Kansas City Chiefs Mock Draft: 7 Round Predictions, Post Combine

Brett GeringCorrespondent IFebruary 28, 2014

Kansas City Chiefs Mock Draft: 7 Round Predictions, Post Combine

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    Greg Wahl-Stephens/Associated Press|Edited by Brett Gering

    In 2013, the Kansas City Chiefs nipped at perfection's heels, ultimately losing the scent and veering off course in Week 11. If John Dorsey and Co. take a page or two from the following mock draft, Kansas City will inch closer to quenching its appetite, and the 2014 Chiefs will be better equipped to handle the pressures of the postseason.

    Media coverage might lead you to believe otherwise, but the NFL combine is hardly the end-all, be-all for player evaluation. Film study tips the scales, while metrics merely add pebbles to pans. Scouts enter with their own batch of opinions, and the combine simply solidifies or softens them. 

    When a general manager (GM) drafts an athlete, the decision doesn't just boil down to filling a need with the most talented prospect available. In order for a GM to get the most bang for his buck, the pros of said candidate must jell with the team's respective scheme. The same applies to free agency. 

    Dunta Robinson, for example, is an instinctive, bone-jarring corner, but he lacks sufficient straight-line speed at this point in his career. He's better suited for zone concepts—a fact that, following an ill-advised marriage, became alarmingly clear to Kansas City, thus prompting a divorce after just one year with the team. 

    Considering the oceanic depth of this year's talent pool, particularly at positions that Kansas City will eye, trading down is a plausible option for the Chiefs. However, if the franchise remains anchored at its current positions, these six names will inject Andy Reid's roster with dose of grade-A athleticism.

     

    Combine results provided by NFL.com.

Round 6 (No. 184): Eathyn Manumaleuna, DT/DE, BYU

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    Eathyn Manumaleuna will enter the draft as a 25-year-old rookie, which will undoubtedly cause his stock to plummet.

    And if you're searching for sacks? Feel free to U-turn at your earliest convenience. Like Mike DeVito, he's a run-stuffer through and through.

    Despite being 296 pounds, No. 55 played the 0-technique (square over center) throughout his collegiate career. If he's drafted by Kansas City, though, Manumaleuna will transition to defensive end and likely be asked to add five to ten pounds to his frame. 

    At the snap, the late-rounder regularly bursts out of his stance, allowing him to penetrate the backfield almost instantaneously at times. He also displays a surprising brand of lateral quickness for someone of his stature, which helps him plug nearby gaps at a moment's notice.

    Furthermore, Manumaleuna is gifted with enough strength to disengage and shed blocks on a consistent basis. 

    The Chiefs are all but guaranteed to bid farewell to Tyson Jackson, casting a number of lingering doubts at defensive end.

    While Manumaleuga wouldn't be the short- nor long-term answer, he would, if nothing else, help minimize the problem. 

     

    Measurements: 6'2", 296 lbs.

    40-Yard Dash: 5.16 seconds

    20-Yard Shuttle: N/A

    Three-Cone Drill: 7.78 seconds

    Vertical: 28"

    Bench Press (225 lbs.): 29 reps

     

    Honorable Mentions

    RB Henry Josey (Missouri), WR Jalen Saunders (Oklahoma), L'Damian Washington (Missouri), WR Matt Hazel (Coastal Carolina), WR Tevin Reese (Baylor), Russell Bodine (North Carolina), G Jon Halapio (Florida), C Tyler Larsen (Utah State), DT/DE Jay Bromley (Syracuse), ILB Max Bullough (Michigan State), OLB Kasim Edebali (Boston College), OLB Devon Kennard (USC), CB Bennett Jackson (Notre Dame), SS Hakeem Smith (Louisville)

Round 6 (No. 177): Andre Hal, CB, Vanderbilt

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Time and time again last season, offenses spread Kansas City's defense out, forcing Brandon Flowers to slide inside and cover the slot. That, in turn, resulted in Marcus Cooper, a rookie with only two years of cornerback experience, lining up outside the numbers. 

    Cooper should make significant strides this offseason, but last year's squad can attest that no roster can accommodate too many reputable corners. 

    As a potential nickelback, Andre Hal offers a solution to the aforementioned dilemma.

    On film, Hal shows the necessary hip flexibility and press skills to stay in the hip pocket of slot receivers. He breaks on routes in a heartbeat, and if he clasps the ball in his hands, the Vanderbilt product becomes an instant home run threat. 

    The in-your-face corner could benefit from a few tweaks to his footwork, but if he proved to be an effective nickel option, Flowers could then revert to frying bigger fish on the outside. 

     

    Measurements: 5'10", 188 lbs. 

