The Kansas City Chiefs just concluded their 2020 season with a disappointing performance in Super Bowl LV against eventual champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Despite having a strong roster on paper, it is evident that the Chiefs still have a couple of holes to address in their current lineup.
Chiefs’ 2021 NFL Draft Mistakes:
Unfortunately, the team missed out on the opportunity of adding more depth to certain position groups heading to the 2021 NFL season. Here are the two draft mistakes made by the Chiefs in the recently concluded 2021 NFL Draft:
1. Moving up to draft Duke tight end Noah Gray
The Chiefs felt that they found their guy as they decided to swap picks with the New York Jets in order to move up to the 162nd pick to select tight end Noah Gray out of Duke. Even though his collegiate stats didn’t exactly look it, the 22-year-old’s strength is more on the receiving end as compared to his blocking skills that will still need more polishing at the pros.
It is worth mentioning that TE1 Travis Kelce is still playing in the prime years of his career at the age of 31. In fact, he just finished a monster campaign last season where he notched a total of 1,416 receiving yards on 105 receptions and 11 touchdowns through 15 appearances.
The backup who is set to play behind the star veteran will only be tasked to block opponents for the foreseeable future, given that the Chiefs still have other receiving weapons in Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, and Demarcus Robinson aside from Kelce.
Being critiqued as a one-dimensional prospect as of the moment, it is uncertain if Gray is indeed the right man to do the job for the Chiefs. With this, the team could’ve considered other prospects who are more well-rounded in terms of skill, given their current team dynamic.
Other under-the-radar options that could’ve potentially entered the equation for the Chiefs included Miami’s Brevin Jordan, Ole Miss’ Kenny Yeboah, and BYU’s Matt Bushman. The Chiefs are hoping that Noah Gray can live up to their expectations and ultimately prove that their decision to move up just to draft him will be worth it in the years to come.
2. The Chiefs still failed to bolster their cornerback unit
Kansas City started the 2020 season with a suspended Bashaud Breeland and an injured Charvarius Ward which led them to rely mainly on the production of L’Jarius Sneed instead. Aside from the said players, the Chiefs don’t really have a reliable backup who can come in and make a sizable impact on the field.
Due to the situation that they’ve encountered, the team could’ve already realized the importance of having depth in the cornerback group to contain the offensive attacks of their opponents. However, the Chiefs still failed to select a single cornerback despite having six total picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.
They could’ve taken a harder look at Minnesota’s Benjamin St. Juste, Central Arkansas’ Robert Rochell, or even Tennessee’s Bryce Thompson to improve their secondary defense. After missing out on drafting one of the young prospects available, the Chiefs eventually traded to acquire the services of cornerback Mike Hughes from the Minnesota Vikings two weeks after the draft.
Though he is a former first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Hughes has been quite unproductive in the past few seasons due to multiple injuries. His dismal numbers make it uncertain whether or not he could really come in and make an impact for the Chiefs heading to next season.
Hopefully, Mike Hughes can step up and thrive in his role with the team in order to compensate for the Chiefs’ mistake of not adding a young cornerback to their roster for 2021.