The Kansas City Chiefs have some room for improvement at offensive tackle and wide receiver. Even after adding tackle Jawaan Taylor, the Chiefs need another one. And Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore are the only wideouts currently returning from 2022.
With the main part of free agency now behind us, the Chiefs are likely to be relying on the NFL Draft to improve their roster at these positions — along with other positions of need like edge rusher and defensive tackle.
So here’s a four-round mock draft using the Pro Football Focus Mock Draft Machine. In this projection, Kansas City will be as aggressive as possible to get its favorite wide receiver.
The top ten picks go mostly as expected: quarterbacks Anthony Richardson, C.J. Stroud, Will Levis and Bryce Young are off the board in the first seven picks. A few edge rushers and corners come off the board as well.
But at Pick 10, the Philadelphia Eagles select Ohio State wide receiver Jaxson Smith-Njigba. Given the players they already have at the position, this is a little surprising — but with the depth the team possesses, taking the best available player makes sense.
The Chiefs recognize that the Tennessee Titans — who hold Pick 11 — need of plenty of offensive line help. So while the Titans are on the clock, they trade with the Houston Texans for the 12th overall pick, using their selections from the first round (31), second round (63), fourth round (122) and fifth round (166) — along with their third-round pick from 2024.
Moving up that high in the first round is always costly. Using the Jimmy Johnson trade chart, Pick 12 is worth 1200 points. The Chiefs give up a package of picks worth around 1,065 points.
With Pick 11, the Titans select offensive lineman Peter Skoronski of Northwestern.
The pick: Quentin Johnston, wide receiver, TCU
Analysis: Johnston has the highest upside of any first-round wideout. At 6 feet 2 and 200 pounds, he has the size and length to play on the outside — but still has the speed to play in the slot, too. Despite questionable quarterback play throughout the 2022 season, he was one of college football’s most productive receivers. Kansas City would be a tremendous landing spot for Johnston’s skill set.
Per PFF, Quentin Johnston has forced 45 missed tackles since 2020, which leads all of Big 12 WRs. pic.twitter.com/9towmbIisz— Nick Penticoff (@NickPenticoff) March 22, 2023
Traded to the Texans
After the big trade, the Chiefs are off the clock until Pick 95. By this time, much has changed. Quite a few of the high-upside project pass rushers (and stout interior defensive linemen with pass-rushing upside) are gone. Most of the remaining defensive tackles are straight run-stoppers who can wait until Day 3.
Among the offensive tackles, there aren’t a lot of players to love — but with the assets given up for Johnston, Kansas City needs to select a player with a high floor. The good news is that in recent years, the Chiefs have done well in this part of the draft.
The pick: Tyler Steen, offensive tackle, Alabama
Analysis: The Chiefs met with Steen at the NFL combine, so there’s certainly some interest in him. Steen started his college career at Vanderbilt before transferring to Alabama in 2022, starting every game at left tackle. He’s raw, athletic and rangy — and has a lot of experience coming out of college. There are some questions about whether he can stick at tackle at the next level — but his ceiling is a starting right or left tackle, while his floor is as a swing tackle. This latter role is one the Chiefs have prioritized over the years.
Alabama's Tyler Steen (LT no. 54) - this man finishes his blocks pic.twitter.com/41DSfF4hPE— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) March 24, 2023
At this point, Kansas City really can take the best player available. While the defensive line still needs some help, the addition of Charles Omenihu in free agency makes the pass rush much easier to project. If the Chiefs are unable to grab an edge defender by this point, they can get some projects later in the draft — or perhaps reunite with veterans like Carlos Dunlap or Frank Clark.
Sometimes it’s important to remember that some teams simply value certain traits more than others. Since the Chiefs value speed at their skill positions, they now double down on their need at wide receiver.
The pick: Andre Iosivas, wide receiver, Princeton
Analysis: Physically, Iosivas might be one of the most-gifted wideouts in the draft. As a former All-American track athlete, he has elite speed to go along with his large 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame. He has the ability to track the ball well and win contested catches. While he hasn’t shown the ability to run a complex route tree, his traits are off the charts.
NFL Draft fans, get familiar with the name of @PrincetonFTBL WR Andre Iosivas (pronounced yo-shee-vahs). You’ll be hearing it a lot during pre-draft process. pic.twitter.com/GbW80FWxhD https://t.co/7fFm9dxN2d— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) October 31, 2022
Brett Veach has always been aggressive. In this draft, we have an example of what it takes to get blue-chip players at valuable positions. While the first-round trade-up was costly, Johnston, Moore, Toney, Valdez-Scantling and Iosivas — added to tight end Travis Kelce — will represent a receiving corps suitable for the league’s best quarterback.