Kansas City Chiefs Post Free Agency Seven Round Mock Draft

Kansas City Chiefs

Protecting Patrick Mahomes was the Kansas City Chiefs’ priority entering 2021 NFL free agency. Andy Reid had seen the franchise take enough bumps when Mahomes was bludgeoned by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rush in Super Bowl LV. Reid and general manager Brett Veach acted once the veteran market opened.

They took an approach similar to how the New Orleans Saints used to build around Drew Brees. In other words, the Chiefs fortified the interior of Mahomes’ offensive line. Guards Joe Thuney and Kyle Long were recruited, along with center Austin Blythe. All three should start in ’21, but there’s still the not-so-small matter of finding a new blindside protector. That has to be the priority when the Chiefs pick 31st in this month’s draft. Reid and Veach have eight picks spread over six rounds, including a pair of choices in both the fourth and fifth rounds, so expect a cornerback, wide receiver, and pass-rusher to also be on their list of targets.

To help with this mock draft, I used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Team Mock Drafts.

Round 1, Pick 31: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

Eichenberg makes sense as a left tackle who would put some oomph into a line that was bullied in the Super Bowl. He’s a natural mauler, but Eichenberg’s mobility will appeal more to Reid, who likes his linemen to be adept in space. That won’t be a problem for a player who gets off his initial blocks cleanly and wastes no time engulfing defenders at the second level.

Of course, pass protection is the priority for any member of the Kansas City offensive line. Eichenberg creates a big barrier on the edge with a wide set and strong, smart feet. He’ll keep Mahomes clean more often than holdover Mike Remmers, a swing tackle who struggled mightily against the Buccaneers but was still brought back in free agency.

Round 2, Pick 63: Carlos Basham Jr., Edge, Wake Forest

The Chiefs retained Taco Charlton during free agency, but fellow versatile edge-rusher Tanoh Kpassagnon joined the Saints. It means Steve Spagnuolo’s pass-rush rotation could use another body. The Chiefs’ defensive coordinator would soon warm to Charlton, who can be moved anywhere across the front thanks to an enticing mix of initial quickness and core, upper-body strength. Spags would love running Charlton on stunts, putting him in the A-gaps, or playing him as a three-technique interior rusher in obvious passing situations.

Round 3, Pick 94: Olaijah Griffin, CB, USC

The Chiefs won’t continue their dominance of the AFC West without superior play at cornerback. Not when the division features quarterbacks as talented as Justin Herbert and Derek Carr, along with gifted pass-catchers, Darren Waller, Keenan Allen, and Mike Williams. Bashaud Breeland was allowed to enter free agency, so the Chiefs should take a capable cover man off the board in the third round.

Griffin fits the bill after a successful career with the Trojans, during which he established himself as a scrappy corner with a good understanding of zone principles. Spagnuolo still calls a lot of zone coverage, and he’d appreciate Griffin’s ability to get a strong jam at the line of scrimmage and keep his eyes on the quarterback in trail technique. Griffin would have no trouble becoming one of the team’s top three cornerbacks as a rookie.

Round 4, Pick 136: Derrick Barnes, LB, Purdue

Barnes is something of a ‘tweener, but that wouldn’t be a problem in Spagnuolo’s defense. The Purdue product has similar traits to Minnesota Vikings starter Anthony Barr. Like Barr, Barnes can play linebacker in a base 4-3 defense, but also possesses the rush skills to be a weapon in nickel and sub-package schemes. Spagnuolo would use Barnes in the A-gaps to make life uncomfortable for the marquee signal-callers in the division.

Round 4, Pick 144: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

It may be pie in the sky to hope Moses is available with the 144th pick, but he was still on the board in this simulator. If that happens later this month, Veach surely wouldn’t hesitate to add a bruising, three-down linebacker to a position group short of impact players. What’s missing is a ferocious hitter who is also explosive on the blitz. Moses is both of those things, and he would add punch to the Kansas City defense in the same way Eichenberg would on offense.

Round 5, Pick 175: Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina

Reid has had success finding playmaking wide receivers in the draft’s later rounds. He can repeat the trick by taking Smith off the board with the 175th pick. The Gamecocks product fits the template of a Chiefs wideout. Smith is slight but swift, a 5’10”, 186-pound burner who can take the top off of a defense either from the slot or the outside. Veach retained Demarcus Robinson during free agency, but Sammy Watkins joining the Baltimore Ravens means more options are needed.

Round 5, Pick 181: Deommodore Lenoir, CB, Oregon

Like Griffin, Lenoir is another zone-ready cornerback who would fit Spagnuolo’s scheme. What Lenoir does best is keep the game in front of him. He tracks the ball well, trusts his instincts, and knows when to break on errant throws. In the right scheme, Lenoir has the potential to be a turnover machine, particularly on third downs when a defensive coordinator is at his most daring and creative.

Round 6, Pick 207: Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest

Surratt would be an outlier in the Chiefs’ otherwise diminutive and speedy group of receivers. At 6’2″ and 215 pounds, he would add some much-needed size to the rotation. Reid still runs an offense rooted in West Coast principles, and those schemes need a big-bodied wideout. Watkins was the closest before he decided to suit up for the Ravens. For a Reid-centric comparison, think James Thrash with the Philadelphia Eagles in the early 2000s, a receiver who can work inside or outside and isn’t afraid to go over the middle, and has the deceptive play speed to surprise a defense and stretch the field.

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