Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
With the decline of the Broncos looking all but inevitable, there should soon be a power vacuum in the AFC West with three teams looking to fill it. In my eyes, if our good friend Andy Reid and his team set themselves up for success in this draft and perhaps the next, then the Chiefs could easily be the team to fill it. Despite being a team that went 2-14 in recent memory and had 0 wide receiver touchdowns in 2014, they've got a very talented roster (especially on the defensive side of the ball) and a good coach and football mind in Andy...you can argue whether or not Alex Smith will take them anywhere going forward, but we're going to operate under the assumption that the Chiefs organization still believes in him as their QB, meaning that they're potentially a few pieces away from being the perennial AFC West champion.
With that said, there are a lot of directions that the Chiefs could go in the draft and many positions that could use an upgrade. While swapping out Dwayne Bowe for Jeremy Maclin should improve their receiver situation dramatically they could probably still use another threat to pair with him. The Chiefs D could easily use another corner and/or safety depending on what happens with Eric Berry and his recovery from the lymphoma treatments. They could use another OLB to either be the heir apparent to Tamba Hali (I don't trust Dee Ford) or provide Justin Houston insurance in case they can't work out a long term deal; I also wouldn't be surprised to see ILB or defensive tackle early to pair with Derrick Johnson and Dontari Poe respectively. Finally, as long as Jamaal Charles is the lifeblood of the Chiefs' offense, the offensive line will always be up for consideration. Eric Fisher isn't living up to his #1 overall billing and Ben Grubbs, despite being an clear upgrade, is 31 and not the player he once was; those two players are likely the best offensive lineman the Chiefs have on the roster.
So the reasoning behind my pick was simply best player available with a slight bias towards positions of need. As the players I was looking at for #18 started coming off of the board, culminating in the Chargers taking Bud Dupree just before us, the options came down to Andrus Peat and Jaelen Strong. I strongly considered Strong as being a perfect complement receiver to Mac, but at the end of the day it all starts in the trenches and Peat is the guy.
"While Peat isn't exactly a road-grader, he uses his size and strength effectively to shield defenders in both running and passing situations. Peat is at his best while pass protecting uses his hands to control defenders, while using sharp footwork to stay in front of defensive ends. While it might not always look pretty, Peat gets the job done and keeps his quarterback clean.
There are a lot of things to like about Peat, and he only stands to improve with some basic technique coaching. Peat's ability to play in a zone or man blocking scheme will make him a popular man on draft day. Peat could be an option for the Giants at pick nine, but shouldn't fall past the Chiefs at 18."
I paid special attention to Peat's versatility in both zone blocking and man blocking schemes. While the Chiefs are usually a zone blocking team, there were several times (most notably early season against the Dolphins) where they completely shifted gears to a man blocking scheme to great effect against (at that point) a stifling defense. Having a player who's experienced in both schemes is a huge benefit to that kind of switch strategy moving forward. More importantly, Peat should be able to make an instant impact in both the run and pass game, something Smith and Charles should both appreciate. As a bonus in training camp, if Peat lives up to his pass protection billing, you could even plug him in at LT and kick Fisher over to RT and instantly improve your offensive line and keep Alex Smith as clean as possible.
With a team like the Chiefs, the run game will always be important, and in today's NFL, the pass is always important, which is why I think Peat is a great fit here. Giving Smith the best OL you can field will speed up evaluations on whether or not he can take you deep in the playoffs or win you a Super Bowl, which is likely the most important question for the Chiefs to answer before Andy can finally hoist the Lombardi trophy.
1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (slickpablovick) - Jameis Winston, QB, FSU - [Explanation]
2) Tennessee Titans (mchiodo) - Leonard Williams, DE, USC - [Explanation]
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18) Kansas City Chiefs (jimmyrustler) - Andrus Peat, OT, Standford - [Explanation]
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