Adam Teicher breaks down the 2016 Kansas City Chiefs draft class.
My take: The Chiefs could be losing defensive lineman Dontari Poe to free agency after next season. The addition of Jones gives the Chiefs insurance. In the meantime, the 6-foot-6, 308-pound Jones gives the Chiefs another big, capable player to plug into their defensive line rotation. The Chiefs can use Jones in a rotation that includes Poe, Allen Bailey and Jaye Howard. Jones probably won’t be a starter as a rookie but could get a lot of snaps and help keep the veteran defensive linemen fresh. The Chiefs have given their starting lineman, particularly Poe, a lot of snaps in recent seasons.
Not lacking for confidence: Asked for a scouting report on himself after being drafted by the Chiefs, Jones said, “A very dominant player. Has the ability to be a Pro Bowler. Needs to work on a few things. Could be one of the best of all time. It’s up to him." Asked what he needs to work on, Jones said, “I feel like there’s always something to get better at. When you stop getting better at something, you start losing concentration and ... you think you’re too good. So I’m always looking for ways to get better as a player and an individual."
Basketball background helps: Jones was a basketball player in high school in Houston, Mississippi. He says playing basketball helped his development as a football player. “It kind of gave me that lanky, pass-rushing mobility. In basketball, you’ve got to be (quick). I was a heck of a basketball player, too. Let me state that.’’
Round 3, Pick No. 59: KeiVarae Russell, CB, Notre Dame
My take: The Chiefs saw Russell as their last chance to get a cornerback capable of helping right away. The 5-11, 190-pound Russell was a three-year starter at Notre Dame. He’ll compete for playing time behind the starters, Marcus Peters and Phillip Gaines, and third cornerback Steven Nelson.
College career interrupted: After starting his first two seasons at Notre Dame, Russell missed all of the 2014 season. He was dismissed from the university after an academic scandal. But he was reinstated the following year and returned to play last season. His season ended a couple of games early because of a broken leg, but coach Andy Reid said Russell should be ready and available when the Chiefs start offseason practice in May.
Emotional moment: Russell broke down in tears when answering questions from Kansas City area reporters shortly after he was drafted. “Bear with me,’’ Russell said. “My mom struggled, never had much. It’s just a way out, a way out for my family. It’s a way to make my family smile, too. I was the first one to graduate high school, first one to go to college. I’ll be the first one to get my degree when I get it. This is something big. That’s why it’s so special. [Being drafted] is changing my circumstances."
My take: The Chiefs needed more depth at guard, where Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Zach Fulton are the likely starters. Backup candidates are few, so Ehinger makes sense in that regard. He was a left tackle in college, and although he projects as a guard with the Chiefs, Ehinger could play right tackle if the need ever arises. Duvernay-Tardif and Fulton aren’t solid as the projected starters, so Ehinger could win a spot with a strong showing in offseason practice and training camp.
My take: The Chiefs had no position as thin as cornerback heading into the draft and they’re throwing numbers at the spot with the selection of Murray. He is the second corner drafted by the Chiefs, following Notre Dame’s KeiVarae Russell in the third round. Murray, a three-year starter, will be given a chance to compete for playing time as a rookie. Most likely, that playing time would come as a spare cornerback in passing situations.
My take: Robinson can be viewed as a risky pick. He was suspended numerous times in college and acknowledged at the scouting combine in February he went through rehab for drug abuse when he was a freshman. But Robinson has enough talent that he can help the Chiefs. He will compete for playing time with a group of receivers that includes Chris Conley and Albert Wilson. At 6-foot-1 and 204 pounds, Robinson has the size teams like in wide receivers.
My take: Hogan’s addition means the Chiefs will eventually be unloading one of their other developmental quarterbacks, Tyler Bray or Aaron Murray. Hogan started 46 games in college with a 36-10 record, so he has a lot of experience and has been a winner. He’ll most likely spend his rookie season as the third-string quarterback behind starter Alex Smith and the loser of the Murray-Bray roster battle.
My take: Hill has dynamic return skills. Chiefs scout Ryne Nutt said special teams coach Dave Toub compared Hill to Devin Hester. But Hill pleaded guilty last year to punching and choking his pregnant girlfriend in December 2014. He was given three years of probation. He was thrown off the team at Oklahoma State after the incident and transferred to West Alabama.
“We’ve done the research on it,’’ Nutt said. “From that, I think, (general manager John Dorsey) was comfortable enough to take the kid.
“I’ve talked with the Oklahoma (State) staff and I’ve talked with the West Alabama staff. They all like the kid. He made a mistake. I’m not going to go into the details of it but the human being is somebody they like. You talk to the kid and he’s probably more than sorry it happened. But he’s a good person. He means well.’’
My take: Give the Chiefs credit for trying to address their numbers at cornerback. White is the third cornerback they’ve drafted, following KeiVarae Russell of Notre Dame in the third round and Eric Murray of Minnesota in the fourth. Unless they’re hit by a rash of injuries or unexpectedly part with a veteran, the Chiefs won’t be able to keep them all.
My take: Nicolas is about 235 pounds, so he’s far too light to play defensive end and he’ll even have to add some weight to become an effective outside linebacker. He has some skills as a pass rusher but it’s a stretch to think the Chiefs will benefit from those skills anytime soon. He looks like he’s a practice squad candidate at best as a rookie.