The NFL Draft is days away and one of the most popular name connected with the Kansas City Chiefs seems to be Gabe Carimi. The latest outlets to connect the Chiefs with the right tackle are Sports Illustrated and SB Nation New York.
Will Pick: Gabe Carimi, T, Wisconsin
Should Pick: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
G.M. Scott Pioli would have loved to take Baylor’s Phil Taylor, the best nose man in the draft, here, but Taylor’s foot problems will make Kansas City turn elsewhere. If Mike Pouncey were still around at 21, he could be Pioli’s man, to slot in as a long-term guard or center. But with Pouncey likely out of the picture, the Chiefs will turn to a Day One starting mauler at right tackle in Carimi, a safe guy at a need position from a good program.
Watt is an interesting name to watch because he looks like a fit for what Pioli and Haley are looking for in a player, but doesn’t fill a need, with more than enough players rotating at defensive end right now. Selecting Watt would also seem to contradict what the GM was just saying about still believing former No. 3 overall pick Tyson Jackson can be a good player.
Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin.
There is some debate about whether or not Carimi can play left tackle at the NFL level. Scouts don’t see him as quite the same caliber of athlete as USC’s Tyron Smith or even Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo. With the Chiefs, though, that won’t be an issue.
Carimi is a mauling run blocker who could anchor the right side of Kansas City’s line for years to come.
The Chiefs would also love to come out of the draft with a home-run hitting wide receiver and a nose tackle. There isn’t value at either position at this point in the draft, however. Baylor’s Phil Taylor is likely the best nose tackle in the draft, but most see him as a reach at No. 21. There is no wide receiver deserving of a first-round pick at this point in the draft.
It looks like Smith will be off the board long before the Chiefs are on the clock and though it’s unlikely, it is possible that both Castonzo and Carimi are available at 21. I’m partial to Carimi, but it would be interesting to see which way Pioli would go if he decided to go with a tackle and had both to choose from.
Taylor is a guy that will be an option for Kansas City until he comes off the board. That includes after the Chiefs current first round pick. If his medical reports check out, Taylor would fill a huge need in the middle of the defensive line and could be someone to target after trading down in the first.