The Chiefs are the reigning Super Bowl champions and have obviously done some things right from a roster standpoint.
Now armed with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, Kansas City kicked off its 2020 NFL Draft with the final pick in the first round. While the Chiefs were good enough to win a Super Bowl, they could have sustained success by upgrading some key positions, particularly cornerback, linebacker, running back and the offensive and defensive lines.
The Chiefs addressed every need with their six selections.
Kansas City's 2020 draft picks:
- No. 32: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
- No. 63: Willie Gay Jr., LB, Mississippi State
- No. 96: Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
- No. 138: L'Jarius Sneed, DB, Louisiana Tech
- No. 177: Mike Danna, DE, Michigan
- No. 237: Thakarius Keyes, CB, Tulane
Best Pick: Willie Gay Jr.
Gay is an explosive athlete; he’s a downhill, physical linebacker who brings toughness to the position. Gay plays well in space, can cover out of the backfield and should be a Day 1 starter. He can play all three downs. Kansas City gets amazing value with this pick. Gay can step in as a significant upgrade over Reggie Ragland.
Biggest Surprise: Mike Danna
Danna had some good moments at Central Michigan, but when he transferred and the level of competition increased, he wasn’t as productive. Danna wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine and faces a steep hill to make this team with veterans Frank Clark, Breeland Speaks, Alex Okafor and Tanoh Kpassagnon on the depth chart. The selection seems like a bit of a reach, even in the fifth round.
Day 3 Sleeper: L’Jarius Sneed
Today’s NFL requires multi-positional players that have the skill set to do a number of different things; Sneed fits that mold. He’s 6-foot-1, has very good length and played both cornerback and safety. Due to his 4.37-second 40-yard speed, Kansas City may give him a chance outside at corner first and work his way back to safety, if necessary. Sneed will be an immediate special teams contributor who could develop into a real asset rather quickly.
X-Factor: Improving the defense
Believe it or not, the Chiefs have room to improve. While their offense has been unmatched with Patrick Mahomes at the helm, their defense has been their Achilles heel. General manager Brett Veach has done an outstanding job building the defense through free agency and the draft over the last couple of years. However, Kansas City still doesn’t have a top-flight corner and it hasn’t been great against the run either. Teams haven’t figured out a formula to stop their offense yet while the Chiefs defense hasn’t figured out how to stop many people either.
Several evaluators have already questioned why Kansas City took a rusher in the first round, particularly one that will not be an every-down player or even a starter in its base package. I respect the fact that the Chiefs identified a player they wanted and took them. Kansas City is committed to making teams account for every corner of the football field while trying to defend some of the most explosive weapons in space. Edwards-Helaire will be Brian Westbrook 2.0 for coach Andy Reid. The Chiefs have built the type of roster where they don’t have to have rookies play prominent roles early in their careers.
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