No more Pro Day workouts, private workouts, team visits and a million head-spinning mock drafts.
Months of speculation surrounding draft prospects effectively ends Thursday night with the arrival of one of the league’s most-anticipated offseason events.
The 2015 NFL Draft is finally here.
This year’s draft moves from New York and will take place at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago.
The first round begins Thursday at 7 p.m. CT, the second and third rounds occur Friday, and the draft concludes with rounds four through seven starting Saturday morning.
Each team will have 10 minutes to make a selection or finalize a trade at their respective slot in the first round. Teams are allotted seven minutes in the second round, five minutes in the third through sixth rounds, and four minutes in the seventh round.
Compensatory picks will have a four-minute time limit.
Here is the schedule:
▪ First round: Thursday, April 30 at 7 p.m. CT
▪ Second and third rounds: Friday, May 1 at 6 p.m. CT
▪ Fourth through seventh rounds: Saturday, May 2 at 11 a.m. CT
The three-day event will air live on the NFL Network and ESPN.
Of note, the NFL asked its broadcast partners to not spoil draft selections for viewers by having reporters and on-air analysts live tweeting picks before they are announced.
CHIEFS DRAFT PICKS
The Chiefs enter the draft with 10 picks, including the 18th overall pick and four compensatory selections.
Contributing writer Nick Jacobs offers perspective with three mocks to consider:
▪ Chiefs’ seven-round mock draft, April 1
▪ Mock drafting the first round based on fit, April 8
▪ Chiefs’ final mock draft: Missouri OLB Shane Ray could be a steal, April 28
▪ Watch the video of ChiefsDigest.com’s selection of the Chiefs’ first-round pick in a mock aired live on 120 Sports.
▪ For more in-depth work, readers simply can’t go wrong with Chiefs beat writer Terez Paylor of The Kansas City Star. Paylor absolutely killed it with his unique and insightful draft coverage.
POSITIONS OF NEED
Click here for an overview of the Chiefs’ roster.
Meanwhile, pressing needs, not ranked in particular order, based on the roster are inside linebacker, cornerback and offensive line, specifically at center and a swing tackle, and wide receiver.
The Chiefs could also add depth at running back, tight end and defensive line.
Click here for a list for a list of players linked to the Chiefs since the Senior Bowl.
LOCAL PROSPECTS TO MONITOR
The following players from the Kansas City area or attended local colleges make sense for the Chiefs based on fit and current needs:
▪ Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who projects as a second- or third-round pick. Lockett, the son of former Chiefs wide receiver Kevin Lockett, is an ideal fit for a West Coast offense with polished route-running skills and speed.
▪ Kansas Jayhawks inside linebacker Ben Heeney, who projects as a mid-round pick. The Chiefs have a pressing need at inside linebacker with Derrick Johnson turning 33 in November and entering the final year of his contract. The remaining inside linebackers are Josh Mauga, James-Michael Johnson and JoJo Dickson.
▪ Kansas State center B.J. Finney, who projects as a mid-round pick. The Chiefs currently have Eric Kush as the only center on the roster.
▪ Pittsburg State cornerback DeVante Bausby, a native of Kansas City, Mo., projects as a late-round pick or an undrafted free agent. Cornerbacks Sean Smith and Jamell Fleming enter the final year of respective contracts.
FEATURE STORIES ON PROSPECTS
The Chiefs attended Pro Day workouts for each of the below players profiled in feature articles by this website in recent months:
▪ Arizona State DL Marcus Hardison blooming at right time
▪ Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett offers talent, high character to NFL
▪ Doubters fuel Kansas LB Ben Heeney’s passion to prove he belongs in NFL
▪ Kansas State’s Randall Evans takes improbable path from walk-on to NFL prospect
▪ Kansas CB Cassius Sendish seeks to translate work ethic to NFL success
▪ Kansas TE Jimmy Mundine primed to showcase skills
▪ K-State’s Ryan Mueller validates talent to NFL teams
▪ Richmond QB Michael Strauss exudes confidence on path to NFL
▪ Speed, athletic ability place Emporia State WR Austin Willis on NFL’s radar
▪ Long journey leads Troy DL Billy Dobbs to NFL’s door
▪ Small-school roots helped develop Tuskegee C Matthew Reese’s drive
▪ Northwest Missouri’s Matt Longacre waits for chance at next level
The following Chiefs beat writers work out of the team’s training facility and will cover the entire draft:
▪ Terez Paylor, The Kansas City Star
▪ Adam Teicher, ESPN.com
▪ Dave Skretta, The Associated Press
▪ Bob Gretz, BobGretz.com
▪ Yours truly, of course, ChiefsDigest.com
Additional feeds to follow include:
▪ Nick Jacobs, Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and ChiefsDigest.com contributing writer
▪ Joel Thorman, ArrowheadPride.com