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Grading the Chiefs’ pick of Kansas State defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah at 31

What do we think of Kansas City’s first pick of the 2023 NFL Draft?

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs have made their first selection!

With the 31st overall pick in the first round, the Chiefs took Kansas State defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah. We have insta-grades from the three members of the Arrowhead Pride Draft Team.

Ron: I love this pick. We have been pumping up the idea of the local prospect being selected by the Chiefs because he’s a great stylistic fit, a high-ceiling prospect and strengthens a position that needed further strengthening.

He has the size and length of a traditional 4-3 defensive end, using sound leverage to set the edge firmly against the run, but he can also fly by an offensive tackle with an effective pass-rush move and body flexibility.

What I love the most about this pick: How high of a ceiling Anudike-Uzomah has, even though he’s already a very sound, solid player. When you look at his physique, you see a body that can still add good weight and get stronger. I believe he can be an immediate contributor, but I also believe the sky is the limit for him.

Grade: A

Caleb: For the second consecutive season, the Chiefs selected a pass rusher at the end of the first round, and Anduike-Uzomah brings developed pass rush moves to the team. Playing as primarily a tight 5-technique and going as far inside as a 3-technique, he played gap-sound football, despite the scheme at Kansas State not highlighting his athletic ability.

In the Chiefs’ defense, he will likely look to play as the weak-side defensive end, playing likely in a seven technique with the capability to drop back in coverage off the ball but also use his bend around the edge. His go-to moves were mainly hand swipes — as well as a long arm.

With a motor that always runs hot, he can also step in immediately and set the edge as a run defender, where he showed the ability to out-leverage opponents and not get washed to the outside. Playing next to Chris Jones will provide him with ample one-on-one opportunities in the passing game. I had him ranked as the fifth-best edge rusher in this class, so the pick at No. 31 feels like a great value.

Grade: A

Rocky: The Chiefs have tried in recent years to put a bandaid over a gushing wound in their defense, first by trading for Melvin Ingram, then by signing Carlos Dunlap late in the offseason. But what they really needed to do was invest multiple high draft picks in players who could legitimately get after the quarterback. And now, after back-to-back years of selecting an edge rusher in the back end of the first round, the Chiefs have compiled what could be their best group of pass rushers since Tamba Hali and Justin Houston were roaming the field in Arrowhead.

Anudike-Uzomah is a legitimate day-one starter at edge who finishes off a four-headed monster on the defensive line that, on third down, will be made up of George Karlaftis, Chris Jones, Charles Omenihu and now Anudike-Uzomah.

But let’s be honest. Starting at pick 20, the board could have fallen worse for the Chiefs. There was a run on wide receivers, and Nolan Smith was heartbreakingly taken one choice before the Chiefs by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Chiefs were left with a bunch of players who all fall into about the same tier of player, but they took what was probably the best player left on the board at a position of need.

Anudike-Uzomah is a Kansas City boy who grew up watching the Chiefs play, and now he gets his shot to chase a ring with his hometown team.

Grade: B+


What’s your grade of the Chiefs’ No. 92 overall pick,

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