What Should the World Champs Do With Pick No. 31?
The Kansas City Chiefs fought through a ton of adversity in the regular season in order to secure their second Super Bowl title in four seasons. They battled until the final whistle beating the Eagles 38-35 to claim their title. The Chiefs’ front office now heads into the offseason determined to upgrade this roster.
One way the Chiefs can improve before kickoff next September is by making the right choice in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft. With that being said, here are three of the most likely draft targets for Kansas City with the No. 31 overall pick.
1. Antonio Johnson, S (Texas A&M)
It’s likely that the Chiefs are going to attempt to bring back veteran safety Juan Thornhill during free agency this offseason. However, drafting Antonio Johnson could be another way to go if that doesn’t work out. The Chiefs needs someone capable of shutting down receivers over the middle of the field. Johnson broke up 7 passes in 27 career games to go along with 1 interception and 14 tackles for a loss. He has showcased exceptional play recognition skills and the range to make plays on the football as a split zone safety. Keep in mind the Chiefs gave up the most TD passes against opposing offenses in the NFL in 2022. Drafting Johnson could be the first step in changing that.
2. Isaiah Foskey, EDGE (Notre Dame)
If it’s not clear by now, the Chiefs are in the perfect position to select a top-tier defensive lineman at their range like they did George Karlaftis. It simply comes down to the front office’s preference. Isaiah Foskey came alive for the Fighting Irish during his final two college seasons, racking up 96 tackles (23.0 for loss) and 20.5 sacks in 25 games. That is exactly the kind of player a Chiefs defense who needs in an edge rusher — he has a quick first step, strong hands, natural bend and he sets the edge against the run. He’s also got some upside on the special teams with two blocked punts including one for a touchdown. Foskey fits the mold of what Steve Spagnuolo and Joe Cullen seem to like at the position and he could contribute to the team’s success right away.
3. Calijah Kancey, DT (Pittsburgh)
If you had to trace the Chiefs’ struggles to one specific aspect of the game, it would be rushing the quarterback consistently from the interior helping out Chris Jones. This draft class is packed with pass-rushing talent from the interior, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Chiefs pass up a chance to upgrade their defensive line despite having the 4th most sacks in 2022. Calijah Kancey is a name to keep an eye on as he posted a ridiculous 91 tackles (34.5 for loss) and 16.0 sacks across three college seasons. Kancey is someone capable of making life tough for opposing QBs and he’s also a weight room beast and has potential to grow even stronger at the professional level. The Chiefs should do whatever it takes to bring him to Kansas City.