    40-Yard Dash: 4.5 seconds

    20-Yard Shuttle: 4.27 seconds

    Three-Cone Drill: 7.14 seconds

    Vertical: 35.5"

     

    Honorable Mentions

    RB Henry Josey (Missouri), WR Jalen Saunders (Oklahoma), L'Damian Washington (Missouri), WR Matt Hazel (Coastal Carolina), WR Tevin Reese (Baylor), Russell Bodine (North Carolina), G Jon Halapio (Florida), C Tyler Larsen (Utah State), DT/DE Jay Bromley (Syracuse), ILB Max Bullough (Michigan State), OLB Kasim Edebali (Boston College), OLB Devon Kennard (USC), CB Bennett Jackson (Notre Dame), SS Hakeem Smith (Louisville)

Round 5 (No. 151): Charles Leno Jr., OT, Boise State

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    Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

    In order to thrive as a blocker in Andy Reid's offense, linemen must be relatively nimble and effective in space. 

    Charles Leno Jr. fits the bill.  

    The 300-plus-pounder showcased outstanding lateral agility at the combine, posting the No. 2 20-yard-shuttle time (4.4 seconds) amongst linemen. He also totes longer arms (34.38 inches) than Branden Albert (33.63 inches). As an offensive tackle, those two qualities alone make for a healthy nucleus.

    Leno's fundamentals could use some refining, though. 

    In his bottom-line evaluation of the Boise State bookend, NFL.com's Nolan Nawrocki jotted:

    Has not learned how to translate his athletic ability and explosion to the field, yet possesses enough length, agility and untapped talent to find a role for a patient offensive line coach. Could warrant interest inside as a guard or center where he has help on each side.

    If USA Today's Tom Pelissero's prediction proves accurate, the 2014 cap ceiling will hover around the $133 million mark. Using that figure as a reference point, Over the Cap projects that the Chiefs would oversee roughly $9.8 million in cap room.  

    That being the case, re-signing Albert isn't as unfeasible as it seemed a month ago, and if that scenario comes to fruition, the case for drafting Leno will be rendered moot.

    However, the smart money is, for an array of reasons, still on Albert's departure. 


     
    Measurements: 6'4", 303 lbs. 

    20-Yard Shuttle: 4.4 seconds

    Three-Cone Drill: 7.57 seconds

    Bench Press (225 lbs.): 21 reps


     
    Honorable Mentions

    OW De'Anthony Thomas (Oregon), WR Jeff Janis (Saginaw State), G Michael Schofield (Michigan), NT Justin Ellis (Louisiana Tech), DT/DE Ryan Carrethers (Arkansas State), FS Jemea Thomas (Georgia Tech) 

Round 4 (No. 120): Jordan Tripp, ILB, Montana

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    On any given Saturday during Montana's 2013 season, anyone with the gift of sight could watch a single defensive series and be left with no questions as to whom captained the ship. 

    Unfortunately, that captain, Jordan Tripp, could've shattered Mario's and Luigi's piggy bank and treated the ocean like his personal wishing well—Montana would still be Montana, and his teammates would still play at an inferior level. 

    The FCS is comprised of 122 teams. In terms of rushing defense, per NCAA.com, Tripp managed to propel his squad into the top third (No. 40 overall) of FCS rankings. Meanwhile, the passing defense ultimately settled at No. 87. 

    The above numbers are relevant because Tripp occasionally looked like a man trying to multitask between his job and those of others around him. His 6'3" frame oozes with raw potential, which considering his appreciation for film study (see video), is bound to be tapped into with a year of NFL coaching. 

    B/R's Matt Miller notes:

    It's fun to imagine how dominant Jordan Tripp could have been at a major program or even at Montana if used better. A fluid, impressive athlete in space, Tripp was never unleashed on the offense. His numbers may not be special, but his upside is.

    Tripp is an attacking player off the edge, and I see a future NFL starter in his range, instincts and three-down ability as a linebacker.

    Tripp's game embodies shades of Kiko Alonso's of the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo's ball hawk is slightly bigger, and his on-field repertoire was more polished when exiting Oregon. However, gauging by their combine results, Tripp owns the athletic edge and, unlike Alonso, doesn't bear any off-field concerns. 

    As of now, Montana's mid-round prospect is best suited at the "Will" position (weak-side inside linebacker), behind Derrick Johnson. If Tripp dedicates an offseason to beefing up in the weight room and soaking in knowledge, a 3-4 team could also experiment with him as the "Mike" (middle linebacker).

    The heart of Kansas City's defense is desperate for depth, and Tripp is an athletic, instinctive interior missile who can, in due time, become a respected starter. 

     

    Measurements: 6'3", 234 lbs. 

    40-Yard Dash: 4.67 seconds

    20-Yard Shuttle: 3.96 seconds

    Three-Cone Drill: 6.89 seconds

    Vertical: 37.5"

    Bench Press (225 lbs.): 22 reps

     

    Honorable Mentions

    WR Josh Huff (Oregon), WR Cody Latimer (Indiana), G Anthony Steen (Alabama), OLB Adrian Hubbard (Alabama), CB E.J. Gaines (Missouri), CB Ross Cockrell (Duke), FS Marqueston Huff (Wyoming), FS Dion Bailey (USC)

Round 3 (No. 87): Terrence Brooks, FS, Florida State

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    When skimming through the roster, the most glaring void resides at free safety. Having said that, a wild card, Sanders Commings, is bound to be shuffled into the mix next year. 

