KCCD Editor: Elliot Dennis
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
A lot of people still have the Chiefs selecting Luke Joeckel with the first pick; however, I still believe the opposite. There’s a good bet that whatever quarterback separates himself from the rest will be taken first, and most likely first overall. Geno, based off the tape, is the best signal caller available in this year’s class.
Smith started the 2012 season on fire, including a game against Baylor where he threw for 656 yards and 8 touchdowns. He cooled off in the middle of the year but finished the season off well. He finished the year with a ridiculous 7:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio with over 4200 yards passing.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
The Chiefs are in need of a wide receiver. With Dwayne Bowe’s contract up, there’s doubt that he will return next season. Across from Bowe, the Chiefs haven’t had much help. Jon Baldwin has been a huge bust, Dexter McCluster is only a slot receiver, and all other receivers on the roster don’t amount to much.
“Nuke” Hopkins would be a huge upgrade for the receiving corps and would give Geno a good young weapon to form a rapport with. He was completely dominant this season for Clemson, racking up 82 catches for 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns. He’d be a real weapon for the Chiefs going forward.
Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, Connecticut
Other than wide receiver and quarterback, cornerback is the Chiefs’ biggest need. Javier Arenas played okay at times this season, but his best position is in the nickel. Jalil Brown is also just an okay player, but isn’t starter worthy. The Chiefs need to find an upgrade here.
Wreh-Wilson had a very solid senior season for the huskies. He totaled 46 tackles, one interception, and nine passes broken up and had a very solid Senior Bowl; solidifying his position atop the 3rd round.
I debated back and forth whether to mock Wreh-Wilson or Leon McFadden here, but I ended up going with the taller Wreh-Wilson at 6’0″. With Brandon Flowers at 5’9″ and Javier Arenas at 5’9″, the Chiefs need a taller corner to line up with taller receivers. Brandon Carr used to take that role, but with him long gone the Chiefs must find a taller cornerback.
Kiko Alonso, ILB, Oregon
Alonso could definitely be drafted higher, but inside linebackers tend to not be valued as high so it’s not unreasonable that he could slip to this spot. With the tragic death of Jovan Belcher during the season, the Chiefs have a need at inside linebacker. Brandon Siler is okay, but he’s better as a rotational player. Alonso provides great value and upside near the top of round 4.
Alonso had a breakout season for the Ducks in 2012. He totaled 81 tackles (14 for a loss), four interceptions, one sack, two passes defensed, and two forced fumbles.
EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State
The Chiefs get a developmental QB in round 5. The Chiefs need to start fresh at quarterback completely. All three current QBs on the roster shouldn’t be there next year. The Matt Cassel experiment is over, Brady Quinn is Brady Quinn, and if Ricky Stanzi can’t see the field ahead of either of them? That’s all I really need to know about his ability. This is exactly what the Redskins did last season when they drafted RGIII with the second overall pick, then by taking Kirk Cousins in the fourth. Just ask them how that worked out.
EJ Manuel has all the tools to be a good quarterback, but he’s very raw. The Senior Bowl MVP could be a serviceable backup in KC behind Geno Smith. It wouldn’t hurt to draft a developmental guy here.
Joe Kruger, DE, Utah
Another position the Chiefs could use some help in would be defensive end. Glenn Dorsey’s contract is up, so there’s a good chance he won’t be with the team anymore. Unless Tyson Jackson agrees to a restructure of his massive rookie contract, he might not be with the team next season either. Help will be needed along the defensive line.
Kruger is a huge guy at 6-7, 280 and seems like a natural fit at 3-4 DE. He had a good season in 2012 for the Utes. He recorded 30 tackles (8 for a loss), six sacks, two forced fumbles, an interception, a blocked kick, and a pass batted down.
And yes, he’s the brother of the Raven’s Paul Kruger.
Jarred Holley, S, Pittsburg
The Chiefs get a late round guy with some upside. Holley is a rangy safety with solid instincts. He recorded 75 tackles, two interceptions, and 4 passes broken up this year for the Panthers. He was a solid 3-year starter and could be a good compliment to Eric Berry in the Chiefs defensive backfield.