It’s not often when the NFL Draft isn’t the main story for Chiefs fans.
Of course, the last week has been anything but normal after KCTV-5 released audio of Hill and his fiancee in which she says Hill hit their 3-year-old son. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach announced late Thursday that Hill has been suspended from team activities for the foreseeable future.
That cast a heavy shadow over the draft proceedings for the Chiefs, and most national writers who opined about the draft mentioned Hill when talking about Kansas City’s picks. The Star’s Brooke Pryor gave her grades for the Chiefs picks here, and this is what NFL writers around the nation were saying:
John Clayton of the Washington Post mentioned the Chiefs in his five biggest takeaways from the draft. One takeaway: “The Chiefs left the draft with several big concerns.” This is an excerpt: “Kansas City’s defense was one of the worst in the league last season, and while the signing of safety Tyrann Mathieu and trade for Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark will help, this is still a unit with major question marks — and the team is clearly bracing for the possibility that it will be without Hill, the offense’s top playmaker.”
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com dropped the Chiefs two spots in his NFL power rankings. They are now No. 8. Here is part of what Harrison wrote: “The story of the draft in Chiefsville unfortunately has little to do with the team’s actual draft. With a prosecutor re-opening an investigation into child abuse involving receiver Tyreek Hill, Kansas City acquired an absolute speedster in Georgia receiver Mecole Hardman (No. 56 overall), who doubles up as instant offense in the return game. This guy is a sterling example of the notion of ‘football speed’ — he ran a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.”
David Steele of the Sporting News said the Hardman pick put the “Tyreek Hill exit strategy in motion.” This is part of what he wrote: “They had gone into the draft not knowing they’d need (a receiver). They ended the night knowing Hill had to be written out of their picture, even more than they had in hastily serving up that indefinite suspension, for what that’s worth in the middle of voluntary offseason workouts. They weren’t due to make a pick in the overall draft until late in the second round anyway … and then they traded up five spots with the Rams, to 56th overall. To get a wide receiver. A small, fast one who was dangerous in the passing and return games.”
Chad Reuter of NFL.com gave the Chiefs an overall grade of a B-plus. They got an A for their second-day picks of Hardman, Virginia defensive back Juan Thornhill and Western Illinois defensive tackle Khalen Saunders. Their third-day picks got a B. Here is snippet of what he wrote: “For some time, I’ve thought the Tyreek Hill situation might push the Chiefs to pick Hardman in the second round. Recent events — a prosecutor has reopened a child abuse investigation involving Hill — made it clear they needed another potent receiver and returner, and giving up a fifth-round pick to trade up for Hardman was surely an easy decision. Saunders is an excellent backup for Derrick Nnadi, similar in stature and explosiveness off the ball.”
Dan Kadar of SB Nation gave the Chiefs a C-plus grade. Here is part of what he wrote: “The Chiefs made a slight move up in the second round to get their first pick in at No. 56. They took Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman, a pure speed receiver and possible replacement for Tyreek Hill. He’s still developing, so it was surprising to see him taken before someone like Parris Campbell of Ohio State.”
Sports Illustrated’s Andy Benoit gave the Chiefs a B-plus grade. Here is an excerpt: “If not for the NFL draft, the release of an audio recording between Tyreek Hill and his fiancée discussing their son’s broken arm would have completely dominated the sports talk landscape this weekend. And it likely still will in the near future, as it seems imminent that Kansas City will release Hill. The Chiefs drafted Mecole Hardman from Georgia, who doesn’t have Hill’s unparalleled speed and quickness (no one does) but is at least versatile enough to allow Kansas City to maintain many of the plays designed round Hill’s skillset.”
Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News handed one of the worst grades: a C-minus. He wrote: “Brett Veach and Andy Reid had to change course with their draft plans after the news surrounding Tyreek Hill. They were forced to get Hardman, the only apt replacement on the board.”
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports gave the Chiefs a C-plus grade for the draft. This is an excerpt of what he wrote: “They didn’t have a first-round pick, trading it away for Frank Clark, and I didn’t love what they did with the picks they did have. Third-round pick Khalen Saunders could end up being a steal.”