The final mock draft before the 2023 Draft starts.
Finally, Draft Week is here folks. The 2023 NFL Draft is in the home of the defending Pro Football Champs of the World, the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs have made a few moves by signing OT Jawaan Taylor, DL Charles Omenihu, LB Drue Tranquill, WR Richie James and DB Mike Edwards. They’ve also retained a few pieces from last season’s championship roster like QB Shane Buechele, WR Justin Watson, TE Jody Fortson, OT Prince Tega Wanogho, and P Tommy Townsend.
They still have quite a few spots on the 90-man off-season roster and they could use starters at a number of different positions like the Offensive Tackle position rather right or left, DE, DT, Third down RB, and WR. At first, I created a mock draft with the Chiefs trading for Cardinals All-Pro WR Deandre Hopkins.
A lot has changed since then and during that period, the Chiefs have had top 30 pre-draft visits and it appears that the Chiefs have met the top 5 offensive tackles in the 2023 Draft (Broderick Jones, Anton Harrison, and Darnell Wright). It was also said by Albert Breer that the team is looking to move up on Draft Day.
Hyatt and Smith are more so names to watch at 31.
— The GOAT House (@GoatHouseNFL) April 24, 2023
Below are my selections based on the positions of need for the Chiefs, the talent in this year’s draft class, and how prospects fit within the team’s schemes. I love using that Pro Football Focus mock draft simulator. It helps to decide each team’s needs while accounting for the unpredictability that usually happens every year in the draft.
With that begin said, here is my final mock draft that includes a surprising trade-up into the Top 15.
Round 1 (No. 14 Trade with the Patriots): Broderick Jones, LT, Georgia
— Chiefs Kingdom (@ChiefsFan4Lyfe) April 19, 2023
Yes, I believe that the Chiefs have truly found their left tackle of the future in Georgia LT Broderick Jones. It started with his formal meeting with the team at the NFL Scouting Combine in March, His Pro Day, and Finally, his Top-30 visit. To me, that was the writing on the wall. So the Chiefs send their No. 31, No. 134 (R4), and a 2024 Round 1 selection to secure the man they believe handles the responsibility of protecting the blindside of Patrick Mahomes. Broderick Jones is listed as 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds. A mountain of a man, Jones used his size in college to regularly frustrate opposing matchups on the line. Jones has all the makings of an O-line building block. His size should help him contribute right away at the next level while his athleticism allows him to get out to the second level in run blocking, which only boosts his value. Jones didn’t give up a single sack in 933 snaps. Jones played a crucial role on an offense that averaged 502.9 yards per game (No. 6 in NCAA) and helped head coach Kirby Smart’s team win back-to-back titles. He excelled as a reliable left tackle. Patrick Mahomes has his protector on the blindside for the next five seasons in Jones.
I honestly thought I'd like Broderick Jones' tape more, but you can see the upside. Limited career snaps, will improve with more, very athletic for size and I actually think there are better scheme fits for him than UGA's. I see upside in an outsize zone scheme. Great in space. pic.twitter.com/8fm3ZcpZUZ
— The GOAT House (@GoatHouseNFL) April 9, 2023
Round 2 (No. 63): Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 31, 2023
The Chiefs selecting the Notre Dame pass rusher would be a steal. Foskey is a physical force at 6-foot-5 and 264 pounds. His play style is best described as violent, with the defender utilizing active hands to regularly beat opposing offensive linemen. Foskey’s ability to read plays exceptionally well and tackle with authority led to plenty of stops in the backfield at Notre Dame. Foskey ended his college career on a tear. Foskey set career highs in TFL (9.5) and sacks (10.0) as a junior before beating those numbers again in 2022, racking up 13.5 TFL and 10.5 sacks for the Fighting Irish. The EDGE also forced 7 fumbles from 2021-22, including 6 alone as a junior. Though Foskey’s size is a major advantage, he needs to learn how to harness his power without getting off balance. He can be reliant on his first move to make plays, which causes him to be neutralized if that fails. Joe Cullen has a history of working with players of this caliber like Matthew Judon, Terrell Suggs, ZaDarius Smith, and Foskey would be the perfect duo mate opposing George Karlaftis.
