It’s time to check in on our final Kansas City Chiefs mock draft with the annual event slated to start later in April. The two-time defending AFC champions did a great job addressing needs in free agency by adding top-end talent to both sides of the ball.
Unfortunately, Kansas City also has major holes on the offensive line and in the defensive secondary. That’s going to be a major focus for general manager Brett Veach and Co. Picking near the end of pretty much every round in the 2021 NFL Draft, it’s not going to be an easy task.
The good news? There’s a lot of depth when it comes to cornerback and safety in this class. The bad news? The same thing can’t be said for offensive tackle after the Chiefs moved on from starters Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz earlier in the offseason. Below, we provide you a full seven-round Kansas City Chiefs mock draft.
Kansas City Chiefs mock draft: Rebuilding the secondary
First round, 31st pick: Asante Samuel Jr., cornerback, Florida State
Right now, Charvarius Ward and Rashad Fenton are slated to start at cornerback for the Chiefs. Sure they could look to add a third-tier free agent at some point after the draft. With that said, this is certainly a need. Kansas City needs to find a plug-and-play rookie at the end of the first round.
Samuel Jr. would make the most sense here. The 5-foot-10 cornerback already boasts plus-level ball skills and technique that can make him an immediate contributor. Despite his relatively short frame, Samuel Jr. can mix it up with bigger receivers on the outside. That also makes him a fit with the likes of Courtland Sutton and Keenan Allen in the AFC West.
What we like the most about this potential fit is the fact that Samuel can play both outside as a boundary corner and in the slot. He’s not scheme specific and is about as versatile as they come. The son of a former Pro Bowler, Samuel Jr. also has the pedigree to succeed in the NFL out of the gate.
Second round, 63rd pick: Walker Little, offensive tackle, Stanford
The release of Eric Fisher leaves a gaping hole as it relates to Patrick Mahomes’ blindside. The likes of Martinas Rankin and Mike Remmers just aren’t going to cut it moving forward. Meanwhile, Kansas City missed out on the top free agent of the class in that of Trent Williams after he re-signed with the San Francisco 49ers.
Unfortunately, the Chiefs were not in a position to add a Day 1 talent at tackle toward the end of the first round. Instead, they go with a player in Little who was considered a likely top-10 pick heading into the 2019 college football season and is seen as a pure left tackle. The 6-foot-7, 309-pound Little saw his 2019 campaign cut short by injury before he opted out of this past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s what makes Little such a hard scout. He’s played one game or organized football since the end of the 2018 season. With that said, Little has the frame and talent to be a starting left tackle in the NFL. This would be an absolute steal for Kansas City at the end of Round 2.
Third round, 94th pick: Payton Turner, defensive end, Houston
Kansas City created some versatility on the defensive line by signing Jarran Reed away from the Seattle Seahawks in free agency. He can play both on the interior and out on the boundary. The Chiefs also boast one of the best edge pass rushers in Frank Clark. With that said, there’s more of a need for another true edge guy. Alex Okafor was second at that position in sacks last season for the Chiefs with three.
Turner (6-foot-5, 270 pounds) is an ideal fit in the Chiefs’ four-man front. The former Houston standout recorded 10.5 tackles for loss and five sacks in five games this past season. He has surprising speed out on the edge. And while he’s seen as a project, the upside is unlimited. Kansas City can afford to take it slow with him as he adds more pass-rush moves to the mix. It’s an ideal late third-round pick.
Kansas City Chiefs mock draft: Day 3 targets in 2021 NFL Draft
- Fourth round, 136th pick: Shaun Wade, safety, Ohio State
- Fourth round, 144th pick: Rodarius Williams, cornerback, Oklahoma State
- Fifth round, 175th pick: Frank Darby, wide receiver, Arizona State
- Fifth round, 181st pick: Riley Cole, linebacker, South Alabama
- Sixth round, 207th pick: Greg Eiland, guard, Mississippi State
For a team like the Chiefs, Day 3 of the NFL Draft is all about building depth and finding hidden gems. Most of these players will not make an immediate impact as rookies. It’s all about building for the future.
In Shaun Wade, the Chiefs add a former first-round cornerback prospect who translates better to the safety position in the NFL. He was tore apart by reigning Heisman winner DeVonta Smith in the National Championship Game and doesn’t seem fluid enough to play corner in the NFL. With that said, there’s a ton of upside at safety.
Rodarius Williams is a bigger and more physical cornerback prospect to team up with Asante Samuel Jr. He was largely avoided by quarterbacks at Oklahoma State last season, leading to speculation that he could potentially be a shutdown guy in the NFL. A multi-year starter for the Cowboys, he could even make an impact as a rookie.
As for the Frank Darby selection, it’s not a secret that Kansas City has been in the market for a wide receiver during NFL free agency. While he’s a little raw, the 6-foot-1 Darby can stretch the field. He averaged 19.9 yards per reception while hauling in eight touchdowns for the Sun Devils in 2019 before playing just two games this past season.
Riley Cole could be an initial add on special teams and translates into being a potential starting linebacker in a Chiefs defense that tends to run a 4-2-5 base scheme. Meanwhile, Greg Eiland is a physical guard project who could end up starting next to recently-signed star guard Joe Thuney moving forward.