The 2021 NFL Draft is nearly here, which means the experts from around the web are busy predicting and analyzing how the first round will play out on April 29. It's tough to find a consensus when it comes to the Kansas City Chiefs' first selection at No. 31 overall, making the mock draft landscape all the more interesting.
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has the Chiefs addressing their offensive line in the first round by taking Notre Dame offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg. A finalist for the Outland Trophy in 2020, Eichenberg didn't allow a sack in each of the last two seasons for the Fighting Irish.
Here's a bit of what Kiper had to say about Eichenberg:
"There's some buzz around Eichenberg, who was the Fighting Irish's left tackle for the past two seasons. He has great feet and packs a punch in the run game."
Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus also thinks the Chiefs will bolster their offensive line in the first round, but he went with Samuel Cosmi from the University of Texas with the 31st overall pick. The six-foot-seven, 309-pound Cosmi started 34 games over the course of his career in Austin, including 21 starts at left tackle.
Here's what Renner had to say about Cosmi:
"Cosmi is one of the most experienced tackles in the class. He has 1,529 career pass-blocking snaps to his name and is one heck of an athlete, as well."
Elsewhere, Peter Schrager of Good Morning Football predicts that the Chiefs will add a weapon for quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Round 1 by taking LSU wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. A touchdown-machine in college, Schrager believes Marshall – who caught 48 passes for 731 yards and 10 scores in 2020 – could make some sense in Kansas City:
"LSU has been so loaded with talent the past few years that Marshall's name has almost gone under the radar in NFL draft circles. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder scored 23 touchdowns in 19 games over the past two seasons."
On the other side of the ball, ESPN's Todd McShay penciled in Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari to the Chiefs at pick No. 31. One of the top speed-rushers in this class, Ojulari racked up 35 pressures and nine sacks in 2020, prompting McShay to imagine the former Bulldog wreaking havoc alongside the rest of Kansas City's defensive line:
"A quartet of Chris Jones, Frank Clark, Jarran Reed and Ojulari could be problematic for opposing QBs."
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com also has the Chiefs picking a defensive player in his latest mock draft, but he opted to bolster the secondary with Kentucky cornerback Kelvin Joseph. The six-foot-one, 192-pound Joseph tallied four interceptions for the Wildcats in 2020, showing off his length and explosiveness.
Here’s a portion of Jeremiah's explanation:
"Kansas City has always valued elite traits. Joseph is big, fast and explosive. He's a little bit raw, but he could team up with L'Jarius Sneed to give the Chiefs two young, athletic cornerbacks."
There's no clear answer on which direction the Chiefs will go on April 29, but if these mock drafts are any indication, Kansas City will certainly have plenty of talented players to choose from on draft night.