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Grading the Chiefs’ pick of edge rusher B.J. Thompson

What do we think of Kansas City’s fifth selection of the 2023 NFL Draft?

NCAA Football: East West Shrine Bowl Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs have made a selection in Round 5!

With the 166th overall pick in the fourth round, the Chiefs Stephen F. Austin EDGE BJ Thompson. We have insta-grades from three members of the Arrowhead Pride Draft Team.

Ron: I’m a fan of the Chiefs going out of the box to further address the edge-rushing position, taking a speed-rush threat that can put a lot of fear into offensive tackles getting into their pass sets.

He is going to struggle to add weight with his slender frame, even though he needs to improve his play strength. He may not be able to contribute to the Week 1 active roster because of that, but he has a calling card that the rest of the edge-rushing unit doesn’t. I like the swing.

Grade: B

Caleb: Thompson is going to bring a ton of athletic ability to the edge position, but given his size, he can also add mass to play a more traditional defensive end. He has a good first step off the line of scrimmage and uses his long arms and flexibility to bend the arc. This is the first speed rusher that the Chiefs have had in a long time and one of the first pure speed players that Steve Spagnuolo has coached.

He will need to continue to improve functional strength, so a year in the weight room might not be a bad idea. He must also improve his pad level and general technique when it comes to run-stopping. Being around a coach like Joe Cullen should help him progress as a player, and with his ability to bend the arc, he has immense amounts of potential.

Grade: B+

Jared: Thompson may be a reaction to seeing James Houston IV have 8.0 sacks as a rookie for the Detroit Lions after visiting the Chiefs on a top-30 visit last year. He likely also speaks to defensive line coach Joe Cullen gaining more influence on the roster.

If he can maintain his Shrine Bowl weight, he should have a chance to stay in the league as a situational pass rusher. He also has decent special teams potential after blocking an extra point and a punt in the same game early in his career when he was at Baylor. It is really hard to project his fit in Kansas City because the Chiefs have not rostered a player like Thompson in recent memory. Being a 24-year-old rookie, time is also not on his side to develop and carve out a role.

Grade: B


What’s your grade for the Chiefs’ 166th overall selection?

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  • 15%
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