It’s rivalry week in college football!
Our annual draft prospects series returns for the sixth consecutive year. We’ve identified over 200 college prospects to keep an eye on ahead of the 2023 NFL draft, all of whom might be potential fits with the Kansas City Chiefs. Last season’s prospect list included several of the Chiefs’ 2022 NFL draft picks including George Karlaftis, Skyy Moore and Bryan Cook. Who will be next?
Our thirteenth group of prospects includes an explosive edge rusher, a lengthy defensive back, a receiver with return specialist experience and the FBS leader in touchdowns.
Army EDGE Andre Carter II
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Carter has prototypical size and length at 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds, but he has a slight and wiry frame. It’s apparent with his quick get-off and his bend around the edge. A season ago Carter was hyperproductive with 17 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks. While he hasn’t been as productive this season, he’s taken some positive steps forward, boasting a number of different pass-rush tools in his toolbox.
There’s little doubt in my mind that the Chiefs will look to add to their edge depth in the 2023 NFL draft. Carter would make for a nice complement to what George Karlaftis provides. It’s just a matter of whether a player like Carter will be available with their top pick, which right now would be coming at the end of the first round.
Next game: Army vs. UMass – Saturday, Nov. 27 at 11:00 a.m. CT – Live stream on fuboTV (free 7-day trial).
Purdue DB Cory Trice Jr.
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Trice boasts prototypical size for the modern NFL cornerback, listed at 6-2 and 192 pounds. He uses that length and his physicality to contest the football, with nine passes defended in the 2022 season. Trice has also played safety during his career at Purdue, recording three interceptions playing the position back in 2019. He kind of reminds me a bit of current Eagles DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, who played both safety and corner in college.
Defensive back will probably be low on the list of priorities for Kansas City in 2023 after they revamped their secondary in the 2022 NFL draft. That said, I’d continue adding a piece or two to the secondary each year in the draft. You can simply never have enough good cornerbacks and safeties in this league.
Next game: Purdue vs. Indiana – Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2:30 p.m. CT – Live stream on fuboTV (free 7-day trial).
Michigan State WR Jayden Reed
AP Photo/Al Goldis
Reed is a crafty route runner and dynamic threat with the ball in his hands. Listed at 6 feet and 183 pounds, he won’t be the biggest receiver on the field, but he plays much bigger than his size. He’s good at tracking the football and catching it at its highest point. He does a great job against both man coverage and zone coverage, creating separation in man and finding the soft spots in zone looks.
The best thing about Reed is that he can help fix the special teams problems that have plagued the Chiefs all season long. He’s been one of the best punt returners in college football throughout his career with 34 career returns for a 15.9-yard per return average and three career punt return touchdowns. He’s also averaged 20 yards per return on 42 career kick returns.
Next game: Michigan State vs. Penn State – Saturday, Nov. 26 at 3:00 p.m. CT – Live stream on fuboTV (free 7-day trial).
Pitt RB Israel Abanikanda
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The FBS leader in both touchdowns (19) and scoring (116 points), Abanikanda is exactly the threat the Chiefs have been lacking at the running back position. The 5-11 and 215-pound halfback is explosive, averaging 5.5 yards per carry to this point in his college career. He’s elusive, boasting tackle-breaking balance and strength in the run game. He also can catch the ball out of the backfield, with 36 career receptions for 346 yards and three touchdowns.
With the shift to Isiah Pacheco and another injury to Clyde Edwards-Helaire, it feels like it’s only a matter of time before Kansas City invests more draft capital into the running back position. Abanikanda could help provide a nice complement to Pacheco in the future. Pass-blocking hasn’t exactly been Abanikanda’s forte, with nine pressures (including two sacks) on 54 attempts so far this season according to PFF.
Next game: Pittsburgh vs. Miami (FL) – Saturday, Nov. 26 at 7:00 p.m. CT – Live stream on fuboTV (free 7-day trial).