The Kansas City Chiefs are your Super Bowl champions for the second straight year, and now, Patrick Mahomes and Co. have a chance at a three-peat, which has never happened in the NFL before. While they are again atop the NFL world, this is a big offseason for Kansas City.
The Chiefs have to make some tough decisions on looming free agents such as Chris Jones and L’Jarius Sneed, and have to reevaluate the offensive line as well as Mahomes’ weaponry. Free agency is important, but the draft is where real contenders are built. Chiefs fans know that. What should Kansas City be focused on in the 2024 NFL Draft? That’s what we’re here to explore.
Chiefs 2024 draft picks
|157 (from Dallas)
OT Tyler Guyton
WR Ladd McConkey
CB Nate Wiggins
|WR Troy Franklin
Mecole Hardman and Richie James are free agents, and then we don’t know what the future holds for Skyy Moore, Kadarius Toney or Justyn Ross. Rashee Rice was a nice find, but Kansas City needs to address its weaponry in the draft. Chiefs wide receivers finished with the most drops (28) and the highest drop rate (12%) in the NFL in the regular season. The Chiefs offense clearly wasn’t as explosive as in years past, but with Mahomes I guess you can accomplish anything.
I have to say, I was fascinated when I saw NFL Draft expert Chris Trapasso mock Ladd McConkey to the Chiefs in the first round. My guess is that Chiefs fans overall would not be on board with that decision, but it is an intriguing match. McConkey is a great route-runner who can be effective from the slot. It would be unfair to give Andy Reid and Mahomes someone like that.
Brett Veach could draft Adonai Mitchell out of Texas, who is sneaking into the first round in mock drafts. The Georgia Bulldog transferred to Texas this past season after winning two national championships, and caught 55 passes for a career-high 845 yards and 11 touchdowns. Mitchell possesses good size and could be a legitimate outside threat at the next level. Another player could be Troy Franklin out of Oregon, who is a 6-foot-3 speedster who can also flash after the catch.
If the Chiefs want to push this need to Day 2 or Day 3, Ricky Pearsall out of Florida or Jermaine Burton out of Alabama would be solid additions. This is a deep class, and I can guarantee you Kansas City has been doing its homework.
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The Chiefs have a decent offensive line, but the tackles could certainly be upgraded. Left tackle Donovan Smith is a free agent, and Jawaan Taylor of course struggled with penalties. Nick Allegretti is a free agent as well. NFL Draft expert Ryan Wilson believes Kansas City could target an offensive lineman with its first pick. He mocked Tyler Guyton out of Oklahoma to the Chiefs, the 6-foot-7 right tackle who played a little bit on the left for the Sooners as well. Wilson says NFL teams are intrigued by his size and athleticism.
A couple of other offensive linemen who could be available late in the first round who are worth taking that high are Georgia’s Amarius Mims or Duke’s Graham Barton. Truth be told, it’s tough to pinpoint where all three players we just listed could be drafted at this juncture.
If the Chiefs take a weapon or defensive player in the first round, a Day 2 tackle could be Blake Fisher out of Notre Dame, who also played on the right side. After hitting on players like Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith, I have faith the Chiefs front office has a couple of gems in mind on the offensive line.
Interior defensive line
We could easily talk about the secondary here, but the Jones question looms large. Jones was a huge part of the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victories, especially this most recent one. Kansas City has found a way to keep him up to this point, but could this be the offseason they finally part ways. I would be surprised to see Kansas City go interior defensive line Day 1, as that would immediately cause people to hypothesize a decision on Jones has been made. But expect an addition in Day 2 or 3.
One player who really stood out to me at the Senior Bowl was T’Vondre Sweat out of Texas. At 6-foot-4, 362 pounds, he was a force to be reckoned with on the inside, and decimated hypothetical pockets in one-on-ones. I think he’s someone who could get after the quarterback as well. I can guarantee you Veach would have to move up in the second round for him, but Sweat is a draft crush of many.
Kris Jenkins out of Michigan pops on tape as a strong player on the interior, but he’s listed at 6-foot-3. However, he continues to add muscle throughout this process, as Jim Nagy pointed out. There’s a decent amount of “undersized” interior defensive linemen with potential. Unfortunately there’s no “Chris Jones tree” to go back to.
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