KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The acquisition of defensive end Frank Clark shuffles the deck for the Chiefs heading into the NFL Draft starting Thursday.
The Chiefs no longer have a first-round selection, but they still have seven choices including three among the first 100 picks. The acquisition of Clark lessens the need for an edge rusher, but the club still has needs in the secondary and can use a few role players at certain positions.
Here's my next stab at the the Chiefs 2019 draft using the FanSpeak.com draft simulator. The ground rules this time: seven-round draft using DraftSpeak Steve's team needs and the Pro Football Focus draft board on difficult.
Second round, No. 61 overall: JoeJuan Williams, cornerback, Vanderbilt, 6-4, 211
Incredible long for a corner, Williams comes battle tested out of the SEC and possesses the press-man skills the Chiefs crave. Needs to develop more consistent, but has an aggressive style that should fit in well here.
Another draft darling, Temple cornerback Rock Ya-Sin, was available here and went to Arizona two picks later. The Chiefs haven't appeared to show interest in Ya-Sin, however, and visited Williams at the combine as well as hosting him on a top-30 visit.
Consideration of moving up in the second round kicked in at No. 52 overall with receiver Andy Isabella, cornerback Amani Oruwariye, safety Taylor Rapp and corner Justin Layne on the board. Those four sent in order starting at No. 52. Recall the Chiefs moved from No. 54 to No. 46 last year in select Breeland Speaks, swapping a third-round pick for a fifth-round selections. Similar value would allow the Chiefs to move up here.
Second round, No. 63 overall: Jace Sternberger, tight end, Texas A&M, 6-4, 251
Sternberger just seems too good of a fit for Andy Reid's West Coast offense and Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs have struggled finding the reliable No. 2 tight end behind Travis Kelce, but Sternberger should fit the bill. I argue tight end is a bigger need than some believe because of the value of Kelce to the offense. The Chiefs live precariously without a strong No. 2 tight end behind him.
Third round, No. 84 overall: Emanuel Hall, wide receiver, Missouri, 6-2, 201
There are concerns about Hall due to a groin injury last season, but he posted a 4.39 40-yard time at the Combine, speed which would pair well with the arm of Mahomes. Hall and Missouri quarterback Drew Lock developed impressive chemistry on the deep ball, and that should translate well to Kansas City.
Fifth round, No. 167 overall: Ross Pierschbacher, center, Alabama, 6-4, 307
The Chiefs have Austin Reiter pencilled in as the starter replacing Mitch Morse, but Pierschbacher offers tantalizing upside for a mid-round selection. Plus every draft needs some of Terez Paylor's All-Juice team, and Pierschbacher fits the bill.
Sixth round, No. 201 overall: Mike Weber, running back, Ohio State, 5-10, 211
A smidge under general manager Brett Veach's prototype 6-0, 220 running back, Weber tallied 1,096 yards rushing averaged 6 yards per rush last season against high-end competition. Some scouts question his lack of burst and reliability in the passing game, but the same criticisms were leveled at Kareem Hunt, too.
Kansas State back Alex Barnes went to the Los Angeles Chargers with the previous pick. I would have entertained packing No. 201 and No. 216 in the seventh round to move up a few spots to snag him.
Sixth round, No. 214 overall, Derwin Gray, offensive tackle, Maryland, 6-4, 320
This is a bit of a best-available-athlete pick here with the Chiefs' draft board looking thin, but Gray would fill a need for a swing tackle off the bench. Has great size and surprising mobility, but is considered a better pass blocker than run blocker.
If I didn't package a pick earlier to move up for Barnes, I definitely consider taking this pick and No. 216 in the seventh to move up at least eight spots and grab Houston linebacker Emeke Egbule
Seventh round, No. 216: Jordan Miller, cornerback, Washington, 6-1, 186
The Huskies seem to crank out corners, and you can never have too many guys who can cover, so a second cornerback in this draft with upside makes sense late. Another long press corner, Miller is a bit underweight but has good speed and can change direction.
Draft grade: B-minus
The Pro Football Focus board has some quirks. North Carolina linebacker Cole Holcomb isn't listed on the on the board, but rest assured he's on the Chiefs board.
I didn't get my first choice at a few positions, but a lot of needs were checked off here. After this draft, I'm looking at some of the free agents at receiver and in the defensive front seven to build depth for the offseason.