How the Chiefs can get an A-plus haul in the 2023 NFL draft
It won’t be long before the Kansas City Chiefs and the rest of the league are making selections in the 2023 NFL draft.
While Brett Veach and his staff will likely be waiting until the end of Round 1 to make a selection, there are plenty of opportunities to come out on the other side with the perfect draft haul. Last season, he managed to get pretty close and the team certainly got the desired results with another Super Bowl title. This year, he can follow a similar plan of action.
Here are some of our thoughts on how Kansas City can come away with a perfect A-plus draft haul in 2023:
Stay true to the draft board
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Last year, when the Chiefs traded up in the first round to acquire CB Trent McDuffie, they didn’t expect they’d have a chance to select him. Brett Veach and his team thought he’d be long gone, but they prepared in the event that the draft board fell a certain way and that they had an opportunity to trade up and take him.
Every indication that we’ve seen to this point is that Kansas City has done the same type of preparation to explore the possibility of a first-round trade-up. Whether that actually happens remains to be seen, but this team is in good shape without a lot of glaring needs. They don’t need to force anything if the trade value isn’t right or the draft board doesn’t wind up favorably as it did a season ago. Sitting at the end of the first round, they simply have to see how the cards fall.
Add weapon(s) and protection for Patrick Mahomes
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I’m of the opinion that the Chiefs should prioritize adding weapons and protection for Patrick Mahomes in the draft every year.
The front office did a great job of investing in the offensive line in recent years. This season, in particular, they could use more competitive depth at the right tackle position given that Andrew Wylie is no longer with the team. Jawaan Taylor is expected to fill in at left tackle with Orlando Brown Jr. heading to Cincinnati, but the right tackle position isn’t quite set.
Brett Veach has never been shy about investing in playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. Last year he added players like Skyy Moore, Isiah Pacheco and traded for Kadarius Toney midseason. They should continue adding pass-catchers and running backs during the 2023 NFL draft in order to maximize the depth of talent on the offensive side of the ball.
Continue adding youth to the defense
AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski
The Chiefs did an incredible job of infusing a few veteran players with a host of youth during the 2022 NFL draft. It gave Steve Spagnuolo perhaps his most explosive and dynamic group of players during his tenure as defensive coordinator of the team. With some key losses on that side of the ball with Khalen Saunders, Juan Thornhill leaving in free agency, plus Carlos Dunlap and Frank Clark left unsigned, the Chiefs need to continue building out the defense with young talent. The edge rusher position is obviously a spot they could use another body competing for snaps in a rotation. The interior defensive line, in particular, could use some additions with no players at the position currently under contract beyond 2023.
Keep future needs in the back of your mind
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
The Chiefs have 16 players slated to be unrestricted free agents in 2024. That includes some big names like star DT Chris Jones. It also includes members of the 2020 NFL draft class like LB Willie Gay Jr., CB L’Jarius Sneed and DE Mike Danna. It’s easy to hone in on the immediate needs of the team heading into the 2023 NFL season, but having the foresight to address the future has been a strength for Brett Veach.