In Kansas City, you can almost smell the barbeque! NFL teams have finalized their draft boards and have begun preliminary talks with other franchises about potential trades. The Kansas City Chiefs enter Thursday’s draft at Union Station with a total of 10 picks.
In our mock draft finale, we’re focusing solely on what we think the Chiefs would do. Obviously, we don’t know exactly what their board looks like — but the areas of need are clear. And we now have a significant track record for both general manager Brett Veach and head coach Andy Reid.
If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I do way too many mock drafts; I try to do several every day on multiple simulators.
For this series of articles, I have been using the Pro Football Focus draft simulator — and today’s final mock might be one of my favorites! I also think this one shows just how many different scenarios can take place. A year ago, Veach never dreamed that cornerback Trent McDuffie would be available to the Chiefs — until it actually happened.
In Round 1 of this draft, another great player falls to Kansas City.
The Pick: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
Analysis: For the Chiefs, Murphy at 31 is a dream come true. Generally considered among the top three or four edge rushers in the class, Murphy’s physical stature and length are ideal for an NFL EDGE. His athletic profile is elite; it’s been compared to last year’s top pick Trayvon Walker. He has several pass-rushing moves and is also an above-average run defender. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and defensive line coach Joe Cullen would love having Murphy in their unit.
The pass-happy NFL is always hungry for wideouts. The lack of wide receiver talent in this draft could easily drive up their value; a player who ought to go in the middle of the third round might come off the board a round earlier.
Just as with Skyy Moore last year, the back of the second round feels like a place where Kansas City might take a pass-catcher; at the other positions of need (like tackle or interior defensive line), the Chiefs might be better off waiting for the value found in the third or fourth rounds.
The pick: Jonathan Mingo, WR, Ole Miss
Analysis: At Mississippi, Mingo primarily lined up in the slot — but at the next level, his size makes him an interesting outside prospect. In an undersized class, Mingo stands out as one of the few larger targets. His ability to play a “power slot” role (and block well) is very similar to what departed wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster brought to Kansas City last year. Watching his physicality when the ball is in his hands, it’s hard not to think of fellow Ole Miss grad A.J. Brown — for whom the Chiefs were interested in trading last year. In Kansas City’s smaller wide receiver corps, Mingo makes too much sense.
Now with a wide receiver coming to Kansas City, the team turns its focus to offensive tackle.
The Pick: Nick Saldiveri, Tackle, Old Dominion
Analysis: It’s shocking that the consensus Saldiveri isn’t higher. Looking at his tape (and athletic profile), you can see he’s a high-floor player with excellent core strength who excels in both pass blocking and stretch run concepts — something that the Chiefs might run at a higher rate with more athletic offensive linemen. At the Senior Bowl, he also showed flexibility by kicking inside to play guard. At bare minimum, Saldeveri is a swing tackle or starting guard for the future.
With two picks in the fourth round, Kansas City could go in any direction. Here, we shouldn't be surprised if the Chiefs add an interior offensive lineman, linebacker or even a cornerback. As fans, we often see these positions as set — but the Chiefs’ draft board will tend to lead the team to the best available player. The league’s best franchises make a habit of back-filling positions of strength.
The Picks: Kobie Turner, DT, Wake Forest and Chase Brown, RB, Illinois
Analysis: In the NFL, Turner projects as a rotational 3-technique; he is nimble (although slightly undersized) for the position. But in his film, his athleticism pops — especially in short-area quickness. He honestly feels like a direct replacement for departed defensive tackle Khalen Saunders.
Even when healthy, running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has struggled to get on the field. Jerick McKinnon remains a free agent. Despite Veach’s brilliant pick of Isiah Pacheco in 2022’s seventh round, most good NFL backs are selected in the first four rounds. Alongside Pacheco, Brown — a high school track star who had a lot of success in college — would give Kansas City a true two-headed monster. Brown has also improved as a pass-catcher every season.
Ignoring the PFF letter grades, this feels like a terrific haul for the Chiefs. Yes... Myles Murphy at 31 feels like a pipe dream — but stranger things have happened. Still, I’d feel almost exactly the exact same way about these picks if you replaced Murphy with more-likely selections like Kansas State’s Felix Anudike-Uzomah or Iowa State’s Will McDonald.
Kansas City has done an excellent job of making pre-draft roster moves so they can truly take the top players available on their board — and this mock draft shows what that could look like.