Let’s finish up this mock with an edge rusher for Kansas City. I’m a big fan of McDonald’s speed game — he still needs to develop more moves — and he has a skill set the Chiefs lack. While he might not be an every-down player as a rookie, his ceiling is high.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Will McDonald IV, OLB, Iowa State
Let’s close out Round 1 with my No. 25-ranked player for the defending Super Bowl champs. McDonald knows how to get to the quarterback, registering 16.5 sacks and 63 pressures since becoming a starter in 2021. The Chiefs added Charles Omenihu to replace Frank Clark and Carlos Dunlap, but this unit still has room for improvement. McDonald’s explosion, bend and burst stand out on tape.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Darnell Wright, T, Tennessee
The Chiefs have a need at tackle, and the board falls their way. Wright is one of the top players at the position in this year’s draft.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
Kansas City doesn’t necessarily need to add to its collection of receivers, as the defending champs are counting on Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore to step up after JuJu Smith-Schuster’s departure. But a dose of reliability in the form of Addison, a crafty route runner who glides past defenders, would do the group some good.
Of the 17 NFL Draft prospects in Kansas City that will be at the draft, a few of them have had meetings with the Chiefs during the process. Here’s what they had to say about potentially playing for the home team.
Boston College WR Zay Flowers: “How do you think I would feel,” Flowers said with a laugh. “It’d be great.”
USC WR Jordan Addison: “When I see them, I just see some winners. Super Bowl champs. Who don’t love a winner?”
Georgia Tech DL Keion White: “That’d be great… They’re coming off a Super Bowl championship and everything like that. I know they need some EDGE guys on the edge… that would be a great opportunity.”
Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr.: “That would be really nice… I never been to a game here but I’ve heard the environment here at Arrowhead is like college environment which is pretty cool.”Company prepared to keep things clean before, during and after NFL Draft
Flowers also worked out with Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes while training for the draft in Texas. Just like almost any receiver, he would love to play with the two-time MVP.
“Wherever he say he gonna put that ball, that ball gonna be there. If he say he gonna put the ball at the back of your head, you better turn around because the ball gonna be at the back of your head. Catching the ball is so easy because you know where its gon be. It’s gon be in the same spot every time and you can just turn around and make a play.”
Bryce Young had been catching grief from Alabama teammate Will Anderson Jr. all morning after dragging a blanket out of his hotel room, wrapping up in it and trying to fight off a brisk wind as the sun rose over Union Station.
“You can call me soft. Call me whatever you like,” Young said Wednesday. “I’m cold.”
It doesn’t figure to be a whole lot warmer Thursday night, when the century-old train depot near downtown Kansas City serves as the backdrop for the NFL draft. Before it sits the largest stage complex the league has ever built for its second-biggest event behind the Super Bowl, serving as the anchor for a three-day spectacle expected to draw more than 100,000 people.
Young won’t have to sit in the elements long, though. The Crimson Tide quarterback, who won the Heisman Trophy two years ago, is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick when the Carolina Panthers are the first team on the clock.
“It’s crazy to be here right now,” Young told The Associated Press, about 24 hours before the draft was set to begin. “My earliest memory of the draft is just probably having it on TV at a young age, you know? Just being a sports household. Always on. Always watching it, always paying attention to it. And now to be able to track these players and say, ‘Oh, I remember that draft, and now he’s here and doing this’ — you know, you start to see the progression.
Autographs will be available at the autograph stage in the NFL Draft Experience near the WWI Museum and Memorial.
Fans will find the latest player appearance schedule inside the NFL OnePass App. There’s even an option in the app to set a timer as a reminder for each opportunity.
The following is the schedule released by NFL Draft organizers as of Wednesday afternoon. Organizers say the schedule may change without notice.
Thursday Player Appearances
2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Chad Henne, Jamaal Charles
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Priest Holmes
4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. Isiah Pacheco
5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Trent McDuffie
Friday Player Appearances
3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Marquez Valdes Scantling
3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. Trey Smith
Saturday Player Appearances
2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Dwayne Bowe
On Jan. 5, 1967, the Jackson County Sports Authority recommended a two-stadium complex be built in eastern Jackson County.
In a letter dated the same day, Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt pledged to sign a lease for up to 40 years.
“Last season the Chiefs filled Municipal Stadium to 90 percent of capacity,” he wrote. “That sold me that Kansas City is going to be an outstanding pro football city.”
On Jan. 15, the Chiefs played in the first Super Bowl.
About six months later, Kansas City voters approved all seven parts of a $102 million bond issue, the largest part of which had been the $43 million twin-stadium proposal.
Hunt’s enthusiasm had been crucial, in contrast to the lack of commitment shown by Charles O. Finley, owner of the baseball Athletics, according to a Star editorial.
“And finally, here was Lamar Hunt offering a long and generous lease on behalf of the Chiefs, while Charles O. Finley persistently declined to comment on the A’s intentions toward a new stadium…” the Star insisted.
