The Kansas City Chiefs are building a football kingdom after winning two Super Bowls in four years. Yet they’re not impervious to roster fluctuation, making the pursuit of another title more challenging. Here are Kansas City’s three biggest concerns before the draft.
1. Re-charging at WR
In 2022, Kansas City traded Pro Bowl WR Tyreek Hill to Miami but didn’t suffer a setback thanks to JuJu Smith-Schuster taking charge as the No. 1 WR. In 16 games, he had 78 receptions for 933 yards and three TDs.
The Chiefs may not have that luxury this season, however. Smith-Schuster signed a three-year deal with the Patriots. Also, Mecole Hardman — third on the team in receiving TDs (four in eight games) — signed a one-year deal with the Jets.
Since they lost key contributors, drafting a WR should be a priority. The Chiefs could target Oklahoma’s Marvin Mims Jr. He’s similar to Hill since he’s a small wideout (5-foot-11) with fantastic speed (4.38 40-yard dash). He could be a steal, too. The Draft Network graded him as a third-round value.
2. Addressing LT
QB Patrick Mahomes, a two-time league MVP, is the Chiefs’ centerpiece, so protecting him is paramount. Since Kansas City lost its starting OTs in free agency, that task will become more difficult.
Orlando Brown Jr., a four-time Pro Bowler, signed a four-year deal with the Bengals. Andrew Wylie signed a three-year contract with the Commanders.
Even though the Chiefs signed RT Jawaan Taylor to a four-year deal, they still have to plug the LT hole.
Per Tankathon, Kansas City will pick Oklahoma’s Anton Harrison, a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2022. According to ESPN Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr., the 6-foot-4, 315-pound lineman started 24 games at LT, only allowing one sack.
3. Adding depth to the pass-rush
The Chiefs released DE Frank Clark, who’s third all-time in postseason sacks (13.5), to save cap space. It’s a considerable departure because his clutch play in the playoffs helped them win two Super Bowls and make five consecutive AFC Championship appearances.
DE George Karaliftis showed promise during his rookie season, recording six sacks in 17 games, but adding depth would help maintain a fierce pass-rush and offset the loss of Clark.
The Chiefs could look into USC’s Tuli Tuipulotu. In 2022, he was a First-Team All-American and led the FBS in sacks with 13.5 in 14 games. Plus, he has some versatility due to his ability to line up on the interior of the D-line or the edge.
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