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The pain of an AFC Championship loss at Arrowhead Stadium still stings for the Chiefs but the future is undoubtedly bright for the franchise. With an exciting nucleus of talent headlined by NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, deep postseason runs should be the norm for Kansas City for years to come.

An important offseason awaits the Chiefs to invest heavily on the defensive side of the football. With an elite offensive already assembled, the defense ultimately plagued the Chiefs and the need to add talent could not be more evident. This 7-round mock draft is one way Kansas City could make strides to improve the unit.

In order to make these selections, I fired up The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Machine, which releases to the public on February 25th. You can draft for one team, two teams, heck, you can draft for all 32 teams if you’d like. Make sure to keep your eye out for the launch!

Round 1, Pick 29: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

I’ve seen some mock drafts recently that have KC opting for a running back with this pick and I am confused. Did people only watch the Chiefs play offense and turn the channel when the defense was getting torched left and right? I have the RB help coming later on, but defense has the be the direction at No. 29 and I like the possibility of adding Thompson.

Versatile safeties do so much for a defense. It allows for more schematic multiplicity and the opportunity to be more aggressive with the front 7 if there is enough range and ball skills on the back end. Thompson’s skill set fits that description and would be a great piece to add for KC to start getting the defense corrected to not waste its championship-caliber offense.

Round 2, Pick 61: Anthony Nelson, EDGE, Iowa

Given the age and or contract situation of Dee Ford, Xavier Williams, Allen Bailey and Chris Jones, Kansas City would be wise to continue adding talent to its defensive line. Nelson has inside/outside ability as both a pass rusher and run defender. His blend of length, athletic ability and impressive flexibility relative to his size led to him being a productive defender for the Hawkeyes and he has the ability to do the same at the next level.

Round 2, Pick 63: Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic

With two second round picks, now is the time to start considering a running back for the Chiefs. And if Singletary is on the board, it’s a match made in heaven. From the basic standpoint of vision, elusiveness, spatial awareness and the ability to slip tackles, Singletary features an exciting skill set. There have been comparisons made between Singletary and LeSean McCoy and I don’t hate them. Singletary isn’t quite as springy as McCoy and he hasn’t produced in the passing game, but both have exceptional elusive ability, can cut on dimes and make tacklers look silly. Oh, that Shady guy did pretty good with Andy Reid in Philly.

Round 3, Pick 93: Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt

Let’s get back to helping this defense, particularly the secondary that allowed the second-most passing yards in the NFL last season. Williams is long corner with rare length for the position and can help neutralize x-receivers in the NFL. He has the physical upside and football IQ to thrive in press and zone coverage.

Round 5, Pick 157: Tre Watson, LB, Maryland

With Reggie Ragland’s contract set to expire after next season and him being a replacement-level player, the Chiefs would be wise to start considering his successor this season. Watson was a standout for the Terps last season and offers the physicality needed to thrive in KC’s base defense.

Round 6, Pick 189: Chris Nelson, DT, Texas

Nelson caught my eye at the East-West Shrine Game as a stout player with a little more juice than I was expecting for a guy known for his ability to stop the run. He was a valuable piece on the interior for the Longhorns across the last three seasons and could be a solid rotational piece for the Chiefs to consider late on Day 3.

Round 7, Pick 221: Phil Haynes, IOL, Wake Forest

Haynes is one of my favorite late-round offensive line sleeper prospects in the 2019 class. He was a four-year starter for Wake Forest and illustrates really exciting play strength and sound technique. It was announced that he has been invited to the NFL Scouting Combine and while he may not be a household name, Haynes could be a riser to keep an eye on throughout the draft process.

*REMINDER*: You can play general manager for your favorite team too when Mock Draft Machine releases to the public on February 25th!