Sam Farmer of The Los Angeles Times held his annual beat writer mock draft on Thursday, and I made the Chiefs’ selection at No. 27.
For the Chiefs, I chose Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. I put a 6.9 grade on Watson in my extensive scouting report on the draft’s top quarterbacks, which means I see him as a player with late first-round value.
You can look at all the selections here.
Other players I would have considered at that spot, but were gone, included Washington cornerback Kevin King (Seattle, No. 26), Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes II (Houston, No. 25), Michigan State defensive tackle Malik McDowell (Miami, No. 22) and Florida State running back Dalvin Cook (Tampa Bay, No. 19).
At the end of the day, I saw Watson as the best player on the board. He will definitely need some time to acclimate to the pro game. But many have mentioned Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith as a comparison for his skillset, which makes Kansas City the perfect place for him to learn.
Watson won’t have to play early, he’ll be very cheap for the next five years and, while pressure will mount on Chiefs coach Andy Reid to play him the moment Smith throws an interception, Reid has been coaching long enough to know how to shut that stuff down.
This is an ideal place for Watson to study and learn the intricacies of the pro game. If he can’t become a star in Kansas City under Reid, he won’t be able to do it anywhere.