The 2023 NFL Draft reportedly drew over 300,000 fans to Kansas City, as supporters of every team descended on Missouri’s largest city to see which hotshot prospects would join their franchise. This is the second year running that the NFL Draft has cracked the 300,000 mark, and that mark is nearly double the attendance from the 2021 draft in Cleveland.
“The sights and smells of the Kansas City Draft will forever be remembered by the fans in attendance, but also by those of us in the league office who are so thankful to the members of the local community for their hard work and hospitality.
“The success of the 2023 Draft was a testament to the collaboration and cooperation of thousands of people, led by the Kansas City Chiefs, Kathy Nelson and the Kansas City Sports Commission, sponsors and local law enforcement officials and organizers. Kansas City took advantage of what has become one of the most-anticipated events of the year and the most-watched sporting event of the week and showcased not only its planning capabilities, but its people and passion.”
Weather was a concern in the days leading up to the event at Union Station and the National WWI Museum and Memorial with Friday seen a day that could disrupt the activities.
“If there were thunderstorms, lightning, how do we evacuate the site?” Nelson said.
But the only time weather came into play was Saturday. Moments after the final player was selected, high winds blew through Kansas City and delayed the start of the Thundercat concert.
1 . Kansas City Chiefs
Draft picks: 7
Previous rank: 1
Last year, the Chiefs traded away an all-time great at wide receiver in Tyreek Hill ... then won the Super Bowl anyway. Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach continued their WR-room rebuild on Friday with the selection of SMU playmaker Rashee Rice. (Quick aside: Could there be a more euphoric feeling for a receiver prospect than getting a call from Patrick Mahomes’ team on draft night?) Rice enters the picture a year after Skyy Moore was taken in the second round and six months after the trade-deadline acquisition of Kadarius Toney. All three players need to make their mark: 103 catches and 1,230 yards went out the door with Mecole Hardman and JuJu Smith-Schuster leaving in free agency
Day 1 grade: B-
Day 2 grade: A-
Day 3 grade: A
Analysis: Felix Anudike-Uzomah has the potential to be a good pass rusher, but the Chiefs might have found better value in other prospects. Rashee Rice could be a real steal as an immediate contributor in the short and intermediate passing games, joining Kadarius Toney, for whom they traded a third-rounder last fall. Wanya Morris will at least be a valuable swing tackle for the next few years.
Kansas City got 2023 fourth- and sixth-round picks from Miami as part of the Tyreek Hill trade. Conner was a very good nickel back/safety pick for the Chiefs, who traded up early in the fourth round. Thompson is a developing edge player with closing speed. Coburn is a low center of gravity nose tackle in the Derrick Nnadi mold and I loved Jones’ play as a senior.
Wide receiver Rashee Rice wore jersey No. 11 at SMU, but he apparently has chosen a new number with the Chiefs. No. 11 is currently taken by Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, so Rice seems to have made a switch to No. 4. In a Twitter post, Rice shared photos of himself in a Chiefs No. 4 jersey and one from his days at Richland High School in Texas. In high school, Rice wore No. 4, so this was a natural pick for his new Chiefs jersey.
Remigio became the first Fresno State player to earn all-conference accolades at two different positions in the same season. This alone proves how he can benefit an NFL team in multiple ways.
Remigio was on the All-Mountain West second team as a receiver and as a punt returner in 2022. He was third in the conference with 74 receptions and six receiving touchdowns as well as fifth with 852 receiving yards.
One of the highlights of his season was the Mountain West Championship as he totaled over 200 all-purpose yards in a win over Boise State. He caught five passes for 68 yards, returned two kicks for 57 yards, and returned three punts for 82 yards including a 70-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter to give his team a lead it would never relinquish.
Around the NFL
Wide receiver John Metchie missed his rookie campaign battling leukemia. He was on the practice field last week for the Texans’ voluntary minicamp, and general manager Nick Caserio said over the weekend that he like’s what he’s seen from the former Alabama wideout.
“He’s making progress,” Caserio said, via the team’s official transcript. “So he was a full participant last week when we got on the field for sort of Phase 2, which is what we did.”
Metchie tore his ACL in the 2021 SEC Championship Game while at Alabama, but the Texans still drafted him in the second round, viewing his upside as worth the gamble. Metchie, however, was diagnosed with leukemia in the offseason.
Hopkins was seen on his Instagram story, saying, “I see everybody telling me to stay. Who said I wanna go? Who said I wanna leave? I’m out here working.”
General Manager Monti Ossenfort was adamant that a Hopkins trade would not happen, saying, “DeAndre is a Cardinal and we are moving forward.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
“I was golfing,” Hall recalled Saturday speaking to Kansas City media, “so my phone was away. I had a moment to check it, and I see a 214 number. I recognize that. I’m a Texas guy — that’s Dallas. Who do I know in Dallas? I’m thinking it’s family. I check my voicemail, and it’s [Chiefs chairman and CEO] Clark Hunt. In a monotone voicemail, he tells me, ‘This is Clark Hunt from the Chiefs. Give me a call back when you have a chance.’
“You know me, this could be really good — or really bad. That’s what I’m thinking. What have I done in the past? Then, I call him back — and it was obviously great news. I go to the tee-box on my next shot — and I’m a pretty good golfer, pretty much down the middle for the most part. I was so excited and fill with so much joy, that tee-shot went so far right I never saw that ball again.
“Amazing moment for me. I was doing what I love — and the team that I love the most called and gave me that great news.”
A tweet to make you think
#Chiefs drafted three players from the @ShrineBowl— Eric Galko (@EricGalko) May 1, 2023
BJ Thompson - FREAK upside EDGE
Keondre Coburn - Impact strong NT
Nic Jones - Physical perimeter CB
3 Rotational rookies that will end up being critical to SB defense.
Also signed SIX PFAs (best UDFA class in the NFL ⏬) pic.twitter.com/95eYLJ9SJh