You can spend all day reading NFL mock drafts and never run out, there's a gluttony of them out there now. However, some mocks just mean more than others, when names like Mel Kiper and Dane Brugler put pen to paper on prospects it's worth reading. Especially, when it comes to team fits and player draft stock. These mocks simply mean more and we're breaking them down for your Kansas City Chiefs.
Pick 28, Jer'Zahn Newton, IDL. Illinois
Our Grade: A+
Our Analysis: You don't have to look back far to see Newton mocked inside the top 10 of some NFL drafts. As per usual there are risers in every draft class particularly at positions of need. Consensus now is that Jayden Daniels could go inside the top 5 and 4 receivers in the top 15. The point being that Newton hasn't really done anything to make his draft stock fall as much as others have risen particularly at positions of strength in this class: QB, OT and WR.
Newton would be a perfect replacement for Chris Jones and he might be the best pure defensive linemen in this class. He is an elite presence in the run and pass game, but some shorter arms and being slightly undersized my hold some teams back. After the success of Calijah Kancey and Kobie Turner teams would be wise to take a chance on the 2023 Big 10 defensive player of the year.
Pick 60, Ja'Tavion Sanders, TE, Texas
Our Grade: B
Our Analysis: Brugler notes that this isn't a Travis Kelce replacement in the short time as Kelce appears to be returning for the 2024 season. Sanders could draw some Kelce comparisons with his size and being a pass first tight end. Sanders isn't a blocking tight end right now and while he can improve in that area his draft stock is based solely upon his ability as a playmaker. He is dynamic and has breakaway speed for a tight end. He could easily be a top target on an NFL roster next year.
Sanders would be more of a project or a part time player in 2024. It would be great for him to get a year(s) with Kelce to learn from one of the best but there's not a ton of paths for him in 2024. There's limited paths for having two tight ends on the field who aren't blocking sound. Maybe his best role is spelling Kelce as his snaps go down but Sanders doesn't really increase the Chiefs ability to play 13 personnel. There's certainly a path to success for him in Kansas City but it might be more of a project.
Pick 28, Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon
Our Grade: A
Our Analysis: Franklin has been a favorite of ours this season based upon his skillset and fit with the Chiefs. Despite the recent offensive surge this roster is still desperately needing WR talent and Franklin is a logical fit. At 6'3" 190lbs Franklin can fly, he has a chance to be one of the fastest players in the draft but he is more than just straight speed. With over 1300 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2023 Franklin has been a complete receiver for one of college football's best offenses. He can track the ball well, win at the catch point and play on the outside or in the slot.
The Chiefs have always valued speed and separation at the receiver position. Rashee Rice is explosive but doesn't have breakaway speed. Adding in a true vertical threat (not MVS) will continue to open things up for Rice, Kelce and Pacheco. Franklin makes this offense much closer to the 2018-2021 version of the Chiefs offense than the 2022-2023 version.