Thursday, April 3, 2014
Analyzing Kiper Grade A draft: Chiefs
By Adam Teicher
The Kansas City Chiefs had one of the NFL's most unproductive groups of wide receivers in 2013, and they've done nothing in free agency to improve at the position.
It's obvious the Chiefs plan to draft at least one wide receiver in the upcoming draft. In his latest mock draft, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has the Chiefs taking one in the first round.
Kiper's choice for the Chiefs with the 23rd overall pick is Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound receiver who caught 54 passes for 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns last season for the national champion Seminoles.
Benjamin doesn't fit Kansas City's need for a speed receiver. But the Chiefs are far back in the draft line with regard to teams in need of a wide receiver and in Kiper's mock, he is the sixth receiver off the board. Kiper has Clemson's Sammy Watkins, Texas A&M's Mike Evans, LSU's Odell Beckham Jr., Oregon State's Brandin Cooks and USC's Marqise Lee all being drafted before the Chiefs have a chance.
Kiper has the Chiefs passing in the first round on, among others, Minnesota defensive lineman Ra'Shede Hageman. But wide receiver is the Chiefs' positional priority. Not only were their wide receivers last in the NFL in catches and yards last season, but the Chiefs also lost slot receiver Dexter McCluster to free agency.
The Chiefs wouldn't ask Benjamin, who played just two seasons at Florida State, to take on a big immediate role. He would be part of a playing rotation that also includes Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery and A.J. Jenkins. The expectation is that Benjamin eventually would replace Bowe as the Chiefs' top wide receiver.
Kiper also takes a stab at the Chiefs' next pick in the third round. He likes for them to take Washington State safety Deone Bucannon. The 6-1, 211-pound Bucannon projects more as a strong safety and the Chiefs already have Pro Bowler Eric Berry at that spot.