Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN’s top draftnik, has been released a brand new 2021 NFL Mock Draft. In this projection, Kiper makes a very interesting and risky pick for the Kansas City Chiefs at number 31 and selects Stanford OT Walker Little.
After the 2018 season, Little was under discussion of being one of the best offensive tackles in college football. Things are a lot less clear now as Little has only played a single game in the past two seasons. Little in 2019 suffered a knee injury at the end of the season in his first game of the year against Northwestern. When he got well again in 2020, he decided before the start of the season to prepare for the 2021 NFL draft.
Here’s what Kiper had to say about his election:
“This may be a new name for some, but Little created my big board back in August 2019 in the preseason. That was before the 2020 draft. Then he injured his knee at the season opener and missed the rest of the season and decided to go to 2020 so he hasn’t played much football since then. I called Little 2019 more like finesse, but he’s a great build (6-7, 315 pounds) and can move his feet. He started out as a true newcomer to Stanford. There are some projections here, but Little has a great band from 2017 and 2018. Scouts will get a close look at him on his pro day next month. And if you saw Patrick Mahomes run for his life at Super Bowl LV, you know the Chiefs could use some device. “
Kiper is definitely on the right track as the Chiefs need to address the issue early on in drafting. The long-term future in either attacking position is unclear in Kansas City despite recent positive news surrounding Mitchell Schwartz. Kiper admits there is a projection for this design, but I think that’s a huge understatement. Your only tape on this kid is from more than two years old, and medical ratings will be different this year due to the lack of a scouting combine.
I am definitely intrigued by Little’s Tape. It slips in the pass protection and has something bad about it in the running game. It’s just hard to know where he is in terms of his development and health. Drawing Little on the first round still seems like a pretty big risk, and I’m not sure the Chiefs can afford it.