Mel Kiper Jr. recently posted his first mock of the 2019 NFL Draft season, and he has the Kansas City Chiefs grabbing a safety late in the first round.
While many sites have been posting mock drafts left and right for months on end, the most famous mock drafter of all is just getting started. Mel Kiper, Jr. of ESPN posted his first mock of the 2019 NFL Draft over at ESPN this week, and the entire read is interesting for where top prospects will land, how AFC rivals shore up their rosters and, ultimately, who the Chiefs will select at the bottom of the first round.
The weakness so far for the Chiefs this entire season has been the secondary, and at this point, most fans would revolt at the idea of grabbing anything but a defensive back in the first round unless the cupboard is absolutely barren. Kiper says it is not.
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Instead, Kiper believes that Deionte Thompson is not only worthy of being taken in the first round but that he will be there when the Chiefs are up. Kiper writes:
Eric Berry has played 154 snaps the past two seasons. There’s no guarantee that the 30-year-old will get back to an All-Pro level, and we know the weakness for this defense is in the secondary. Thompson would help immediately. He’s a rangy playmaker with supreme athletic traits, though he was inconsistent down the stretch in 2018. We know the Chiefs’ offense is loaded, but a safety or corner would boost the defense.
Thompson has been linked to the Chiefs in a few mock drafts already, so this link between the team and potential prospect is nothing new. That said, it’s certainly the loudest voice suggesting such a pairing.
Thompson was wrestling with whether or not he was even ready for the National Football League as recently as a week ago, as he reportedly waffled before the deadline to declare himself eligible. However in the final moments before the deadline, Thompson came around and realized the opportunity before him.
Thompson comes from great stock as a multi-year starter for the Alabama Crimson Tide and has played at the highest levels of college football. He would be the player with the single highest ceiling at a safety position with multiple concerns about injury, ability, age, and overall talent. Combined with Armani Watts, last year’s fourth-round pick, and Jordan Lucas, who is a restricted free agent, the Chiefs would have a nice young corps of safeties to work around.