Chiefs

Draft preview: With Marcus Peters gone, Chiefs need more help at corner

CB Denzel Ward all-22 film and highlights

Ohio State CB Denzel Ward highlights from the 2017 season.
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Ohio State CB Denzel Ward highlights from the 2017 season.

Included in measurables are height, weight, age this year (if available) and 40-yard-dash time. Grades and rankings are based on film study and proprietary reporting. Grades are intended to convey a general sense of the draftee’s value, and where he might be selected.

Chiefs’ need at the position: High. The offseason trade of Marcus Peters creates a hole the Chiefs are confident can be filled by third-year pro Kendall Fuller, who was the jewel of the Alex Smith trade. The Chiefs are also banking on a big contract season by fourth-year pro Steven Nelson and a comeback season by David Amerson, who is working on a one-year prove-it deal.

But they will absolutely look to add some depth here, both for the short and long term.

Grading scale

7.5-7.1: Top 10 pick

7.0:11-20

6.9: 21-32

6.8: Top half of the second

6.7:Bottom half of the second

6.6: Top half of the third

6.5: Bottom half of the third

6.4: Fourth-round pick

6.3: Fifth-round pick

6.2:Sixth-round pick

6.1: Seventh-round pick

6.0: Priority free agent

5.9:Non-prospect

Top 10 rankings

1. DENZEL WARD, Ohio State

Measurables: 5-11, 183, 20, 4.32

Bio: One-year starter who had 37 tackles (two for loss), two interceptions and 15 pass deflections in 11 games in 2017. Declared after true junior season.

Consensus: Elite athlete whose eyes, competitiveness and ball skills aren’t necessarily reflected in his production, but nonetheness make him a top-15 pick and plug-and-play starter all day. Minute concerns include his press ability, durability and run defense related to his lack of overall bulk.

Grade: 7.1

2. JOSH JACKSON, Iowa

Measurables: 6-1, 192, 22, 4.56

Bio: One-year starter who had 48 tackles, eight interceptions, 18 pass deflections and one forced fumble in 13 games in 2017. Declared after redshirt junior season.

Consensus: Tremendous size and length coupled with outstanding ball skills, 2017 production and instincts makes him a top-40 player for press-man hungry teams, despite his somewhat concerning lack of top-end speed (4.56 40) and multi-year production (only did it for one year).

Grade: 6.9

3. JAIRE ALEXANDER, Louisville

Measurables: 5-10, 196, 21, 4.38

Bio: Two-year starter who had 19 tackles (one for loss), one interception and four pass deflections in six games in 2017 due to leg and injuries. Declared after true junior season.

Consensus: Lack of height and production during his injury-plagued 2017 season will concern some, but there’s no doubt he has the athleticism, passion and eyes to be a starting corner in the NFL very quickly.

Grade: 6.9

The Kansas City Chiefs will receive a draft pick in each of the next two years from the Los Angeles Rams in return for cornerback Marcus Peters.

4. MIKE HUGHES, Central Florida

Measurables: 5-10, 189, 21, 4.53

Bio: One-year starter who had 49 tackles, four interceptions, 11 pass deflections and a forced fumble in 13 games in 2017. Declared after true junior season.

Consensus: Tough competitor who plays bigger than his size and has plus ball skills, fluidity, athleticism and return ability. But whether this grade holds up depends on how his background checks go. Teams are reportedly digging into a past that includes the sexual-assault accusation that led to Hughes' transfer from North Carolina a few years ago.

Grade: 6.8

5. CARLTON DAVIS, Auburn

Measurables:
6-1, 206, 21, 4.53

Bio: Four-year starter who had 34 tackles (zero for loss), one interception, 10 pass deflections, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in 12 games in 2017.

Consensus: Experienced, long corner (32 3/4-inch arms) whose strong press ability and proven ball skills make him a plug-and-play candidate in the right system. Questions include his grabbiness and general lack of comfort in off-coverage.

Grade: 6.7

6. ISAIAH OLIVER, Colorado

Measurables: 6-1, 190, 21, 4.5

Bio: One-year starter who had 26 tackles, two interceptions, 12 pass deflections in 10 games in 2017. Declared after true season.

Consensus: Combination of length and deep speed makes it easy to envision him as a top-notch press corner. But like most big corners, his transitional quickness is a slight concern and he’ll need to refine his technique to keep up with the faster receivers of the world.

Grade: 6.7

7. DONTE JACKSON, Louisiana State

Measurables: 5-10, 178, 22, 4.32

Bio: Two-year starter who had 45 tackles (3 1/2 for loss), one interception, nine pass deflections and one sack in 11 games in 2017. Declared after true junior season.

Consensus: Absolute blazer whose track speed in an increasingly pass-happy league make him a top-100 pick (despite his slight build and inconsistent run defense). That is, provided he eventually improves his iffy instincts and recognition in coverage.

Grade: 6.6

8. ANTHONY AVERETT, Alabama

Measurables: 5-11, 183, 23, 4.36

Bio: Two-year starter who had 48 tackles (four for loss), one interception, eight pass deflections, one sack in 14 games in 2017.

Consensus: Willing tackler who can run with almost anyone and close on the ball in a blink, but his lack of size, bulk, ball production and concerns about his instincts could get him drafted around the third round.

Grade: 6.5

9. ISAAC YIADOM, Boston College

Measurables: 6-1, 190, 22, 4.52

Bio: Three-year starter who had 53 tackles (one for loss), two interceptions and seven pass deflections in 13 games in 2017.

Consensus: A tall, competitive and confident corner with a nose for the ball in coverage. Yiadom must improve his technique, though his aggression in press and against will be attractive to someone in the first three rounds.

Grade: 6.5

10. DUKE DAWSON, Florida

Measurables: 5-11, 197, 22, 4.46

Bio: Two-year starter who had 34 tackles (two for loss), four interceptions and nine pass deflections in 10 games in 2017.

Consensus: Has the look of a true nickel corner thanks to his plus instincts and consistent physicality in press and against the run. Fast receivers can give him trouble on deep balls, though.

Grade: 6.4

Others to watch: Holton Hill, Texas; Kam Kelly, San Diego State; Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State; Nick Nelson, Wisconsin; Parry Nickerson, Tulane; M.J. Stewart, North Carolina; Kevin Toliver II, Louisiana State

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