Chiefs Draft Grades: Rating every pick in the 2023 NFL Draft
Round 2, Pick 55: Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
The Kansas City Chiefs made an interesting move in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft, selecting wide receiver Rashee Rice out of Southern Methodist University (SMU) with the 55th overall pick after trading up with Detroit.
Rice is a promising prospect who has the potential to contribute immediately to the Chiefs’ offense. With his combination of size, speed, and overall athleticism, Rice could be a valuable addition to the Chiefs’ receiving corps and help them improve upon their already potent passing attack. He has the contested catch ability the offense has seemingly lacked from its wide receiver core in the Patrick Mahomes era. He also didn’t have many issues with tracking deep balls, which is a valuable trait with Mahomes at quarterback.
Despite his promising skills, Rashee Rice still has some areas for improvement. He struggled at times to create separation against man coverage, which could prove to be a significant problem when the Chiefs face a defense with quality cornerbacks. Rice also had issues with drops during his senior season, including dropping three balls versus Cincinnati in Week 8.
Overall, Rashee Rice addresses a position of need for the Chiefs and plays a premium position. Although the value of the pick wasn’t amazing, as I preferred multiple other receivers who were still available, Rice possesses a skill set that the team has been lacking from its top wide receivers in recent years. While it may take some time for him to earn the trust of head coach Andy Reid, Rice’s contested catch ability makes him a potential weapon in the red zone.
With his size, speed, and athleticism, Rice has the potential to make an immediate impact on the Chiefs’ offense and develop into a true #1 wide receiver in the future. He’s the riskiest pick in Kansas City’s draft class, but if the team can develop him properly, the potential reward is well worth it.
The Grade: C+