After the Kansas City Chiefs traded for former Baltimore Ravens tackle Orlando Brown Jr., their NFL Draft plans changed significantly. Now with fewer picks and one fewer need, what could the Chiefs do with their remaining selections?
In the blockbuster deal, the Chiefs acquired Brown, the 58th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and a 2022 sixth-round pick in exchange for the Chiefs' first-round pick (No. 31), third-round pick (No. 94) and fourth-round pick (No. 136) in addition to a 2022 fifth-rounder.
Now, the Chiefs have just six picks scheduled for the 2021 draft, with none in the first round but two in the second. Here are the picks the Chiefs currently have on Friday and Saturday of the draft:
- Second-round (Pick 58)
- Second-round (Pick 63)
- Fourth-round (Pick 144)
- Fifth-round (Pick 175)
- Fifth-round (Pick 181)
- Sixth-round (Pick 207)
In exchange for those picks, the Chiefs also do away with the biggest hole on their roster, turning the left tackle position from a disaster to a strength. Now, Brown fills that void and gives the Chiefs even more options during the draft. I'd now argue the Chiefs' biggest remaining needs are at edge-rusher, wide receiver, center and perhaps corner and linebacker, with none of those positions being nearly as pressing as left tackle was before the trade.
With all of that being said, here's my first mock draft for the Kansas City Chiefs following the trade for Orlando Brown Jr., using NFL Mock Draft Database's mock draft simulator.
Round 2, Pick 58: Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
Even as I passed on Wake Forest EDGE Carlos Basham Jr. with this pick (as I was eyeing the EDGE board with another selection just a few picks later), I couldn't help but feel pretty good about taking North Carolina wide receiver Dyami Brown with this pick.
Brown is far from a polished X-receiver (the role [Sammy] Watkins held in Kansas City), but he has the makeup of a player who could become one. In the interim, he'd be a great deep threat and add another dynamic to a Chiefs offense that would present him with endless opportunities to beat single-coverage.
I would have rather been able to take a more fully-formed receiver with the Chiefs' first pick (still dreaming about Minnesota's Rashod Bateman falling to the Chiefs' former 31st overall pick), but Brown was my favorite player on the board at 58. There is depth all the way through this year's wide receiver class, but I'm paying a premium for Brown here with the hope that one of my two preferred remaining edge-rushers are available with the next pick.
Round 2, Pick 63: Payton Turner, EDGE, Houston
Here, the Chiefs address their largest remaining need with a high-upside Senior Bowl attendee who, at 6-foot-5, has the height and length to make defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo happy. With a reputation for his high motor and versatility across the line, Turner could challenge Taco Charlton for the second starting defensive end spot and be a part of the rotation right away.
After the first couple of rounds in each draft, teams may want to pick based on potential over need. If the Chiefs took Turner, they'd be addressing both of those. Although he has a lot of room to grow, he did quite well in his abbreviated senior season and boasts raw explosiveness and power that make him a very intriguing prospect.
Round 4, Pick 144: Israel Mukuamu, DB, South Carolina
South Carolina's Israel Mukuamu, at 6-foot-4 and 212 pounds (according to his pro day), has an incredible set of physical tools and positional versatility that he showed in college when he played both safety and cornerback. Like any player in the mid-rounds, Mukuamu has some rough edges that Spagnuolo and defensive backs coaches Sam Madison and Dave Merritt should be excited to help smooth out, similarly to their work with last year's versatile fourth-round pick, L'Jarius Sneed.
The Chiefs also have a cornerback problem at the moment with Charvarius Ward set to hit free agency in 2022 and Bashaud Breeland currently still a free agent. While Sneed and third-year corner Rashad Fenton have shown some great performances, the Chiefs need more talent and depth at corner for 2021 and beyond.
Mukuamu has a rare profile for a defensive back. Not only is he supersized at cornerback, but he has the ability to double as a safety when needed. He's rough around the edges and needs to work on a lot in order to reach his ceiling, but he could end up being one of the best value picks of this draft. His first NFL team will be tasked with making a difficult decision: deciding where to play him full-time.
Round 5, Pick 175: Trey Hill, IOL, Georgia
I had a few interior offensive linemen on my radar as this selection came up, and with Grambling State's David Moore going just two picks ahead of me, Georgia's Trey Hill was my favorite remaining prospect. Hill's strengths can be accentuated and his weaknesses can be downplayed with my plan for his future: to sit for 2021 before taking the Chiefs' starting center spot in 2022. Former Los Angeles Rams center Austin Blythe can hold the position down for a year, then Hill can be the projected starter next season.
Plus, with guards Kyle Long and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif both set to hit free agency in 2022, as Foote points out, Hill could be a cheap option at guard for the future if center doesn't work out:
The future of the Chiefs' interior offensive line is a mixed bag. While the team signed All-Pro left guard Joe Thuney to a long-term deal, everything else consists of temporary fixes. Austin Blythe should start at center and the veteran tandem of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Kyle Long will compete at right guard. All three players' contracts expire after this season, so adding a young player with starting potential makes sense. Hill could not only use a year to sit and finish developing, but he'd also have a starting job waiting for him in 2022 — whether it be at guard or center.
Round 5, Pick 181: James Wiggins, Safety, Cincinnati
Despite medical concerns highlighted by a torn ACL that knocked him out of the 2019 season and other injuries that plagued his 2020 campaign, James Wiggins is another perfect plan-ahead draft pick I'd be happy to see the Chiefs make in the fifth round. As Wiggins gets healthy in 2021 with an NFL rehab and training staff, he can prepare to take over as an eventual Daniel Sorensen replacement in 2022. I'll take the medical gamble on a tremendous athlete who would be a blast in Spagnuolo's secondary.
The Chiefs are slated to trot out a dynamic safety duo in Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill this season. Thornhill himself took almost all of last season before resembling his old self, so the team has experience dealing with situations similar to Wiggins'. While Daniel Sorensen is back in the fold for one more season, drafting his eventual replacement now would be a smart idea for the Chiefs. Wiggins is a solid fit as a versatile and smart player, and he wouldn't be under much pressure to perform initially.
Round 6, Pick 207: Janarius Robinson, EDGE, Florida State
The Chiefs can never have enough edge-rushers, especially with these types of measurables with this late of a pick. Janarius Robinson and his 87-inch wingspan seems like a brilliant fit for Spagnuolo's rotation, giving Kansas City two new EDGE pieces in this draft as well as an addition of depth to potentially help move on from Frank Clark ahead of the 2022 season.
Robinson projects as a 4-3 base defensive end and also has ideal size for a Steve Spagnuolo EDGE, so the fit is good. He's nothing more than a developmental piece at this point but if the Chiefs are looking for late-round talent, they'd be hard-pressed to do better than him.
Not to toot my own horn in a fictional mock draft against computers, but I would be thrilled for this draft haul on the Chiefs' behalf. Brown isn't a sure-fire day-one fix for the Chiefs' receiving limitations, but he's a good bet. The defense comes away with two high-upside edge-rushers who were selected roughly 140 picks apart along with two defensive backs who could rejuvenate the Chiefs' defensive backfield in the future and a potential center of the future to snap to Patrick Mahomes for years to come. With Orlando Brown Jr. fixing the Chiefs' biggest problem, a forward-looking draft class like this would be an excellent bolstering to the Chiefs' short-term and long-term trajectory.