The Kansas City Chiefs are the reigning Super Bowl champions and they lifted the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in four years in part because of their outstanding draft track record. With the 2023 NFL Draft approaching, it’s time for a Chiefs mock draft.
Kansas City has to be very pleased with the results from its 2022 draft class. Trent McDuffie emerged as one of the best, young cornerbacks in the NFL and edge rusher George Karlaftis III really came into his own late in the year. While they are the headliners, Skyy Moore and Leo Chanal should also be impact players next season.
Related: 2023 NFL mock draft
When factoring in the NFL salary cap, it becomes more difficult to maintain a dynasty when you have one of the highest-paid NFL quarterbacks. However, the Chiefs’ front office has demonstrated that it knows how to build through the NFL Draft and it will be just as important to do so now.
Before diving into our Chiefs mock draft, here’s a rundown of their needs and draft picks.
Kansas City Chiefs draft picks 2023
Here are the Chiefs draft picks in the 2023 NFL Draft.
- Round 1: 31st overall
- Round 2: 63rd overall
- Round 3: 95th overall
- Round 4: 122nd overall
- Round 4: 134th overall
- Round 5: 166th overall
- Round 6: 178th overall
- Round 6: 217th overall
- Round 7: 249th overall
- Round 7: 250th overall
Related: 2023 NFL Draft rumors
Kansas City Chiefs draft needs 2023
Here are the Chiefs’ current draft needs before the 2023 NFL Draft.
Related: 2023 NFL Draft order
Kansas City Chiefs mock draft
First round, 31st overall: Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State
Iowa State edge rusher Will McDonald is one of the fastest risers from the pre-draft process. Standing at 6-foot-4, the Wisconsin native didn’t provide elite production for the Cyclones’ defense. However, he offers tantalizing potential that will push him into the first round.
Length, wingspan and athleticism are some of the biggest factors pushing McDonald up draft boards. He is incredibly explosive for his size and there’s a level of body flexibility that enables him to be extremely effective bending around the corner. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein compares McDonald to Randy Gregory, capturing the type of pass rusher that he could become.
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Because McDonald lacks NFL-caliber play strength and how he positions his body remains a work in progress, he will start out his career as a pass-rushing specialist. With Frank Clark gone, McDonald can be the player who helps strengthen a unit that posted the fifth-best pressure rate (24.9%) in the NFL last season. If McDonald reaches his ceiling, he’ll make a Pro Bowl in his career.
Second round, 63rd overall: Sam LaPorta, tight end, Iowa
While there might be more pressing Chiefs draft needs to address in Round 2, this might be an opportunity Kansas City can’t pass on. Travis Kelce will be 34 years old in October and there will come a time when either he retires or there is a steep drop in his effectiveness. The Chiefs need to prepare for that now and there are a lot of benefits to using 2TE sets.
Related: 2023 NFL Draft tight end rankings
Sam LaPorta was stuck on one of the worst offenses in college football over the last two seasons, but he still managed consecutive years with 600-plus receiving yards and 50-plus receptions. He also comes from an Iowa Hawkeyes program that has sent T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant and George Kittle to the NFL.
Standing at 6-foot-3, LaPorta is an outstanding athlete with a Relative Athletic Score (9.27) that compares to Kittle and Evan Engram. There’s enough potential for him as a run blocker to be a standard in-line tight end, but his bigger impact comes with the ability to create yards after the catch. He could learn from Kelce and function as a high-end No.2. tight end in Kansas City.
Third round, 95th overall: Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
After losing Juan Thornhill to the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City’s need to add depth at safety became even more pressing. While there aren’t a lot of high-end options in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft, Day 2 will offer the Chiefs several opportunities to take a swing.
Jordan Battle is exactly what the Chiefs need. The 6-foot-1 safety received phenomenal coaching at Alabama and that is reflected in his football IQ and how well he processes things as they happen. He’s an above-average athlete, allowing him to cover a fair amount of ground. Drawing NFL comparisons to Justin Reid and Adrian Amos, Battle fits as a split safety whose instincts and experience can make him a successful starter in his rookie season.
Fourth round, 122nd overall: Jalen Moreno-Cropper, WR, Fresno State
The 2023 NFL Draft isn’t especially strong at wide receiver, but that just means coaches must get creative with the players available. Jalen Moreno-Cropper is the perfect example of a player who Andy Reid could get the most from.
Related: 2023 NFL Draft wide receiver rankings
A traditional slot receiver, Moreno-Cropper moves well for his size (5-foot-11) and understands how to get open early to create an early option for his quarterback. He’s also an offensive weapon in that the right scheme and play-caller will find ways to use him on gadget plays, with concepts that Kansas City is especially familiar with.
While he’ll likely never be anything more than a No. 3 receiving option, his YAC ability and specialized role would be a welcome addition to the Chiefs’ offense next season and beyond.
Kansas City Chiefs mock draft 2023: 7-round projection
- 1st Round, 31st overall: Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State
- 2nd Round, 63rd overall: Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
- 3rd Round, 95th overall: Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
- 4th Round, 122nd overall: Jalen Moreno-Cooper, WR, Fresno State
- 4th Round, 134th overall: Jakorian Bennett, CB, Maryland
- 5th Round, 166th overall: Moro Ojomo, DL, Texas
- 6th Round, 178th overall: Aidan O’Connell, QB, Purdue
- 6th Round, 217th overall: Cameron Brown, CB, Ohio State
- 7th Round, 249th overall: Aubrey Miller Jr., LB, Jackson State
- 7th Round, 250th overall: Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota
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