The 2019 NFL draft has come and gone. To say things were interesting during last week’s three-day draft for the Chiefs would be an understatement.
The trade for Seattle Seahawks premier pass rusher Frank Clark was a bold move. The Chiefs gave up their first-round draft choice and a second-round pick in 2020 for a four-year proven edge rusher who many think is the second-best at his position in the league.
This was an excellent move to fill a big hole in the defense. This demonstrates the coaches and administrators think they have the talent right now to make a run for the Super Bowl. The rest of the 2019 draft was good in the sense that the team was able to address positions of need with young talent.
In the second round, the Chiefs got a speedy receiver in Georgia’s Mecole Hardman. He is also a good return man. The biggest story last weekend during the draft was the news about Tyreek Hill. An investigation will reopen with regards to allegations of abuse to his 3-year-old son. It is a very sad situation. Abuse of anyone, let alone a child, is unacceptable period. Football is not the issue – the safety of a child is. This will, without a doubt, serve as an eye-opener.
Continuing on with the draft, the other pick in the second round of Virginia safety Juan Thornhill was excellent. This player is versatile, is effective in pass coverage and does a good job stopping the run in the alley. The team took another big step in stopping the run by drafting defensive tackle Khalen Saunders from Western Illinois. He is a big man in the middle needed by the Chiefs to provide depth.
In the sixth round on Saturday, the Chiefs addressed the need for another cornerback in South Carolina’s Rashad Fenton. Fenton has played in the toughest college conference in the country and has been a three-year starter. The other pick in the sixth round may be a guy who will surprise everyone before his career is over. Darwin Thompson of Utah State looks like the type of back the organization really likes in their offensive scheme. He can run, catch and block. In the Chiefs’ offense, the back must be able to do all three things.
The seventh round pick of Illinois center Nick Allegretti adds offensive depth to the interior offensive line after the departure of free agent Mitch Morse to Buffalo. Adam Reiter will get the first shot at starting at the center position, but Allegretti could end up in the hunt for a starting position at center or guard.
If you look at the draft itself, minus the addition of the trade for Clark, every choice fills the need to upgrade positions necessary for the team to make it to a long-awaited Super Bowl. All NFL drafts are a crapshoot at best.
The trade for Clark took away the desperate need for a pass rusher. Drafting an unproven college rookie in the first round does not automatically fill that need. Dee Ford took four years to become a solid pass rusher. The Chiefs have the talent now to be successful. They do not need to take on a developmental project by selecting a rookie pass rusher in the first round. Every successful playoff contender needs to possess a big-time pass rushing threat.
The Chiefs organization will come under a lot of scrutiny about the way it handles controversial players, Hill and Kareem Hunt. The organization is not compelled to address the criticism. In defense of the Chiefs organization, the tangibles of speed and strength are easily assessed; character – not so much. That takes the ability to look into someone’s heart.
One can only hope that the team’s new class of drafted players will possess not only skill and talent, but character and integrity. In regard to filling the needs, the 2019 draft was a success. Hopefully the new additions will be great examples both on and off the field.
• The quote of the week comes from Greek philosopher Aristotle: “Character is that which reveals moral purpose, exposing the class of things a man chooses or avoids.”
– Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 6 p.m. every Monday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.