Mock draft season is fully upon us, and every Monday leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft our Brendan Dzwierzynski will round up NFL mock drafts from around the internet and let you know who the experts, analysts and fans think the Kansas City Chiefs will select this year.
The 2023 NFL draft will take over downtown Kansas City in just 17 days, and there still isn’t much clarity regarding exactly what the Chiefs will do with their first pick, currently slotted with No. 31 overall. We know what their needs are, ranging from offensive tackle to EDGE to pass catcher, in some order and including others, but the order in which they’ll attack those needs is up in the air.
This week’s mock drafts from around the football internet back up the idea that nothing is set in stone, which also makes things far more exciting leading up to Thursday.
Let’s dive in and see which direction the experts, analysts and blog boys are sending the Chiefs this week.
Sam Monson, Pro Football Focus
Round 1, Pick 23 (trade): Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
This pick mirrors one we made in last week’s Mock Draft Monday, at least in terms of where the Chiefs would jump to and who they’d take. PFF always knows its stuff and is never wrong, I’ve said this many times. Wright makes plenty of sense if Kansas City feels like it needs to find a long-term right tackle option as soon as possible. He has the size and athletic profile teams clamor for, he naturally fits in at a position of need and the Chiefs’ coaching staff should be able to work out any kinks in his technique that may stand out on tape. Brett Veach has no problem being aggressive with trades up in the draft order, so this would be a sensible selection.
Jesse Newell, Kansas City Star
Round 1, Pick 31: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
Round 2, Pick 63: Derick Hall, EDGE, Auburn
Round 3, Pick 95: Blake Freeland, OT, BYU
Round 4, Pick 122: Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane
Round 4, Pick 134: Colby Wooden, IDL, Auburn
Round 5, Pick 166: Viliami Fehoko, EDGE, San Jose State
Round 6, Pick 178: Carter Warren, OT, Pitt
Round 6, Pick 217: Keaton Mitchell, RB, East Carolina
Round 7, Pick 249: Max Duggan, QB, TCU
Round 7, Pick 250: Hunter Luepke, FB, North Dakota State
Our policy remains that we won’t break this down too far, because anyone willing to do a seven-round mock deserves full attention for their work and a page view at the very least. In short, this mock draft is a unique approach to addressing the Chiefs’ positional needs and depth, and I don’t dislike it for that. While I wouldn’t complain at all about adding Flowers in the first round, there’s some scuttlebutt that some teams with earlier picks may have him high on their draft boards. My favorite pick is draft darling Spears in the fourth round.
Nick Baumgardner, The Athletic
Round 1, Pick 31: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
Round 2, Pick 63: Derick Hall, EDGE, Auburn
Round 3, Pick 95: Trey Palmer, WR, Nebraska
Kansas City’s three biggest needs are all taken care of with their first three picks in this mock draft. If you make your own mock drafts using a service like the NFL Mock Draft Database or PFF, you’ve likely seen Harrison available at No. 31 frequently. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler ranks Harrison as the fourth-best tackle in this year’s class, which sounds about right, and it would be a safe if not especially spectacular pick for the Chiefs. This is also the second mock draft in a row with Derick Hall in the second round, though I wonder if he’s a little small for the Chiefs’ liking. As for Palmer, we all know how much the Chiefs love speedy receivers, and it doesn’t get much faster than the guy who ran the best 40-yard dash at the combine (among wide receivers).
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports
Round 1, Pick 31: Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
We overuse phrases like “freak” and “beast” far too much when discussing prospects or athletes in general. But for a guy like Darnell Washington, they’re actually apt. His measurables are absurd, standing 6-foot-6 and 264 pounds with speed that’s as close to “game breaking” as you can get for a tight end. Washington is far from a finished product, but the sky’s the limit for him as both a blocker and a pass catcher. A secondary threat at tight end likely lands somewhere on the middle of the spectrum between luxury and need for the Chiefs, and expectations for immediate returns would have to be tempered, but if Kansas City wanted to add high-ceiling talent this year then Washington will be on its radar.
Thor Nystrom, FantasyPros
Round 1, Pick 31: Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State
Round 2, Pick 63: Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma
Will McDonald appears to be a polarizing prospect in the mock draft world this year. There’s no arguing with his college production, which includes Iowa State’s all-time sack record and three first-team All-Big 12 honors. Some analysts like him as a first-round talent (obviously), some see him further down on Day 2. Even more than the Harrison pick above, I’d feel content if not wowed by this pick. It fits a need, but depending on how the board falls you may be able to get a player with similar talent a little bit later. I love Marvin Mims and have throughout his career at Oklahoma, so I’m all in on grabbing him at the end of the second round to finish off the wide receivers room. Nystrom compares him to Santonio Holmes in his mock, and that feels like a player for whom the Chiefs could find a viable role.