What is now GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium opened in 1972, with Royals Stadium being completed the following spring.
In 2006 Jackson County voters approved a sales tax initiative for renovations at both stadiums. But a measure that would have funded a rolling roof failed by about 4,000 votes, despite a public commitment by the NFL commissioner that — if voters approved the roof — Kansas City would be awarded the 2015 Super Bowl.
“That was the most disappointed I’d ever seen Lamar,” said [former Chiefs public relations director and current team historian] Bob Moore.
But Hunt would be pleased by the crowds at this week’s NFL draft, he added.
“Today the draft has become the NFL’s second biggest event after the Super Bowl,” Moore said.
“He’d be over the moon.”
Around the NFL
Jacksonville Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson will be suspended to start the 2023 season for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday morning.
The amount of games Robinson will be suspended is not yet known.
Robinson, 27, is entering his seventh season — all as a starter for the Jaguars.
Ahead of the 2022 season, Robinson signed a three-year, $34.25 million extension with Jacksonville. During the team’s AFC South-winning run last year, Robinson started 14 games but missed the final five (including playoffs) with a knee injury.
The Washington Commanders won’t pick up the fifth-year option on defensive end Chase Young, making him a possible free agent after this season, multiple sources confirmed.
The move isn’t a surprise considering Washington coach Ron Rivera had said last week that they would announce a decision at the May 2 deadline. Rivera had been noncommittal about Young’s option all offseason. There was no hesitation, for example, when picking up fellow defensive end Montez Sweat’s fifth-year option last spring.
The decision to not pick up Young’s option also leaves Washington with two possible free agent defensive ends next offseason. The Commanders would like to work out an extension with Sweat, one team source said, but if they don’t, he and Young could be free agents after the 2023 season.
Rivera has said they want to gauge Young’s health coming off his 2021 knee injury, and his commitment. Young had not always worked out in Washington during past offseasons. In late January, Rivera mentioned that not picking up the fifth year could perhaps motivate Young, leading to a big season.
In myriad ways, this draft is Houston heavy.
The Texans are one of four NFL teams with two first-round picks this season, and one of two (along with the Detroit Lions) to have multiple opening-round selections for the second year in a row.
Those two first-rounders are two of the Texans’ 12 draft choices going into opening night of the draft, which is tied for the most picks with the Raiders. Houston currently houses five selections in the top 75 (more accurately top 73) with pick Nos. 2 (first round), 12 (first), 33 (second), 65 (third) and 73 (third).
Beyond moving on from the annual waiting period in which the Packers have been forced to sell Rodgers on returning, Gutekunst expressed enthusiasm regarding being freed from the burden of carrying Rodgers’ massive salary cap hit in 2024. His departure essentially restores the Packers’ financial ability to improve their roster instead of concentrating so much of their cap on one player.
“I think we’re very excited about that,” Gutekunst said. “You always want to have as many avenues to help your football team as you can, and I think over the past three years or so, as we’ve kind of pushed things down the road to help team chase a championship, at some point you’ve kinda got to kind of figure that out, and this will help us do that. It’s not everything, it’s not like we’re getting clear of everything, but it’ll certainly help us next year. But we’re excited to kind of move past this particular piece, and have some assets for next year.”
Their split wasn’t filled with animosity, in part because both sides felt satisfied by this week’s trade. New York landed its quarterback, Rodgers was granted his freedom, and the Packers received a handful of assets that will allow them to improve and hopefully jump-start the Jordan Love era. Gutekunst acknowledged that whenever Rodgers returns to be inducted into the team’s hall of fame, he’ll be welcomed with open arms. But now, the focus is on 2023, and the first steps taken without Rodgers on the roster.
“We have so much appreciation for the 18 years and what Aaron did for this organization, his commitment to this place and so much success here,” Gutekunst said. “There’s always a little bittersweetness there, as far as that goes, but at the same time we’re really excited for what this team can do moving forward. Excited for Jordan and his growth ... he’s very energized and ready to go.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Caleb James: Sam LaPorta, tight end, Iowa
In what is perhaps the most loaded tight end class of all time, LaPorta is the cream of the crop. At 6’3” and 245 lbs., he is slightly undersized but makes up for it with explosion and a vicious running style. A yard-after-catch monster, LaPorta dominated with the ball in his hands despite playing in one of the worst offenses in college football. He also has the underrated ability to go up and make contested catches in space using his 35” vertical. He will bring natural versatility to the position, lining up as an “X” receiver, an on-ball “Y” tight end and an H-Back.
A tweet to make you think
Looking at the Chiefs roster, I’m counting 33 players as roster locks and 9 more who I consider more likely than not to make the team. Position group that needs the most bodies? Easily the EDGE/DL room.— Jared Sapp (@TrumanChief) April 27, 2023