Here’s a list of the players I’ll be watching for the Chiefs (with an eye toward the NFL Draft) in Monday night’s College Football Playoff championship game between Ohio State and Oregon at AT&T Stadium. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be shown on ESPN.
(Also, here’s a little background music while you read — a good song that fits the occasion.)
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1. C Hroniss Grasu, 6-3, 297, No. 55
Projected to go in the second or third round. I want to see if he can execute combo blocks in the running game and generate movement in 1-on-1 matchups.
2. LT Jake Fisher, 6-6, 299, No. 64
The Chiefs have another Fisher entrenched as their left tackle, but their right tackle position is in flux. I want to see if Fisher has good feet in pass pro and how effective he is as a run blocker. He’s projected to go in the second or third round.
3. QB Marcus Mariota, 6-4, 215, No. 8
No chance he falls to the Chiefs, but he’s slowly won me over this season. His skill-set lends itself to the West Coast Offense.
OHIO STATE’S DEFENSE
1. DT Michael Bennett, 6-2, 288, No. 63
I’ve heard this guy is a stud three-technique — so I’m very excited to take a closer look. Potential first- or second-round pick.
2. CB Doran Grant, 5-11, 193, No. 12
Might be a little small for the Chiefs — they prefer their corners to be 6 feet or taller — but the Chiefs will be looking to improve their cornerback depth this offseason. Potential third-round pick.
3. ILB Curtis Grant, 6-3, 238, No. 14
It’s no secret the Chiefs need depth at inside linebacker. Grant is projected to be a late-round pick at best, but I remember liking some of his 2013 film. Athletic guy who seemed like a willing tackler. Will take a closer look tonight.
OHIO STATE’S OFFENSE
1. WR Devin Smith, 6-1, 199, No. 9
This guy is a deep threat — he’s caught 32 passes for 886 yards (27.7 yards per catch!) and 12 touchdowns. I like the size, too. He’s also a very good gunner on special teams, apparently. Potential third- or fourth-round pick. Chiefs obviously have a need at receiver.
2. TE Jeff Heuerman, 6-5, 255, No. 86
Playing on a bum ankle, but Chiefs coach Andy Reid can never have enough tight ends. Fourth-round pick.
1. OLB Tony Washington, 6-3, 250, No. 91
This guy can rush the passer some — he has six sacks this year — and draft analysts say he can also drop back into coverage. Not a huge need here for the Chiefs but he’s projected to be a fourth-round pick, so there may be some value here.
2. ILB Derrick Malone Jr., 6-2, 220, No. 22
The Chiefs need an inside linebacker, and Malone has 81 tackles this season. Projected to be a sixth- or seventh-round pick.
3. DE Arik Armstead, 6-7, 296, No. 9
Projected to be a second-round pick, this guy has awesome size and athleticism but only 4 1/2 career sacks (I find this strange), so I’ll be looking to see if he has the strength to defend the run as an end in a 3-4 defense. Could return to school for his senior season.
4. DE DeForest Buckner, 6-6, 286, No. 44
Another big guy with size who is a little less gifted than Armstead but has been more productive. Projected to be a second-round pick. Again, I’ll be looking to see if he can defend the run as an end in a 3-4 defense.