    Commings, whose rookie season was limited to three snaps due to injury, possesses a rare blend of physicality, instincts and speed—he's 6'0", 216 pounds and registered a 4.41 40 time. His lauded baseball background also makes for a seamless transition to free safety.

    However, there are no guarantees in football, and even if Commings avoids the injury bug, filling Kansas City's back-end void isn't a one-man job. 

    Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is the most NFL-ready free safety in this year's draft. He's an athlete who's a viable run supporter and covers sideline to sideline. Clinton-Dix can also hug the line of scrimmage and cover interior targets. 

    Calvin Pryor is an infinitely aggressive one-man wrecking crew. His 4.58 40 time mirrors that of Clinton-Dix's, and he's capable of fulfilling either safety role. 

    The skill set of Terrence Brooks is a combination of the two (potential) first-rounders. The Florida State star is far and away the speediest safety in his respective class. He comes packaged with the downfield "gung-ho" fearlessness that typifies strong safeties, but he's also athletic enough to line up in press-man. Simply put, his diversity allows him to play any position in the secondary.  

    As for cons? Brooks has average hands, and when a ball-carrier is already engaged with a defender, the Day 2 prospect regularly tries to strip the ball instead of securing the tackle (a habit that may be attributed to coaching rather than personal whim). Conversely, if Brooks is the first defender to the ball, he's a ferocious tackler who consistently wraps up and drives through targets.

    Florida State's defensive scheme shares a host of similarities with Bob Sutton's. While the Seminoles employ a base 4-3, they often broke the huddle with three down linemen. The BCS champions, like Kansas City, steadily cycled between pre-snap looks, while Brooks was just as liable to creep into the box (a la Eric Berry) as he was to retreat as a Cover 1 safety valve. 

    Regardless of how the depth chart shapes up and which position Commings fills, selecting Brooks, a guaranteed Day 1 contributor, would apply a coat of depth and diversity to the Chiefs secondary. 

     

    Measurements: 5'11", 198 lbs.

    40-Yard Dash: 4.42 seconds

    20-Yard Shuttle: N/A

    Three-Cone Drill: 7.35 seconds

    Vertical: 38"

     

    Honorable Mentions

    WR Donte Moncrief (Ole Miss), WR Martavis Bryant (Clemson), OT Joel Bitonio (Nevada), OT Ja'Wuan James (Tennessee), DT/DE Anthony Johnson (LSU), CB Louchiez Purifoy (Florida), CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste (Nebraska), CB Keith McGill (Utah)

Round 1 (No. 23): Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

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    Before the combine, I was beating the drum for Brandin Cooks' abilities. After the combine, he turned the scouting community into a personal army of Energizer bunnies. 

    Oregon State's once-overlooked wideout finished first amongst receivers in the 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle and 60-yard shuttle. To take it a step further, only six receivers since 2006 have logged faster (official) 40 times, and none have etched quicker numbers in the 20- nor 60-yard shuttle. 

    Cooks' game draws comparisons to that of DeSean Jackson's, and despite carrying 20 more pounds than Jackson's recorded combine weight (169 lbs.), the future draftee actually ran a faster 40 than the Pro Bowler's 4.35-second effort. 

    No. 7 is a precise route-runner with Velcro for hands. His vertical speed demands safety help, which, as a byproduct, creates space for neighboring offensive playmakers.

    Without over-the-top assistance, cornerbacks are forced to give him a cushion. That, in unison with his route running, will present a nightmare matchup for NFL defenders, especially if his offense touts a timing-based aerial attack like Kansas City's. 

    Although Cooks didn't regularly face press-man coverage, he did so versus Utah (a secondary that included corner Keith McGill, who's a physically imposing mid-round prospect in the upcoming draft). The junior not only aced the test, he arguably enjoyed the best performance of his collegiate career, netting nine receptions for 210 yards and three touchdowns. 

    Drafting another possession receiver with average speed (like Dwayne Bowe) will only encourage defenses to stack the box against Jamaal Charles. With Cooks, the opposite holds true.

    He's a future No. 1 receiver who will evolve into a game-changer. Furthermore, if the Chiefs select Cooks, the front office will be more inclined to release Bowe next offseason—a move that would generate $5 million in (2015) cap space. 

     

    Measurements: 5'10", 189 lbs.

    40-Yard Dash: 4.33 seconds

    20-Yard Shuttle: 3.81 seconds

    Three-Cone Drill: 6.76 seconds

    Vertical: 36"

     

    Honorable Mentions

    WR Odell Beckham Jr. (LSU), WR Marqise Lee (USC), CB Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State), FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Alabama), FS Calvin Pryor (Louisville)

     

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