KCCD Writer: Elliot Dennis
The biggest matchup of the season features two teams with a lot of great history. Both teams showcase an abundance of future NFL talent. The players previewed here are players that have the greatest chance to be future Chiefs.
Barrett Jones, OL:
Barrett Jones has been a very versatile player for the tide during his four seasons. He’s spent time at tackle, guard, and switched to center for his senior season. He could help shore up a very questionable KC interior offensive line and would provide great value in the 2nd or 3rd round. He’s a great in the run game and good in the passing game. Keep an eye on how he performs against a very talented Notre Dame defensive line.
Jesse Williams, DT:
With the Chiefs likely switching to a 4-3, Jesse Williams could be used as a 3-tech and would be a solid pick in the 2nd round. He’s not overwhelming against the passing game, but is solid and a force against the run. He’s not the best physical talent, but shows great technique and explodes off the snap. Notre Dame is a great running team, so watch how Williams performs against it.
Eddie Lacy, RB:
The Chiefs are in need of a big, physical back to pair with Jamaal Charles. Peyton Hillis was a bust in free agency last year, and likely won’t be back, so I could see the Chiefs taking Lacy in the 3rd-4th round. Lacy was exceptional for the Tide running attack this season, teaming up with freshman T.J. Yeldon to form one of the best backfields in college football. Lacy often does not go down to first contact and has a nose for the endzone, shown by his 16 rushing scores this year. It’ll be interesting to see how he performs against Notre Dame’s great rush defense.
Quinton Dial, DE:
Dial will be a late round pick, and could be a rotational player used in run support. Dial is a physical player, but he struggles to rush the passer. His best fit would be a 5-tech in a 3-4. With the Chiefs likely switching to a 4-3, Dial might not be an option.
Michael Williams, TE:
The Chiefs are in need of a run-blocking tight end and Williams would be a perfect fit. Williams has been a force in the run game during his time at Alabama. He’s also been a contributor in the passing game, showing good hands but is not a great route-runner. He should be selected in the middle rounds.
Robert Lester, S:
The Chiefs could use an upgrade at safety next to Eric Berry. Lester has been a 3-year starter for the Tide. He has been spectacular at times but his draft stock has slipped this year due to bad angles and missed coverages. He could really salvage his draft stock with a strong performance against the Irish.
Other prospects to watch:
D.J. Fluker, RT (Chiefs set at RT, no need to spend high pick on one)
Nico Johnson, MLB (3-4 inside LB, likely moving to 4-3)
Dee Milliner, CB (Top-15 pick, not likely to KC)
Chance Warmack, OG (Top-15 pick, not likely to KC)
Manti Te’o, LB:
There has been some chatter about Te’o going first overall, I think this is very unlikely but I’ll preview him anyways. He could be a MLB in both the 4-3 and the 3-4, so he would fit the Chiefs with no matter what scheme they happen to run. He has great instincts and is a great leader on the field. He’s superb against the run and the pass, shown by his seven interceptions this season. He has an exceptional challenge against Alabama’s vaunted running attack though. If he dominates this game, he MIGHT warrant the #1 pick.
Tyler Eifert, TE:
The Chiefs tight end position could easily be upgraded. Eifert has great size, hands, and excels in the run game. His big knock is that he lacks big time athleticism, but is still a great prospect. It will be interesting to see how he plays against Alabama’s great defense. As of now, he projects as a 2nd round pick.
Braxston Cave, C:
Cave is a solid mid-round prospect at center. KC could use some back-up help at center with Ryan Lilja’s recent retirement. Cave has been good in the running game this season and has been solid in pass protection. He’ll have a good test against Jesse Williams and the Alabama defensive line in this game. A good performance could help improve his draft stock.
Other prospects to watch:
Kapron Lewis-Moore, DE (Projects as a 3-4 DE)
Zeke Motta, SS (Late round-UDFA)