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Mock Draft Monday: Selecting the best player available

Kansas City’s depth could allow the team to keep taking the top player on its board.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off a Super Bowl parade, the Kansas City Chiefs have a luxury most teams do not possess: even without adding a single player in the NFL Draft, Kansas City’s current roster would be a Super Bowl contender. Thanks to some incredible drafts over the last two years — and then the holy trinity of Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Andy Reid — the team’s future is bright.

This allows it to use a common draft philosophy: picking the best player available. For this mock, we’ll adopt this precise strategy — using the Arrowhead Pride draft staff’s consensus rankings.

Round 1

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Boston College Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that wide receiver, EDGE and tackle are the Chiefs’ most significant needs in this draft. While it’s likely that the best player available will not be playing one of these positions, this particular projection is kind to Kansas City. Just two receivers have come off the board before pick 31, allowing the Chiefs the opportunity to select AP’s No. 2 wide receiver.

The Pick: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

Analysis: Flowers is an electric player with the ball in his hands. He plays larger than his size and can run a full route tree from the slot. At the NFL level, however, his lack of size will potentially limit him to the slot. With an offensive mind like Andy Reid, Flowers could blossom into an elite playmaker for the Chiefs.

Round 2

NCAA Football: PAC-12 Football Championship-Southern California at Utah Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Day 2 is a place of strength for edge rushers; there are many developmental players available. In this particular projection, several developmental tackles went off the board early in Round 2 — leaving the Chiefs with another nice situation where the top player on the consensus board is also in a position of need.

The Pick: Tuli Tuipulotu, EDGE, USC

Analysis: This Trojan meets two out of three traditional physical thresholds for Spagnuolo’s edge rushers. His 32 1/4-inch arms are a little short — but only slightly shorter than those of George Karlaftis. Tuipulotu brings athleticism — and a frame that will need NFL development — to make him into a true three-down player. Like Charles Omenihu, he wins as a pass rusher more often on the inside than the outside but provides strong run support from the edge. He would pair nicely with what the Chiefs already have on the outside.

Round 3

Syndication: The Herald-Times Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times / USA TODAY NETWORK

With EDGE and wide receiver already addressed, Kansas City has to feel great about adding quality depth in the third round. One position to watch will be defensive tackle — but unfortunately, the players who could make an instant impact on early downs are all gone by pick 95. So the Chiefs continue to invest in their secondary.

The Pick: Cory Trice, CB, Purdue

Analysis: Physically, Trice has all the traits that Kansas City loves. At 6 feet 2 and 203 pounds, he has an NFL frame. He has the ability to play on the outside and excels in press-man and Cover 3 schemes. Given his size and versatility, Trice could also fill in at safety. There are some questions about him in run support — and he has rust from a 2021 ACL injury — but those are some of the reasons he’s available at 95.

Round 4

Syndication: The Enquirer Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

At this point, it seems like the Chiefs are going to have to answer the questions they have at tackle either in free agency (Donovan Smith) or in camp (Lucas Niang and Darian Kinnard).

The Picks: Tyler Scott, WR, Cincinnati and Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan

Analysis: A former track athlete, Scott’s calling card will always be his speed. He’s a raw receiving prospect who’s only played the position for a few years. While he’s not the strongest after the catch, he could do many of the things Mecole Hardman did for Kansas City — and possibly more.

Schoonmaker has great size and athletic traits. While he’s not an elite blocker or pass-catcher, he’s serviceable in both areas; he would certainly project more as a second tight end instead of an eventual replacement for Travis Kelce. He does, however, bring more physically than Noah Gray — raising the overall the floor at the position.


The results of our BPA draft are encouraging: the Chiefs can add two difference-making pass-catchers with different skill sets, a versatile tight end and two defenders who project as rotational players. Kansas City’s depth allows the team to be flexible, finding value across the draft.

As fun as it is to go tackle, edge rusher and wideout in every single mock, it is very possible the Chiefs won’t be able to address all three positions. But no matter what happens in the draft, Kansas City should be in good shape: the team’s core players are good enough that it really isn’t necessary for positional needs to alter the team’s draft strategy. In the draft, pressing for positional value is when mistakes are made most often.

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