Going Deep: Predicting Kansas City Chiefs eight picks in 2018 draft

— By Howard Balzer, NFLDraftScout.com —

The Kansas City Chiefs have eight picks in the NFL Draft, including No. 54 in the second round April 27 in Arlington, Tex.

Here is a look at the Chiefs’ five-year draft record with roster tallies reflecting totals as of the end of the 2017 season. Below that are the team’s current needs heading into this draft and our projection for all their 2018 picks.

CHIEFS’ FIVE-YEAR DRAFT BREAKDOWN

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

TOTAL PICKS 8 6 9 9 6

STARTERS 2 2 5 1 1

BACKUPS 0 3 1 5 5

OTHER TEAMS 1 0 2 3 0

OUT OF LEAGUE 5 1 1 0 0

TOP 3 NEEDS IN 2018 DRAFT

  1. Edge rusher: The Chiefs ranked tied for 24th in the league a year ago with just 31 sacks, a paltry total for defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s normally aggressive defense. Injuries limited Dee Ford and Tamba Hali to only two sacks combined, leaving Justin Houston facing more double coverages on the left side of the defense. The Chiefs hope second-year linebacker Tanoh Kpassagnon with his 6-foot-7, 280-pound frame can take the next step as a contributor this season. But with Ford entering the final year of his rookie contract and the team facing a salary-cap decision on the 29-year-old Houston after the season, the club needs edge rushing help both now and down the road.
  1. Offensive line depth: The line lost its security blanket with free agent Zach Fulton departing for Houston. Fulton provided the Chiefs with insurance across the offensive line, especially inside at the guard and center positions where he started 46 games over the past four seasons. The only starting position open for competition is at left guard, where incumbent Bryan Witzmann along with Parker Ehinger, returning from an ACL injury in 2016, expect to compete for the starting job but don’t rule out additional competition. Cameron Erving projects as a swing tackle, but the team remains in the market for a backup behind center Mitch Morse.
  1. Tight end: The Chiefs acquired Orson Charles late last season in their search for a seasoned blocking tight end, but the need for a reliable blocker in running situations remains a real need. Travis Kelce lines up as one of the most imposing tight-end threats in the league in passing situations but the club can also use a capable backup with reliable hands. That need becomes more important with flamethrower Patrick Mahomes stepping into the quarterback role. The Chiefs ranked 29th in the league in red-zone touchdown scoring percentage last season, and a running mate for Kelce at tight end could go a long way toward improving an area that plagued head coach Andy Reid’s offense in recent seasons.

Below is a list of all eight of the Chiefs’ picks, with players suggested by NFLDraftScout.com.

CHIEFS 2018 Draft (Eight picks)

Rd./overall pick: Player selected

2-54: Donte Jackson, CB, LSU (5-10, 178, 4.32)

3-78: B.J. Hill, DT, North Carolina State (6-3, 311, 4.99)

3-86: Shaquem Griffin, LB, Central Florida (6-0, 227, 4.38)

4-122: Dorance Armstrong, DE/LB, Kansas (6-4, 257, 4.87)

4-124: J’Mon Moore, WR, Missouri (6-3, 207, 4.49)

6-196: Skyler Phillips, G Idaho State (6-3, 318, 5.09)

7-233: Trayvon Henderson, S, Hawaii (6-0, 208, 4.58)

7-243: Quentin Poling, LB, Ohio (6-0, 235, 4.56)

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