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Kansas City Chiefs 2020 Draft Recap

No. 32 Overall Pick: Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB, LSU

The Kansas City Chiefs entered the 2020 draft with only 5 picks then on day 3 traded up into the 7th round. Although the defending Super Bowl Champion Chiefs are loaded on the offensive side, they add more firepower. Edwards-Helaire joins the same backfield as Damien Williams, who had a MVP like performance in Super Bowl 54. The playmaking ability of Edwards-Helaire will highly benefit the Chiefs offense. In other words, giving Patrick Mahomes another explosive weapon sounds like the key to further championships.

At 5’7″ and 207 lbs, Edwards-Helaire is not built to be a workhorse like past Chiefs running backs Jamaal Charles and Kareem Hunt. Nonetheless, Kansas City doesn’t need him to carry the ball 30 times a game because of his unique skills. Showcasing smooth hands and incredible route running ability, Edwards-Helaire will do most of his damage in the passing game. Playing in LSU with a pro-style offense loaded with weapons, Edwards-Helaire will fit right in with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs, ultimately, decided that Edwards-Helaire’s interior running ability, vision and receiver-like hands are what sold Kansas City on him over D’Andre Swift and Jonathan Taylor, the top ranked running back prospect in the 2020 Draft. Furthermore, Edwards-Helaire’s pass protection is spectacular, something Mahomes will definitely benefit from.

Pick Grade: C

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No. 63 Overall Pick: Willie Gay Jr., LB, Mississippi State

One position that Kansas City were looking to improve was linebacker. By drafting Gay in the second round , they immediately improve on the defensive side of the ball. Kansas City allowed nearly 1,000 yards to backs in the 2019 season, the highest in the league. Certainly with his ability in pass coverage, Gay will be able to step right in and help bring that number down in his rookie year.

At 6’1″ 243 lbs, Gay is a big player with a 4.46 second 40 yard dash time. He is very fast for his size. Although he uses his quickness to get around blockers, he is not afraid to use all of his 240 lb frame to get physical.

Brimming with speed and physicality, Gay is the linebacker the Chiefs are looking for to improve the middle of the defense. Certainly, Gay is a raw prospect and will need time to develop into a polished linebacker. With all that said, expect Gay to be a week 1 starter in his rookie year.

Pick Grade: B-

No. 96 Overall Pick: Lucas Niang, OT, TCU

In the 3rd round , Kansas City went with a developmental tackle prospect. Niang measured in at 6’6″ 315 lbs and has all the physical tools that you need to succeed at tackle. Plagued with a hip injury in his last college year with TCU that forced him to miss 6 games, Niang’s stock fell sharply in this draft. The injury concern scared many teams into not taking him in the first two rounds. The Chiefs saw an opportunity to land a second round talent with high upside in the 3rd round.

However, Niang will not make an immediate impact as Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher are still the starting tackles. Whilst he was a great value selection, he is in need of development and coaching to improve his technique and footwork and the Kansas City coaching staff will get him ready to take over the starting tackle position.

In a post draft interview, Andy Reid mentioned that Niang would move to the interior and play as a guard until an opportunity as a starter at tackle presents itself.

Pick Grade: C+

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No. 138 Overall Pick: L’Jarius Sneed, DB, Louisiana Tech

It’s not a secret that Kansas City is in need of a DB. With the departure of Kendall Fuller, the Chiefs defense has some holes on the defensive side. Many thought Kansas City would target a DB early in the 2020 draft. Nonetheless, the Chiefs drafted L’Jarius Sneed with the 138 overall pick. Sneed is 6’0″ and 192 lbs, very athletic and will need to use every bit of his 4.37 40 yard dash speed to keep up with the new first round wide receiver additions by both the Raiders and Broncos. Sneed will able to contribute early on special teams. But, he will need time to develop into a professional defensive back before contributing to the defense.

Pick Grade: C

Read about the Denver Broncos first round pick Jerry Jeudy

No. 177 Overall Pick: Mike Danna, DE, Michigan

A puzzling pick by Kansas City as they have more than enough defensive lineman. Danna started his college career at Central Michigan and transferred to Michigan last year. Danna is a candidate to be placed at the bottom of the depth chart, as the Chiefs line includes Frank Clark, Alex Okafor and Breeland Speaks.

Don’t count on Danna to make much of an impact with Kansas City in his rookie year. If developed right, he could find his way into the rotation as the season goes on.

Grade Pick: D

Read: First Round WR Rankings

No. 237 Overall Pick: Thakarius Keyes, CB, Tulane

Kansas City traded up into the 2020 draft to select Thakarius Keyes, making him the second defensive back the Chiefs drafted. At 6’1″ and 202 lbs, Keyes is very athletic and has great agility for an athlete his size. His size and athleticism is promising. However, he will need time to develop and be trusted enough to earn play time.

The lack of DB depth in Kansas City will help Keyes get an opportunity to impress the coaching staff. Above all, Keyes will be groomed for the future.

Pick Grade: C

Overall Draft Grade

Kansas City went into the 2020 Draft in need of defensive help. Although drafting Gay Jr. in the 2nd round will help improve the middle of the defense, they did not address the secondary. Not drafting a DB until the No. 138th pick in the draft proves Kansas City will play to their strength. Improving their offense with a dynamic RB out of LSU, Edwards-Helaire will bring versatility and arm Mahomes with another weapon. With that said, there is no question Kansas City will need to improve their secondary but for now they look to outscore their opponents.

Overall Grade: C

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