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One of the most popular positions to sent to the Kansas City Chiefs in mock drafts is a defensive end to play opposite of Frank Clark. A lot of time that player is selected in the opening round, but there are other options available if Brett Veach doesn’t take that route in Round 1.
Interior defensive lineman Jarran Reed was signed which could allow Chris Jones to slide outside in certain situations. Taco Charlton was re-signed which could provide some help on the outside. Tim Ward potentially takes a big step in his third season as well. There’s reason to believe the answer to improving the pass rush could already be in-house. However, as the cliche goes, you can never have too many pass rushers.
Here’s a look at some of the players Kansas City could consider adding in each round of the 2021 NFL draft:
Round 1: Penn State DE Jayson Oweh
AP Photo/Barry Reeger
Oweh (6-5, 257 pounds) is a freakish athlete with tons of length, strength and explosion. He is relatively inexperienced, completing his redshirt sophomore season in 2020, yet he's shown improvement each of the three seasons in University Park with the Nittany Lions. He didn't register a sack in 2020, which will be a cause for concern. However, he did account for 6.5 tackles-for-loss and over 20 pressures. He took the quarterback down five times in 2019 as a rotational player. If the Chiefs were to draft Oweh he probably wouldn't be a day one starter but could be a dominant force not too far down the road.
Round 2: Oklahoma DE Ronnie Perkins
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Perkins (6-2, 253 pounds) is overflowing with potential but he has to learn how to harness his energy. Coaching will go a long way in this kid's future. Perkins plays a bit too fast at times and has the tendency to get out of position. If he slows things down, he can improve a ton on his outside rushing abilities. He needs to add some variety to his pass-rush attack to be effective on a down-to-down basis in the NFL but he has the work ethic to get things corrected.
Round 3: UAB DE Jordan Smith
AP Photo/Matthew Hinton
Smith seems to be one of the faster risers as we inch closer to the draft. If he is still around in the third, the Chiefs would be wise to do what they can to bring him to Kansas City. Some say he is a better scheme fit for an odd defensive front but I think he has the ability to be scheme adaptable. At 6-6 and 255 pounds, he's got NFL size and he has impressive athleticism to go along with it.
Round 4: Tulane DE Cameron Sample
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Sample (6-3, 275 pounds) is perhaps not as highly regarded as his fellow Green Wave pass rusher, Patrick Johnson, but he is a special player in his own right. He wasn't a sack artist in college but had the reputation of more of a run-stuffing base defensive end. He had at least 40 tackles from his spot on the edge in each of the last three seasons for Tulane. He's another player that can play inside on pass-rushing downs and in certain sub-packages.
Round 5: Iowa DE Chauncey Golston
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Golston could easily be the guy the Chiefs draft if they are looking to add depth to the defensive line rotation. He is 6-5 and weighs around 270 pounds. He can be a disruptive force at the line-of-scrimmage in the run game, and ball carriers have a hard time escaping his grasps because of his length. In terms of pass-rush ability, he uses his power and strength to collapse the pocket but leaves something to be desired in terms of finesse and speed.
Round 6: Coastal Carolina DE Tarron Jackson
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Jackson was a key part of the 2020 Coastal Carolina squad that went 11-1 and finished 14th in the college football AP Poll. The 6-2 and 260-pound defensive end is a ways off from being an every-down player in the league, but the future potential to be a starter exists. Jackson was a productive player in college finishing with 24.5 career sacks and 42 career tackles-for-loss. He was also responsible for four forced fumbles in 2020.
Round 7: North Alabama DE Mike Boykin
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The North Alabama Lions are a Division I FCS program and were able to play four games in 2020 but went 0-4 on the shortened season. A bright spot for the team was Mike Boykin, the 6-6, 290-pounder who played on the interior of the defensive line. He should have the ability to play on the outside at the next level and move inside on certain downs. He was a four-star recruit out of high school and initially played for Lousiville. His body type resembles former Chiefs defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon, who the Chiefs tried to re-sign. Boykin is a project but one that is worth a 7th round draft choice.