Bill Barnwell: KC Chiefs should trade up in 2023 NFL Draft
By Matt Conner
ESPN reporter Bill Barnwell has identified the Chiefs as a key team to trade up in this year’s NFL Draft.
Six years ago, the Kansas City Chiefs made a major move up in the NFL Draft order with the Buffalo Bills in order to secure the services of a quarterback who’d turned heads in the halls of Arrowhead for quite some time. The end result was the marriage between the Chiefs and the best player in football.
One year ago, the Chiefs once again swapped a couple of lower picks for the chance to move up several spots in a smaller move that the one for Patrick Mahomes. In this deal, they switched places with the New England Patriots in order to grab a cornerback with whom they were smitten in Trent McDuffie. The early returns, even in an injury-limited season, were flashes of lockdown ability even as a rookie.
This year, the Chiefs are picking at the bottom of the first round as defending Super Bowl champs, and ESPN’s Bill Barnwell has the Chiefs pegged as a solid trade-up candidate once again. Barnwell’s latest essay profiles each team’s posture in the draft and general manager Brett Veach is solidly in trade up territory.
The Chiefs have a lot of picks to utilize once again in this year’s draft thanks to the bounty from last year’s Tyreek Hill trade and other compensatory returns. They also have very few glaring needs thanks to a youth movement ushered in last year that helped bolster several levels of the defense. That provides them a real chance to move up and secure a top-tier talent on their draft board instead of holding onto multiple picks for lower-level prospects.
The Chiefs will be able to grab a solid player at No. 31 already without moving thanks to the Dolphins’ loss of a first-round choice via tampering and so many interesting quarterbacks. Given their lack of a need for a QB, the Chiefs will instead see about 25-27 prospects interesting to them come and go before they pick if they stay where they are. However, getting ahead of fellow contenders for a key player at a position of need—say wide receiver—could come in handy as the first round enters its second half.