Todd McShay has released his third mock draft and he feels that the Kansas City Chiefs will still look for a linebacker with the 21st pick in the NFL Draft, though while the position is the same it’s a very different kind of player than his last prediction.
Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
Ayers has good size and speed, shows sideline-to-sideline range as a run defender and has a lot of upside as pass-rusher. He is a very good fit in Kansas City’s 3-4 scheme and could contribute immediately.
I’m still not completely sold that LB is at the very top of the Chiefs list, but we know that they need to bring in some help for Tamba Hali. That help may come from free agency, the draft or in the form of last year’s fifth round draft choice Cameron Sheffield who missed this season after injuring his neck in the preseason.
While I like the idea of finding some veteran help in free agency, I’m intrigued by Ayers, Aldon Smith from Missouri — who McShay had tabbed for Kansas City in his last mock — and a slew of other late first round prospects at linebacker.
So even though I would be looking long and hard at wide receivers, offensive and nose tackles before thinking about a linebacker, there could be both inside and outside linebackers on the board that Scott Pioli and Todd Haley know will start from day one. Considering the lack of depth Kansas City had there last season, that could be too hard to pass up.
And in case you were wondering, yes, Ayers was a captain at UCLA.