The opening round of the 2021 NFL Draft is in the books and while the Kansas City Chiefs didn't pick, there's still plenty to cover. In addition to the quarterback chaos that led to Trey Lance going third overall to the San Francisco 49ers and the Chicago Bears trading up to pick No. 11 for Justin Fields, the AFC West had an interesting night. All three of the Chiefs' rivals made selections, although they each differed in perceived success.
Instead of splurging on Fields at No. 9, the Denver Broncos selected Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II. Surtain will join Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller in a formidable secondary. At 13, the Los Angeles Chargers took Northwestern left tackle Rashawn Slater — a phenomenal pick. The true head-scratcher of the first round came when the Las Vegas Raiders drafted Alabama offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood. With tackles Christian Darrisaw and Teven Jenkins still on the board, Vegas certainly didn't get great value.
Heading into Friday's portion of the draft, the Chiefs have picks 58 and 63 to work with. Their next pick after today's action will be 144, which won't arrive until Saturday. It's paramount that Brett Veach and company use their early picks to shore up remaining holes and add depth as needed. I joined Arrowhead Report's Tucker Franklin on today's Roughing the Kicker podcast to discuss all things NFL Draft:
Let's take a look at some positions the Chiefs may want to take a look at on Day Two of the draft, as well as some players who are good fits with the team.
Tier 1: Wide receiver, EDGE, interior offensive line
Tier 2: Linebacker, cornerback, safety
Tier 3: Interior defensive line, tight end
Best Players Available
Oklahoma State's Tylan Wallace was almost my pick here as an NFL-ready option for the Chiefs at wide receiver, but Brown's potential is tremendous. He's a great vertical threat who, assuming he can beat press at the next level, should be an exciting option for whatever team drafts him. Wallace is more likely to be available than Brown near the end of the second round, although Brown may be a more enticing pick for the Chiefs.
Landon Dickerson fell out of Thursday night's first round but remains a top-25 talent in this year's draft class. He's a center with a high football IQ and sound fundamentals. Injury concerns are the major knock on him but if he's available at either 58 or 63, the Chiefs should be sprinting to turn their draft card in. Dickerson's potential is legitimate.
Carlos Basham is a great fit with what the Chiefs like to do along the defensive line, and he also fits Steve Spagnuolo's typical measurements for the defensive end position. He may not have a high ceiling and is lacking elite athleticism but as the third round approaches, he'd be a very good value pick for the team. His inside-outside versatility would also be a plus.
LSU's Jabril Cox has local ties and is a great cover linebacker, but Werner has experience at all three linebacker positions and is a smart player capable of making an instant impact. The Chiefs need a base SAM linebacker, and Werner is a sound enough run defender with the strength to fill that role. He'd be a solid addition to Steve Spagnuolo's defense.
Elijah Molden is a cornerback who should be an ideal slot option for just about any team in the NFL. L'Jarius Sneed's future may be on the outside, opening up an opportunity for someone like Molden to fill his shoes inside. Molden is smart and instinctive, drawing some comparisons to Tyrann Mathieu. He's one of my favorite players in this draft.
Richie Grant is a playmaking safety and a good athlete. His ball skills are some of the best in this defensive back class and he's a more-than-willing tackler. Scheme versatility is another plus with Grant, and he'd be a ton of fun to watch with the Chiefs. He may not last until pick 58 but if he does, he'll be hard to pass on.
If there's one player in this draft that has a high chance of being a better professional than college player, it's Tommy Tremble. He boasts a ton of potential as a receiving threat and fits the modern NFL as a possible H-back for teams that aren't reliant upon a fullback. The backup tight end position has been a sore spot for the Chiefs recently and while Tremble wouldn't share a bulk of the offense's snaps, he would still be an awesome pick.