Round 3 (No. 95): Moro Ojomo, DT, Texas
.@TexasFootball has three senior IDL and right now the one carrying highest grade from NFL scouts is #98 Moro Ojomo. Great rep here showing range down LOS and hand strength to shed block for TFL. @MoroOjomo was very active last week vs. Alabama. 🧵2/3#TheDraftStartsInMOBILE™️ pic.twitter.com/4JObuJJxQM
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) September 14, 2022
Moro Ojomo has been a consistent presence on Texas’ defensive line over the last four years, punishing defender who finished the 2022 campaign with new career highs in total tackles (32), tackles for a loss (5.5), and sacks (3.0) in his last year at Texas. Scouts love how effective Ojomo is with his hands and able to get by blockers with one of his many moves. He also has decent enough speed that he can join the pass rush when needed. That’s not even to mention how strong he is, rarely losing one-on-one battles, giving him a reputation for staying on his feet. That’s the type of player that opens up Chris Jones on the interior to rush the passer. Although he’s solid at the things he does right, he isn’t as versatile as other interior lineman prospects in the draft. If he can work on his pass-rush skills and figure out how to move more fluidly, he is going to be a valuable contributor one day. The Chiefs would use Ojomo in a limited role behind the likes of Jones and Nnadi until they’re confident that he’s ready for a bigger role.
Round 4 (No. 122) Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion
2023 TE Athleticism Score Leaderboard 📋@ODUFootball's Zack Kuntz led the position with a 94 athleticism score, setting combine records for tight ends of his height (6'7"+, since 2003):
🔹 40-Yard Dash: 4.55 (1st)
🔹 Broad Jump: 10'8" (1st)
🔹 Vertical Jump: 40" (1st) pic.twitter.com/dCYhT0kjWQ
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) March 5, 2023
Sticking with one of my original picks from the last mock draft. Once again, there is no way Travis Kelce will be unseated as the Chiefs’ No. 1 tight end anytime soon, but the team would benefit from adding a quality backup behind him who can potentially replace him in the future when Canton comes calling for 87. Old Dominion’s Zack Kuntz is a freak athlete (#1 athletic TE in the 2023 class via Next Gen Stats) and proved that by running a 4.55 40-yard dash and posting a 40-inch vertical jump at the combine. The film shows he has the ability to catch the football and create yards after the catch. He reminds me a lot of Jimmy Graham. Graham played under Matt Nagy when he was the coach of the Bears. Kuntz is a capable blocker and could be used as a rotational piece to sub in when Kelce needs a break. Drafting Kuntz alongside Kelce and mentoring him would benefit the Chiefs in the long run.
Round 5 (No. 166) Bryce Ford-Wheaton, WR, West Virginia
BRYCE-FORD WHEATON CATCHES BETWEEN FOUR PITT DEFENDERS pic.twitter.com/jvwi1TejCV
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 2, 2022
Going with one of my Diamond in the Rough guys. Bryce Ford-Wheaton might not be the instant-impact receiver a contender like the Chiefs is looking for, but you can’t ignore his ceiling. There just aren’t many 6-foot-4 WRs who can run a 4.38-second 40-yard dash or nail a 41-inch vertical jump. He’s not a very polished route runner (he’d be a top-10 lock if he were), so he’s likely to come off the board in the late third or early fourth round. That puts him right in the Chiefs’ range at No. 95 or No. 122, and his rare size-speed combo could make him an excellent JuJu Smith-Schuster replacement. Ford-Wheaton reminds me of DK Metcalf with his ability to win vertically with speed and strength with the ability to get off the line of scrimmage would be a major asset in Andy Reid’s offense.
