We're into Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft in Kansas City!
31 prospects were selected in Round 1 on Thursday evening — some right where expected, others in surprising spots. As Super Bowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs used the last selection of the first round to select Kansas State defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah. Kansas City holds the 63rd and 95th picks in Friday's second and third rounds.
According to John Dixon's consensus top 100 rankings, the best players still available are Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr., Alabama safety Brian Branch, Kentucky quarterback Will Levis and Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer.
None of those prospects represent true positions of need in Kansas City. So let's highlight the best prospects at the positions the Chiefs do need — and identify the best fit for each one.
- 45. Joshua Downs — North Carolina
- 48. Jalin Hyatt — Tennessee
- 59. Cedric Tillman — Tennessee
- 68. Tyler Scott — Cincinnati
- 69. Rashee Rice — SMU
- 71. Marvin Mims — Oklahoma
- 72. Jonathan Mingo — Ole Miss
Analysis: In the short term, the team's wide receiver corps is missing someone capable of playing on the perimeter, winning through physical coverage and consistently making tough catches over the middle and in traffic. In the long term, the Chiefs need a future deep threat to eventually replace Marquez Valdes-Scantling — but at this moment, it's likely they'd prefer to replenish some of the attributes JuJu Smith-Schuster brought to the unit. That eliminates Downs, Hyatt, Scott and Mims.
Best fit: I believe Tillman or Mingo could best complement to Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore — both of whom have abilities in the slot. While these two prospects both have an impressive blend of size and athleticism, Mingo had superior athletic testing — and weighed seven more pounds than Tillman. Rice is also an impressive athlete but doesn't have as much size. Because of his athleticism, Mingo would be the best fit.
- 50. Cody Mauch — North Dakota State
- 58. Dawand Jones — Ohio State
- 63. Matthew Bergeron — Syracuse
- 80. Blake Freeland — BYU
- 91. Jaelyn Duncan — Maryland
Analysis: Now that the Chiefs have missed out on the top tier of offensive tackles, it's hard to imagine that they would now select a player capable of immediately starting at left tackle. This means we can pretty much lock Jawaan Taylor into the left side for 2023. Kansas City needs a right tackle — or a left tackle the team can develop.
Best fit: Both Mauch and Freeland need improvement in their pass blocking, which should eliminate them from consideration here. Bergeron is a solid offensive player, but his stout frame might not be what the Chiefs are seeking in a tackle. Jones has the length and frame that head coach Andy Reid typically values — and he plays on the right. So Jones would be the ideal fit — but if he isn't available, Duncan's intriguing footwork could be refined over time; he could become a quality starter.
- 62. Keeanu Benton — Wisconsin
- 73. Gervon Dexter — Florida
- 74. Siaki Ika — Baylor
- 79. Zacch Pickens — South Carolina
Analysis: In general, Kansas City can use bodies on the interior of the defensive line — whether they're primarily A-gap or B-gap players. But the starting lineup could use an upgrade at nose tackle next to star defensive tackle Chris Jones.
Best fit: While all of these players can fill that role, Benton probably makes the most sense — although at 6 feet 6 and 310 pounds, Dexter has tantalizing athleticism for his size. While he hasn't yet put it all together, Dexter does have the size that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo typically covets. So does Benton — although he may not have the same athletic ceiling that Dexter does. In the end, Benton's superior length makes him the best fit.
Skill-position prospects to watch
- 61. Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta
- 70. Tulane running back Tyjae Spears
- 75. Texas A&M running back Devon Achane
- 83. South Dakota State tight end Tucker Kraft
- 89. Texas running back Roschon Johnson
Analysis: If the Chiefs don't like how their board lines up for their positions of need at 63 or 95, the Chiefs could consider taking the best player available — which could mean adding another offensive weapon.
Best fit: Kansas City could absolutely consider a tight end, hoping to improve the room's second or third spots over the short term. But they could also use a running back who can help on passing downs. Tulsne's Spears has impressive playmaking skills as a receiver — and is also an effective blocker. Spears would be the best fit among Day 2's skill-position options.