the PFF board, he’s 6’3 205 elsewhere around the internet. Either way the purported 4.3 speed and big body gives him the opportunity to take Ward’s role on the outside, or play all over which is what Spag’s does best.
Tariq Woolen, CB UTSA
Five picks left and they are all mostly going to be the “sure why not” variety.
As much as I want to take Tyler Baddie I already got the running back I wanted. I haven’t gotten a tight end which would have been nice, but I’ve addressed mostly all the “need” positions coming into this.
I like taking depth offensive linemen late in the draft, and with the Chiefs locked-in at four of the offensive line positions, having backup linemen that can fill duties in a pinch but don’t take up any cap space makes a ton of sense. Find a linemen that has experience playing multiple positions and don’t look back.
Luke Fortner, C Kentucky.
If there was an option to trade these picks for soon-to-be-cut veterans I’d probably do it. We’re officially in the “who?” category of the mock draft, and these next four picks are likely only special teams contributors or practice squad guys anyway.
Isaiah Thomas (164 overall) is still on the board and fits the body profile of a Spagnuolo EDGE. I’m not a big fan of his movement skills, but a PFF grade in 2020 of 85.8 says there’s upside here. Even though I’ve already taken an EDGE defender, throwing numbers at that position given how little production the Chiefs have gotten from it since peak Tamba Hali is a route I’m taking.
Isaiah Thomas, EDGE Oklahoma
The first of three 7th round picks and I’m going punter. You heard me.
Abundance of draft picks not only give you multiple swings at contributors, but it allows you to take flyers at the kicking game for the opportunity to find someone better on a cheap team-control contract. I’ve got picks, I’ve got a punter I’m not in love with–I’m going punter. And sense I don’t know a damn thing about punters, I’m picking the best one on the board.
Matt Araiza, P San Diego St.
It’s time for a flyer on a tight end body. Just a body.
This deep in the draft I’m not expecting production, and I’m looking to try and address the TE2 position in free agency, but drafting a trait here that currently doesn’t exist on the roster is a good play. 6’7, 270 pound tight end with adequate straight line speed? Sure why not.
Jelani Woods, TE Virginia
Put names in a hat and see what you pick. I’m taking Jeremiah Gemmel because special teams guys are needed as well and he can’t be much worse than Ben Niemann.
Jeremiah Gemmel, LB North Carolina
Mock draft 1.0 in the books. I think I would have liked to get an EDGE player higher in the draft, and I’m second-guessing the pick of Skyy Moore a bit. Picking another receiver that high with the roster as it currently is does feel a little superfluous.
But as mentioned, the contract status with Hill isn’t settled, and a Mecole Hardman extension isn’t a sure thing in my mind, picking both of those receivers may turn out to be tremendous foresight.
At minimum I’ve gotten three contributors on offense at the skill positions to go along with two starters on defense with the opportunity for contributors for two more. I’m happy about it. I’m comfortable with it.
Now if I could just find a decent offensive coordinator…
*disclaimer: I am not a draft expert and do not spend time “watching film” because I have a life. Nerds. This is fun, dammit.