The Chiefs left the 2015 NFL Draft with nine players and effectively filled positions of need at cornerback and inside linebacker.
Indeed, four of the first six draft picks were dedicated to those positions, and each player could contribute on defense as early as the upcoming season.
Meanwhile, the reporting of the pre-draft process offered insight and value.
The Chiefs were previously known to interact with five of the nine draft selections, either at the NFL Scouting Combine, Pro Day workouts or a pre-draft visit. Those players are cornerback Marcus Peters, offensive lineman Mitch Morse, inside linebacker Ramik Wilson, defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches and wide receiver Da’Ron Brown.
Three draft selections flew under the media radar.
Wide receiver Chris Conley said during his post-selection media conference call he and the Chiefs interacted before the draft. Inside linebacker D.J. Alexander and tight end James O’Shaughnessy revealed they had pre-draft visits.
Cornerback Steven Nelson was the lone player to say he had no pre-draft interactions with the Chiefs.
“I kind of knew that’s how the process works, just hearing from friends who are in the NFL, they got drafted by teams they’ve never heard of,” Nelson said during his post-selection media conference call. “I wasn’t super shocked because I was expecting something to happen like that.”
Seven of the nine draft selections attended the Combine. The two players not in Indianapolis were the Chiefs’ fifth-round picks: Alexander and O’Shaughnessy.
Here’s an overview of the nine draft selections:
1.18: CB Marcus Peters, Washington
The 6-0, 197-pound Peters is widely-regarded as the top cornerback of the draft and became available after well-documented character issues in college contributed to his slide. The Chiefs, however, did a deep background check on Peters before making the selection. Peters brings confidence and an aggressive style of play, and also fills a need with cornerbacks Sean Smith and Jamell Fleming entering the final year of their respective contracts. Peters and Phillip Gaines, last year’s third-round pick, could be viewed as the future.
2.17 (49th overall): OL Mitch Morse, Missouri
Morse can play all five spots on the offensive line, and finished his career at Missouri playing left tackle. But it is more than reasonable to expect the 6-6, 305-pound Morse to immediately offer competition at the center position against Eric Kush, who was the lone center on the roster before the draft.
3.16 (76th overall): WR Chris Conley, Georgia
It is a stretch to expect a rookie wide receiver to step in and have an immediate impact in coach Andy Reid’s version of the West Coast offense given the scheme’s complexity. But if there’s a player who can absorb knowledge quickly, it is Conley, who was the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2014. Conley will also have the benefit of learning under Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant, two players with extensive knowledge of the offense from their time with Reid in Philadelphia. The 6-3, 205-pound Conley, who clocked a 4.35 40-yard dash at the Combine, has plenty of speed to get vertical.
3.34 (98th overall): CB Steven Nelson, Oregon State
The 5-11, 194-pound Nelson, who totaled 122 tackles (85 solo) and eight interceptions as a two-year starter, has experience in a press-man scheme and can play on the outside or inside. The Chiefs need to identify a nickel cornerback after choosing to not re-sign Chris Owens, and Nelson, who describes his style of play as “physical, very physical,’ should be in the mix. The Chiefs currently have cornerbacks Nelson, Peters, Smith, Gaines, Fleming, Marcus Cooper, Aaron Hester and Deji Olatoye on the roster, and will likely add more with undrafted free agents to boost competition across the board.
4.19 (118th overall): ILB Ramik Wilson, Georgia
The Chiefs entered the draft with just four inside linebackers: Derrick Johnson, Josh Mauga, James-Michael Johnson and JoJo Dickson. And the drafting of Wilson filled an immediate need at the inside linebacker position. Johnson turns 33 in November, returns from a ruptured Achilles and is in the final year of his contract. The 6-2, 237-pound Wilson comes with the instincts, physical skills and college production from the SEC to assist his transition in the Chiefs’ 3-4 base defense.
5.36 (172nd overall): ILB D.J. Alexander, Oregon State
The 6-2, 233-pound Alexander is the second of two inside linebackers to inject depth at the position. Alexander, who left college with 209 tackles (120 solo) and 8 ½ sacks, will compete for a roster spot and offers plenty of speed, evidenced by a 4.50 40-yard dash time at his Pro Day workout.
5.37 (173rd overall): TE James O’Shaughnessy, Illinois State
The Chiefs added an intriguing player in O’Shaughnessy, who measures 6-4, 245 pounds. But like the wide receiver position, O’Shaughnessy will need time to learn the scheme and won’t be expected to contribute immediately. The tight end position plays a vital role in Reid’s version of the West Coast offense, which some of Reid’s former Eagles tight ends say requires at least a full year, two years maximum, to comprehend. O’Shaughnessy joins tight ends Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris, Richard Gordon, Adam Schiltz and Brandon Barden on the roster.
6.42 (217th overall): DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Southern Mississippi
Where the 6-2, 307-pound Nunez-Roches projects on the defensive line remains to be seen. He has the versatility to play inside or outside, and could carve a niche as a rotational player.
7.16 (233rd overall): WR Da’Ron Brown, Northern Illinois
Brown, who measures 6-0, 199 pounds, could be viewed as a developmental player and will need to stand out in the coming months to stick. He joins a crowded group of wide receivers with the Chiefs currently having third-round pick Conley, Maclin, Avant, Albert Wilson, Junior Hemingway, Frankie Hammond Jr., Armon Binns, Fred Williams, Da’Rick Rogers and Corbin Louks.
Herbie Teope is the lead beat writer and reporter for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: