Kansas City Chiefs go DL (again) in new 2024 mock draft

At least this mock has the Chiefs picking 32nd overall. Being a winning team is such a chore
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The second week of the 2023 NFL season is not over yet, but the 2024 NFL draft mock machines are already firing on all cylinders. The Kansas City Chiefs will likely be among the final teams drafting in the first round. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was the highest player drafted to Kansas City back in 2017, and the Chiefs had to trade up for that pick.

The Kansas City Chiefs draft another high-upside defender in latest 2024 mock draft

Picking in the first round's lower half is a two-edged sword: the Chiefs may miss out on the draft's premiere prospects, but that is because of on-field success. I think the Chiefs Kingdom will take the on-field success every time though.

In the latest 2024 mock draft, the Chiefs are picking a defensive player once again. Hunter Haas of FanSided's NFL Mocks says the Chiefs should look to the defensive interior following the Chris Jones holdout.

"32. Kansas City Chiefs – Maason Smith, DL, LSU

The Chiefs have dealt with a Chris Jones holdout all offseason, which has followed them into the regular season. Whether Jones returns to KC or not, the team would be wise to invest in a potential replacement. Maason Smith has top-10 traits but hasn’t put any tape on display since 2021. He is still worth tabbing at the end of Round 1, assuming the Chiefs can keep him healthy and productive."

Hunter Haas, NFL Mocks

Maason Smith is a player who has not played meaningful football for nearly a year, but possesses prime talent. He played in nine games during the 2021 season as a true freshman, recording 14 combined tackles, 16 pressures, and 4 sacks. That production coming from the interior against SEC competition is impressive all on its own.

But, Smith's draft stock certainly took a hit in 2022. He missed all but the season opener with a torn ACL, after celebrating a teammate's play. Minor injuries hindered his rehab, but a one-game suspension delayed his football return even more. The NCAA suspended Smith for LSU's season open due to Smith receiving "improper benefit stemming from a pre-NIL era autograph signing in 2021," according to CBS Sports.

2023 will be an integral season for Smith's draft stock. He can help it with more elite production on the Tigers' defense and by proving he is fully healthy following several injuries. His profile and potential feel like former Chiefs defensive back Marcus Peters, whom Kansas City drafted back in 2015. There were some red flags around Peters, but the talent and potential were too good to pass up. It remains to be seen if Smith's talent still translates to the field, but this is a solid mock pick this far ahead of the 2024 draft.

What position should the Chiefs invest in next year? Let us know in the comments!