Longtime ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper has released his first mock draft for 2023. In it, he has the Kansas City Chiefs using the final pick of the first round (there will be just 31 this year) to take a wide receiver from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Zay Flowers, Boston College
Kansas City redid its wide receiver corps last offseason, but it might have to do another overhaul in 2023. JuJu Smith-Schuster, who had a resurgent season, and Mecole Hardman are both free agents. Could they supplement what they have with this pick? I’m a huge fan of Flowers, who caught 200 passes in his college career. He’s polished and shifty, shaking cornerbacks from all over the field to get open.
I almost went with speedster Jalin Hyatt (Tennessee), who is a better deep threat, but Flowers is more ready to contribute early. Hyatt had 15 touchdowns and averaged 18.9 yards per catch for the Volunteers in 2022.
Flowers is the fourth wide receiver off the board in Kiper’s draft.
In his first mock draft a year ago, Kiper had the Chiefs take EDGE Cameron Thomas of San Diego State. That wasn’t the player Kansas City ultimately chose — but early on, Kiper had a good idea of the team’s positional thinking; the Chiefs ultimately took Purdue EDGE George Karlaftis with their nominal first-round pick.
There’s little doubt that there will be some disagreement about the position the Chiefs should target in the opening round — but just like in 2022, the team will have enough picks available that it might be possible to grab another first-round pick. In that case, a player like Flowers in this spot might be a possibility.
Kiper is not alone in this early evaluation, either. On January 19th, CBS Sports writer Chris Trapasso’s mock draft also had the Chiefs taking Flowers.
National Mock Draft Picks
|WR||Zay Flowers||Boston College||25%|
|S||Antonio Johnson||Texas A&M||13%|
National Mock Draft Positions
What do you think of Mel Kiper’s pick?
I like it!
Right position, wrong player