Round 6 (No. 178) Jason Taylor II, Safety, Oklahoma State
JASON TAYLOR II IS HIM. pic.twitter.com/jLxmxxpTWu
— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) October 22, 2022
I would love this pick. Either Taylor II or Ronnie Hillman from Ohio State. I would still love to have Jordan Battle from Alabama but he would gone on Day 2. Another Top-30 player that the Chiefs like. Taylor is a ballhawk from Oklahoma State. A guy that I kept selecting in my PFF mocks. He has the NFL safety frame and is a powerful tackler who can stop rushers and pass-catchers in their tracks. Though his speed and agility are below average, he’s highly instinctive and possesses the skills to make plays on the ball as a deep safety. Steve Spagnuolo will find away to put the ballhawk safety in the position to succeed, even as a backup, he brings four-phase special teams talent to the table immediately which is music to Dave Toub’s ears.
Round 6 (No. 217) Hunter Luepke, FB, North Dakota State
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) October 1, 2022
Another player from my original mock draft. The Chiefs lost fullback, Michael Burton, to the rival, Denver Broncos. That’s fine, we get a Kyle Juszczyk clone in North Dakota State’s Hunter Luepke. Luepke is more of an H-back. He can line up all over the field and should be able to fit into any scheme because of his versatility. Chiefs fans watched Kyle Juszczyk give their defense trouble in Super Bowl LIV. Luepke has the potential to be that type of player in the Chiefs’ offense. The 49ers line Juszczyk up all over the place and use him as a pass-catcher and slip him out in the passing game. Luepke would be the type of player that does the little things.
Round 7 (No. 249) Deneric Prince, HB, Tulsa
RB Athleticism Score Leaders 📋
*Excludes bench press pic.twitter.com/0uAGIjeDxs
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) March 6, 2023
The Chiefs get another Isiah Pacheco-like pick at running back. This time, it’s Tulsa’s Deneric Prince who graded out as the #1 athletic running back in the 2023 Draft class according to Next Gen Stats. Prince has the size and athletic tools to be an NFL starter, but he needs to find consistency in his vision and improve his pass-catching skills in order to meet his potential. Prince is 6’0″ and 216 pounds and has a thick frame that can handle an NFL workload. He is a tough downhill runner who plays with decent play strength and, better yet, impressive balance to stay on his feet while taking hits. Prince has the open-field and top speed (4.41 40-time) to make good on those chances, too. Prince’s burst and acceleration to and through the second level are quite good, especially for a back his size. The Chiefs would have two big and fastbacks in Pacheco and Prince. Also making this selection with the chance of us bringing back Jerick McKinnon.
Tulsa’s Deneric Prince showcasing some of that 4.41 speed as he eliminates tackle angles on his way to an 84-yard TD run.
The Texas A&M transfer has a similar height-weight-speed-production profile to that of Isiah Pacheco. Sleeper in the 2023 NFL Draft class pic.twitter.com/rRb0B5eCYF
— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) March 19, 2023
Round 7 (No. 250) Myles Brooks, CB, Louisiana Tech
— Conference USA (@ConferenceUSA) October 9, 2022
I am becoming a fan of another LA Tech player Myles Brooks. Myles Brooks would be a project. The 22-year-old used his length to disrupt pass attempts and posted 9 pass breakups to go along with 3 interceptions for the Bulldogs in 2022. However, some experts and scouts think his lack of the technical skills of an NFL-level corner could make him go undrafted. The good news is that the Chiefs have experience bringing the best out of their players and Brooks’ raw potential alone makes him well worth the risk here. His ability to step up in rush defense or cover a receiver deep down the field would make him a perfect fit in Kansas City with another LA Tech alum in L’Jarius Sneed. Brooks would be a better version of Jaylen Watson with a nastier playing style.
Follow Chiefs Fan 4 Life on Twitter @ChiefsFan4Lyfe. Check out my articles, including 3 players the Chiefs should move up for in the 2nd round, the 3 players the Chiefs should consider moving up for if it’s not Anton Harrison or Dawand Jones, and Myles Brooks being one of the 3 corners that Chiefs should consider.