Kansas City Chiefs’ NFL Draft pick? Royals star Bobby Witt Jr. has a suggestion

Kansas City Royals second baseman Michael Massey couldn’t help but smile as he thought about this week’s NFL Draft.

Massey, who recently returned from the 10-day injured list, is a Chicago native and avid Bears fan. And Massey’s Bears just happen to hold the No. 1 pick for Thursday’s opening night of the 2024 draft.

Several NFL Draft evaluators are projecting that the Bears will select a quarterback. And Massey believes there is just one quarterback who makes sense.

Caleb Williams, baby ...” Massey said, referring to the USC QB. “It’s a quarterback-driven league. So anytime you can get who they are saying is going to be the best quarterback in the draft, I feel like you’ve got to be pretty excited about that, right?”

There is plenty of excitement around the Royals’ clubhouse these days. The team is off to a 13-9 start this season with an upcoming schedule that includes four home games against the Toronto Blue Jays followed by a three-game weekend road series against the Detroit Tigers.

It just so happens that the NFL Draft will also be in Detroit. Day 2 of the draft is Friday, taking place at Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza while the Royals are scheduled to be playing the Tigers at nearby Comerica Park. The draft concludes Saturday.

So even if indirectly, the Royals have a chance to partake in the NFL Draft experience — again. Last season, Kansas City played host to the NFL Draft at Union Station.

“I don’t know the time we get in, but I wouldn’t mind stopping by, depending on if it works out,” Massey said.

While Massey is hoping the Bears select Williams, a few of his Royals teammates would love to see their own favorite NFL teams get a boost in the draft.

Royals first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino is a noted New York Jets fan. He was looking forward to seeing the Jets go for some offensive-line help for NFL veteran Aaron Rodgers.

“The best available,” Pasquantino said. “Particularly a (tackle). I think they are going to take (Georgia tight end) Brock Bowers, but I hope they take a lineman.”

The Jets could contend in the AFC this season. But they’d have to dethrone the Kansas City Chiefs, who just won their second consecutive Super Bowl.

That’s not an easy task, as Royals star Bobby Witt Jr. put it. The shortstop who grew up as a New England Patriots fan is part of Chiefs Kingdom these days.

And he would like to see the Chiefs take a receiver in the first round.

“I think they are going after one of those receivers,” Witt said. “I’ve grown up an Oklahoma Sooners fan and watching those dudes from Texas, Xavier Worthy, I think one of those speedster guys to add to (new Chiefs receiver) Hollywood Brown would be nice.”

The Chiefs hold the No. 32 pick in Thursday’s first round. Like the Jets, they’re also looking for help on the offensive line.

Worthy, who made headlines with a time of 4.21 seconds in the 40-yard dash, could make for an exciting addition to the Chiefs’ high-octane offense.

Royals relief pitchers Matt Sauer and Will Smith will also be watching the NFL Draft closely. Sauer is a Minnesota Vikings fan, while Smith pulls for the Atlanta Falcons. Their teams were linked this offseason as the Falcons signed veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins, who’d been with Minnesota.

As a result, the Vikings are now in the quarterback market. Sauer, whose parents grew up in the Minnesota area, thinks the Vikings could trade up for a young signal-caller.

He would love to see Jayden Daniels (LSU), Drake Maye (North Carolina) or J.J. McCarthy (Michigan) join the Vikings’ roster.

“Probably one of those three,” Sauer said. “I think that’s kind of what all the Vikings fans are looking for. They just signed Sam Darnold, but I don’t know if he can be our No. 1. He’d be good to start the year as the No. 1 and hopefully we can get the third or fourth overall pick and then go from there. So, we will see.”

Smith, thinking about the Falcons’ selection, said he was eyeing defense to help aid Cousins in his first year with the team.

“I feel like that’s been the Falcons’ Achilles heel the last couple of years,” Smith said. “Their defense just can’t keep up. We need somebody in the secondary.”

The Royals begin their four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday. The series is set to conclude on Thursday with a first pitch of 1:10 p.m. at Kauffman Stadium.

Then, they’ll be headed to Detroit. All eyes will be on the NFL Draft and the Motor City.

The Royals will be there to see how it all plays out.

“I’m excited to see what it’s going to look like,” reliever John Schreiber said. “You know, it’s been a long time since Detroit had a football team looking like this. And I think, you know, the city is really excited.”