NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Who are the Chiefs taking?
The offseason is finally here for the KC Chiefs, including draft prep. Who are draft experts connecting to the team in mock drafts across the web?
After winning Super Bowl LVII earlier this month, the Kansas City Chiefs finally begin their offseason, which, among other things, will include free agency, coaching staff changes, and preparing for the 2023 NFL Draft.
The 2023 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 27-29 in our very own backyard at Union Station in Kansas City. What kind of players are the Chiefs potentially interested in? Which positions will they target? How will the 2023 draft class for Brett Veach and the Chiefs compare to the historic 2022 class?
It’s too early to know for sure, but there are countless NFL mock drafts across the internet, so let’s take a quick look at what a few draft analysts are projecting for Kansas City.
ESPN (Todd McShay)- February 15, 2023
Here was McShay’s analysis of the pick:
We watched the dominant Philadelphia pass rush go sack free against the Chiefs on Sunday night, which was huge for Kansas City given Patrick Mahomes’ ankle injury. That’s a testament to the Chiefs’ OL, which finished the season with just 26 sacks allowed (third) and the league’s top pass block win rate (74.7%). But neither starting offensive tackle — Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie — is under contract next season, so Kansas City will have to figure out how to replenish the line. Duncan still has some developing to do, and he struggled against top-tier teams in 2022, allowing six sacks to Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State. But he moves well for a 6-foot-6 prospect and has good anchoring strength.
I’m not sure I would pick Jaelyn Duncan this early since he’s a little too big of a project for my taste. I’m a believer in his potential as a starting left tackle but I view him as more of a player who should be taken in the middle of the second round. If the Chiefs traded down and picked him, then I’d be on board, but not at the 31st overall pick in the draft.
The position does make sense for the Chiefs as Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie are scheduled to be free agents, although I expect the former to be tagged again. I do project Duncan as more of a left tackle than a right tackle, so I’m not sure the fit is great if OBJ is signed long-term.
CBS Sports (Kyle Stackpole)- February 17, 2023
RB, Crimson Tide
Here is what Stackpole said about the pick:
Jahmyr Gibbs? In this offense?! The rest of the NFL should make sure this doesn’t happen, or the jack-of-all-trades Gibbs is going to put up big numbers with Patrick Mahomes.
No. No. No. No. No. No. No. The Chiefs just went through this three years ago. Coming off of a Super Bowl title, the team decides to make a luxury pick in the first round of the draft. Not to rag on Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but the Chiefs had no business picking a running back that high in 2020, and they shouldn’t do it again in 2023. I also hold the opinion that running backs are not valuable in the modern NFL. In the dictionary next to “Analytics nerd who believes all running backs are replaceable”, there would be a picture of yours truly. If this were to happen, I would have an aneurysm.
Even if running backs were good picks in the first round, this wouldn’t make sense for the Chiefs as they have Isiah Pacheco locked up for the next three years and Jerick McKinnon still has some juice left. With all due respect to Jahmyr Gibbs but he’s not a fit with the Chiefs at 31.
Pro Football Focus (Mike Renner)- February 13, 2023
What Renner said about this pick:
Travis Kelce has proven to be ageless, but at some point the 33-year-old future Hall of Fame tight end will slow down. Then, he can pass the torch to the most athletic tight end in the draft class. Even before that, though, adding the most athletic tight end in the draft class who can get vertical like a wide receiver to the Chiefs’ 12 personnel package would be scary.
This mock may turn some heads in Kansas City but I actually don’t mind the pick. Travis Kelce won’t last forever, Jody Fortson has been limited to just sixteen games over the past two seasons, Noah Gray still has questions as a receiver, and Blake Bell may be on his way out. A tight end could be a surprise pick relatively early in the draft for the Chiefs.
What I don’t like about this pick is how Luke Musgrave was limited to only two games in 2023 due to a season-ending injury. I like his traits but not in the first round. This a great tight end class so I believe the Chiefs can get better value later in the draft.
NFL.com (Cynthia Freland)- February 10, 2023
Here is what Frelund wrote about this selection:
I was a little surprised to see edge as the position to address here, but Hall has some traits that work well with the type of defense coordinator Steve Spagnuolo operates, especially his speed on the perimeter (though he has positional versatility, as well).
Derick Hall is one of the more polarizing prospects in this draft class. I’ve seen some analysts who wouldn’t touch him anywhere in the Top 75 and others who have a first-round grade on him. His positives include good foot speed and great length, but play strength and bend are serious question marks. This wouldn’t be a bad pick for the Chiefs but I think they could do better. I love the position but am lukewarm on the prospect. I believe they can land a pass rusher with a higher ceiling than Hall.