With Brett Veach backed into a corner by the Tyreek Hill news, the Chiefs General Manager’s draft plan had to take an unexpected change. The uber aggressive Veach was forced to play the board, to trust his scouting and reign back his natural instincts to wheel and deal. With Frank Clark’s services already secured, Veach knew he still had a number of holes to fill going into day 2.
Mecole Hardman – WR, Georgia
Grade – B
Whilst many were hoping Veach would trade up and grab a corner, the second year Chiefs GM bided his time until pick 56, when he made his move up (all be it only 5 spots) to go and grab Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman.
If you had wondered what the Chiefs position was on the Tyreek Hill situation, then this was the biggest indication yet that the team are ready to move on from their troubled star receiver. In Hardman they drafted a player with similar traits to Tyreek. A speedy receiver that is far from the finished article; An unpolished route runner that will undoubtedly require a lot of work; An excellent punt returner.
In all honesty you’d forgiven me if I had just copied a draft profile of Tyreek’s.
By selecting Mecole the Chiefs are trying their hardest to protect Pat Mahomes from a sophomore slump. InHardman they have a player that will enable Andy Reid to keep a similar structure to the offense in 2019.
We didn’t plan for the Chiefs to go wide receiver in round 2 but given the circumstances, they absolutely had to.
Juan Thornhill – Safety, Virgina
At 63rd overall I feel like safety Juan Thornhill may turn into somewhat of a steal. His ability to play the ball is definitely a talent, as he totalled 13 interceptions during his 3 years at Virginia. This probably comes from his lengthy frame and history as a cornerback. This also means that he’s also versatile and may be able to help the Chiefs in multiple places across the secondary.
One part of his game that could be considered a weakness however is his run defence and tackling capabilities. Thornhill does occasionally struggle to get his hands dirty in the box and stuff run lanes but, hopefully, his positioning on the field will make this weakness have a limited effect on the defence. Overall I think he can make an instant impact on the team at a much needed position for 2019. Expect him to be all over the field making plays this season.
Khalen Saunders – DT, Western Illinois
The Chiefs again choosing a position of need by selecting Khalen Saunders with their 3rd round pick (84th overall). First impressions of Saunders are that he’s an immovable object when it comes to offensive lines trying to block him.
His ability to shift his weight off the line at the snap and unbalance his blocker is a key attribute to his game. The Chiefs recognised the need to create a defense that can stop the run game and Saunders fits right into this requirement.
During his interview with BJ.Kissel, Saunders excitement and love for the game was infectious, it sounds like Khalen Saunders and Chris Jones will get on like a house on fire and will bring much needed fun and excitement to the Chiefs defensive line.
Welcome to the Kingdom Khalen Saunders.
Be sure to tune into the Arrowheads Abroad Podcast on Sunday when Brad, Dave and Tom will be back to give their full breakdown of the Chiefs draft.