3 Kansas State prospects who could stay local with the Chiefs in the 2024 NFL Draft

The Kansas City Chiefs have some NFL draft prospects in their backyard. Which former Kansas City Wildcats should they look at selecting?
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NFL fans, we are less than three weeks away from the 2024 NFL Draft. The annual spectacle will be held in Detroit, Michigan, and will see hundreds of NFL dreams begin and rosters around the league become much more clear.

Even though the Kansas City Chiefs have the advantage of being back-to-back champions, there is no rest for the best. Kansas City general manager Brett Veach and his team are assuredly putting in late days ahead of this pivotal draft. But the Chiefs shouldn't discount local draft prospects in their scouting process. There are several Power 5 schools within driving distance, including the Kansas State Wildcats.

Head coach Chris Klieman has kept the Wildcats relevant nationally, finishing 2023 ranked 18th in the final AP poll and winning their second bowl game in three years. Klieman's staff has things humming along in Manhattan, including turning low-tier prospects into legitimate draft targets.

Let's look at three such players and why they fit in Kansas City.

Cooper Beebe, OL

One of the biggest luxuries for competitive teams is taking the best player available at any point in the draft. Do the Chiefs need immediate interior offensive line help? No, absolutely not. Guards Joe Thuney and Trey Smith, along with center Creed Humphrey, undoubtedly construct a top-10 unit in the NFL. But all three's futures beyond 2024 are far from certain. Veach and company need to look two steps ahead to see who fills those roles beyond this season. Enter offensive guard Cooper Beebe.

Humphrey was a polished draft prospect years ago, ready for a starting job from the word go. Beebe is very much the same, but interior blockers are always undervalued in the draft process. Beebe is Arrowhead Addict's "top-ranked pure guard," ranking 71st on the board. Beebe's 31 1/2" arms and 9 1/4" hands do not rank well among his peers, but he has the technique and mindset that fit well in Kansas City.

Beebe is a great pass blocker, allowing only two sacks and six quarterback hits since 2021. The Big 12 isn't known for its defensive prowess, but that consistency at the Power 5 level is admirable. His strong frame and smooth hands make dealing with collegiate interior pass rushers a breeze. NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein used those traits to the fullest, comparing Beebe to current Detroit Lions guard and Madden legend Kevin Zeitler.

I like the comparison for Beebe's career average, but he has a slightly higher ceiling than Zeitler. Both are hard-nosed players, but I like Beebe's lateral movement speed and overall speed. He can get downfield on screens or reach the second level easily in the run game. Kansas City could use that in their power run game, with Beebe serving as Isiah Pacheco's bulldozer.

Let's get one thing straight: Beebe only makes sense if both a) Kansas City needs a replacement for either Smith or Thuney soon, and b) Beebe falls down the board. Like, a lot. Beebe is a common name in first-round mocks, ranging from mid-to-late spots. I don't see him going that high, especially with so many offensive tackles being first-round talents. I think he will be a second-round guy once the draft comes, but if he falls to Kansas City later, then the Chiefs need to look at Beebe.