The defending Super Bowl champs don’t have a lot of Picks, in good part because of trades they made last year to go all-in for a Super Bowl run. That worked out pretty well for them, didn’t it?! So let’s see what they can get to add to their roster for 2020.
Round 1, Pick 32 CESAR RUIZ OG/C Michigan 6’3/307 (PP#33) RUIZ gave the Interior OL group of prospects quite a boost when he declared for early entry into the 2020 Draft. He’s a big, strong mauler that also qualifies as a good athlete for his size. He anchored the Wolverines OL for the past two seasons, and his game tape shows his play strength and ability to fire off the ball in the running game. He looks suited for any of the 3 inside slots. If he can’t win a starting job as a Rookie, he will backup all 3 slots on game days. He ran a 5.08/40 at the Combine and had an impressive 33″ vertical. With his arm length of 33 1/8″, he is on the high side for Interior players. He should be a starter for them very soon.
Round 2, Pick 64 JAMES LYNCH DL Baylor 6’4/289 (PP#65) The Defensive Player of the Year in the Big 12 should make a versatile addition to a strong Chiefs DL group, assuming Chris Jones is back in the fold. He is not what I would call a speed edge-rusher, but the primary reason he got the Big 12 award last season was his quickness off the snap and balance, which allowed him to record 19.5 TFL, including 13.5 Sacks. He looks like a DT in a base 4-3, or a 3-4 DE. His 5.01/40-time at the Combine isn’t elite, but it ain’t slow, especially in an inside spot. He should have a spot to play, no matter what the formation or the down.
Round 3, Pick 96 COLLIN JOHNSON WR Texas 6’6/221 (PP#95) A team just can’t ever have too many receiving targets when your QB is Pat Mahomes. And a couple of their 2019 stalwarts may not be on the roster when VFA is over this Spring. With HILL/HARDMAN both back, they don’t lack in speed, but they certainly should be able to find roles for a guy with his size (like the red zone). He’s no speedster, but on deep routes, his long strides leave defenders in a chase situation, and he’s not going to lose many jump ball situations to smaller DB’s. He might also be a hybrid-TE, flex player. He has NFL genes, being the son of former Rams S Johnnie Johnson. His hands and arms do not match his overall size, but you don’t see many drops when you watch him play. He was a very effective weapon during Senior Bowl week last January.
Round 4, Pick 138 JAVARIS DAVIS CB Auburn 5’9/183 (PP#133) If you don’t like his lack of size, then maybe you’ll be impressed by his Combine 40-time of 4.39. He’s an aggressive guy for his size, and he surprises receivers with his competitiveness on jump ball throws using his 35.5″ vertical to sky. Once again, he is, at the least, a good option for a Nickel-Corner job. He was a popular guy during Star game season and showed very well, starting with the Shrine practices and winding up at the Senior Bowl venue. My two observations of him in person, were how fast/quick he was, and how active he was pursuing the ball. You can never have enough DB’s in today’s NFL, and I think DAVIS has what’s needed to make a roster and contribute on game days.
Round 5, Pick 177 CAM BROWN LB Penn State 6’5/233 (PP#181) This guy is an intriguing prospect because you just don’t see too many true LB’s who stand a bit over 6’5″ tall. Penn State used him in multiple roles in coverage and as an edge-rusher. His 34″ arms and 78 7/8″ wingspan pose some difficulties for opposing QB’s, especially when they aren’t sure what role he’s filling from one down to the next. On any given game day, BROWN might have a stat sheet that included a sack, a tipped ball, and maybe even a forced fumble or pass defensed. The coaching staff will need to find a Special Teams role for him while they determine their best place to use him on defense. He fits into that category where the big “P” for potential will likely keep him around for a while.
The first temptation with a Super Bowl winning team is to assume that they don’t need to add much to their roster for a title defense. That’s a big mistake! Free Agency, Salary Cap, injuries, and more can undercut the foundation of any team, no matter how talented. Adding more quality is always the challenge for any roster. The Chiefs will hope that this group adds to their arsenal, with an emphasis on quality, not quantity.