This was clearly a must for the Chiefs on the second day of the draft. Andy Reid saw glaring holes on the offensive line and at wideout. With the 49th pick the Chiefs selected offensive tackle Mitch Morse from Missouri. Morse stands at a tall 6’5″ 305 pounds. He can play several positions across the line. He has the ability to play center, guard, or tackle. All three positions are spots of need for the Chiefs. Morse is a smart, savvy, nasty blocker who projects best inside due to his short arms. He stood out at LT, RT and center vs. the SEC. The Chiefs will ask Morse to move to guard in hopes he can be ready to start in 2015.
Morse relied on timing, instincts and angles to get guys blocked as a tackle at the college level but does lack the arm length and functional athleticism to play tackle in the pros. If he moves inside to guard, his toughness will serve him well. Morse is not a mauler type of blocker because he does not have the strength. He is not a power player and must prove that he can sustain his block and positioning to be an effective run blocker. Teams were heating up on Morse the closer it got to draft day and some see him as one of the top transitional center prospects in the draft because of his intelligence.
OVERALL Grade: B
Reasoning… Again, filled a major need but I was hoping they would fill their need at receiver here once Jaelen Strong began to slip. Teams must have been scared off more than I realized about Strong’s wrist injury and how he handled it.
When the third round started the I was hoping to see Jaelen Strong or Tyler Lockett available for the Chiefs but both were selected before the Chiefs selected. When these two wide receivers were off the board, John Dorsey saw an opportunity to trade up to 76 to select Georgia wide receiver Chris Conley. The trade sent the Chiefs 80th pick and their 6th round pick to the Minnesota Vikings. In 2014 Conley had 36 receptions for 657 yards and 8 touchdowns.
A question that needs to be answered with Conley is if he is a sprinter or a football player. Corners have great success playing bump and cover defense against Conley because he struggles to get off the line cleanly. During the combine Conley was able to boost his stock with a great 40 yard dash, bench press, and board jump.While he struggles to get off the line, he dominates with a cushion off the line, and cornerbacks will demand help over the top when facing him in man coverage. He has long arms (33 ¾”) and uses his hands to get the ball out of the air. Unlike some receivers in this class, he is able to catch the ball consistently with his hands instead of letting it reach his body.
In the end I really wanted the Chiefs to go in a different direction to fill their need at receiver. I would have preferred Sammy Coates from Auburn or my favorite sleeper receiver Justin Hardy from Eastern Carolina.
OVERALL GRADE: C-
The selection of a wideout was the correct pick just not the right player in my opinion. Only time will tell with Conley but the Chiefs need someone to step in day one and I feel Coates and Hardy could have done that.
The Chiefs had a second pick in the third round when they selected cornerback Steven Nelson from Oregon State with the 98th pick. Nelson was a second team All-Pac 12 performer in 2015. The Chiefs want to stock pile their secondary this year because of how the NFL is being played. With the game moving closer and closer to a passing league, the Chiefs have focused on getting players that can get to the quarterback and corners that can create turnovers. I am very disappointed that the Chiefs did not fill their need at MLB with Paul Dawson. The TCU standout was selected by the Bengals the pick after the Chiefs. Kansas City needs a linebacker to play along with Derrick Johnson in the middle.
The Chiefs loved Nelson’s style of play because of the same reasons Andy Reid loved Marcus Peters. Both cornerbacks play with a competitive and confident edge. When on the field, Nelson views himself as the best player on every snap. It appears that Nelson is essentially a poor man’s Marcus Peters. Along with the same mentality, both players use their hands too much with receivers that draws too many penalties. Nelson does not have a second gear that is needed to cover faster receivers in the NFL. Also, at 5’10” offensive coordinators will target Nelson in the end zone with taller receivers.
OVERALL GRADE: B-
It is hard to hit a home run in the later rounds but the Chiefs were still able to fill a need with another young corner that can cover exceptionally in man coverage. I would have given the Chiefs an A if they selected linebacker Phil Dawson or wideout Justin Hardy. Remember these two players as great late round selection for their teams.