ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released his first mock draft of the year on Thursday, and he has the Chiefs selecting a familiar name in a wide receiver-heavy first round.
After (correctly) pointing out that “most teams are still really early in their evaluation process,” Kiper projected the Chiefs, who are picking 18th overall, will take Springfield native and former Missouri receiver Dorial Green-Beckham to boost a sagging receiving corps.
Here’s what Kiper wrote about the pick:
“We all know about the Chiefs’ singular lack of ability to generate touchdowns from their wide receivers, and that makes Green-Beckham a potential risk worth taking. The physical book on Green-Beckham is a good read: He’s got great length and can take the top off the secondary as a straight-line runner but also creates an impressive amount of space with quickness on short routes. He’s a red zone fear-factor player because he can just go up higher than anybody on the field to get the ball. The off-field book, however, is a major question. He was booted from one program because of off-field transgressions, and he’ll have no fun with the interview process as teams get answers about his past and maturity. But talent like this is hard to pass on.”
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Kiper has three other receivers going ahead of Green-Beckham: Alabama’s Amari Cooper going to Oakland at No. 4, Louisville’s DeVante Parker going to Minnesota at No. 11 and West Virginia’s Kevin White going to San Francisco at No. 15.
Kiper also has Michigan’s Devin Funchess going to Baltimore at No. 26, Arizona State’s Jaelen Strong going to Indianapolis at No. 29, Auburn’s Sammie Coates going to New England at No. 31 and Ohio State’s Devin Smith going to Seattle at No. 32.