On the Clock: Kansas City Chiefs
Coming off back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, the Chiefs finished this season one win shy of their second consecutive NFL championship. Their offense and defense finished top 10 in points scored and points allowed, respectively. This is their second consecutive year with a draft pick in the 30s, this year with pick 31. Impending free agents and their Super Bowl loss will have a big impact on their selection.
Some quick history: The following are the Chiefs’ last five years’ worth of first-round draft picks:
2020: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB)
2019: No first-round pick (traded for Seahawks DE Frank Clark)
2018: No first-round pick (part of the 2017 trade to move up to draft Mahomes)
2017: Patrick Mahomes (QB)
2016: No first round pick
This is Kansas City’s first time in franchise history where they will have consecutive first round picks in the 30s (barring any trades). Kansas City also hasn’t picked a defensive player in the first round since Marcus Peters in 2015.
The following players could possibly be on the move, either through trade or being cut, due to their 2021 cap hit. Their age is in parentheses.
Damien Williams (28)
Tyrann Mathieu (28)
Eric Fisher (30)
Chad Henne (35)
The Chiefs’ are $21.37 million over the cap for the 2021 season, not including any of the possible trade or cut candidates listed above.
Having a pick at the end of the first round will still give Kansas City the opportunity to draft a player who can make an immediate impact for their team. Injuries along their offensive line played a huge role in their Super Bowl loss. Finding depth at the offensive tackle position could be a possibility at 31, or they could add a piece to their defense.
Possibility #1: Texas OT Sam Cosmi
Career: 34 games started, 8 games in 2020 before he opted out
Why: Kansas City lacked depth at their offensive tackle position in the most important game of the year. In the Super Bowl, the Chiefs were without their starting offensive tackles and were dominated by Tampa Bay’s edge rushers. Both starting offensive tackles (Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz) are free agents in 2022. Not only would an offensive tackle provide them with additional depth, it would also provide them with a possible replacement for one of their offensive tackles in 2022.
Sam Cosmi was a three-year starter at Texas who has a muscular build and exceptional size (6-7, 309 pounds). Cosmi shows good flexibility and bend pre-snap with his stance but this flexibility and bend isn’t consistent after the ball is snapped. He has good foot quickness which will help with his recovery ability at the next level. The best part about his game, though, is his aggression. He showed a mean streak while at Texas but it was less prevalent in 2020 than it was in 2019. Stronger in the run game than pass game. Teams will need to figure out where to play him, RT or LT. He has the abilities to play either. Kansas City could benefit from a player with that positional flexibility.
Possibility #2: Florida State CB Asante Samuel Jr.
2020 stat line: 8 games, 3 INTs, 6 PDs, 1 FF
Why: Kansas City has four impending free-agent cornerbacks this offseason in Charvarius Ward, Bashaud Breeland, Antonio Hamilton and Alex Brown. Two of the four cornerbacks listed played more than 50% of the defensive snaps for the Chiefs in 2020. Lack of cap space could make re-signing some of these cornerbacks rather difficult.
Asante Samuel Jr. had an all-ACC first-team season in 2020. He’s a two-year starter and as a starter for Florida State, he’s recorded 20 pass breakups and 4 interceptions in 20 starts. He was an impact player for Florida State’s defense and has the skills to continue to be an impact player at the NFL level. Samuel would have the opportunity to play significant snaps right away in Kansas City and would add another ball skill talented defensive back to a secondary that finished with 16 interceptions in 2020.
Possibility #3: Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
2020 stat line: 12 games, 62 tackles, 11 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, 1 INT, 3 FFs
Why: Kansas City is playing in a division that includes some of the fastest and most talented pass catching tight ends in the NFL. Having to play Darren Waller and Noah Fant twice a year can give Kansas City matchup difficulties during these games. Tyrann Mathieu normally has been tasked with handling them but as a potential cap casualty due to the decreased salary cap in 2021, having another player who can match up on these tight ends and other mismatches is crucial.
Owusu-Koramoah would be a valuable addition to a Chiefs linebacker room that doesn’t have much talent coverage-wise and gives defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo another chess piece on defense. He is an exceptional athlete, although he is a little undersized for the linebacker position (6-1, 215). What he lacks in size he makes up for in coverage ability. Owusu-Koramoah might be the best coverage linebacker in this draft. He played the “rover” position for Notre Dame’s defense and has the ability to cover multiple positions ranging from RBs to slot WRs. He’s a liability in the run game but his athletic ability and the floor he has with his coverage ability would make him a valuable asset on a team that already has Tyrann Mathieu.
Possibility #4: Texas EDGE Joseph Ossai
2020 stat libe: 9 games, 55 tackles, 15.5 TFLs, 5.5 sacks, 3 FF
Why: You can never have too many good EDGE rushers in the NFL. Kansas City has three defensive ends entering free agency this offseason. Having depth at this position can be valuable down the stretch and teams with good EDGE rushers have success (just ask the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
Joseph Ossai was a 3-4 OLB at Texas but has the skills to play 4-3 defensive end in the NFL. While he may struggle against the run due to his size (6-4, 253), he has all the tools needed to be an exceptional pass rusher. He has the length and speed needed to immediately be an impact player for a defense, specifically as a pass rusher. He would give Kansas City another good EDGE rusher to play alongside Chris Jones and Frank Clark.
Players to Watch: LSU WR Terrace Marshall
2020 stat line: 7 games, 48 receptions, 731 yards, 10 TDs, 15.2 ypc
Why: Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle are all entering free agency this offseason. Kansas City lacks size at the wide receiver position and the only size they have on their offense comes from tight end Travis Kelce.
Terrace Marshall was dominant in the seven games he played this season. He averaged over 100 receiving yards per game in his seven games as well as averaging more than one touchdown per game. Marshall’s size (6-3, 200) paired with his abov-the-line speed and body control makes him one of the more intriguing receivers in the draft. He rarely drops passes even when defenders are draped over him. For a team with all the speed in the world, Marshall would bring a different type of receiver to this offense and give Patrick Mahomes another big bodied target to pair with Kelce.
SEE ALSO: On the Clock archive