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Analysis

What are the Chiefs doing???

Scott Clause | USA Today

Plenty of speculation is going on this time of year, and for good reason. The Chiefs have a few holes in their roster (WR, LT, & DB) and this just so happens to be the perfect draft to fill them. Let’s take a look at a few possible scenarios.

Stand Pat

This is probably the least likely of the three options that may actually occur. Given that the value in this draft is from early in the 1st round, the whole 2nd round, and early in the 3rd round, the Chiefs are most likely to trade up to grab a falling WR/LT or trade back to grab a talented Tackle prospect that needs a year to develop. However, if they find themselves in the position below (and no teams are willing to trade with the back-to-back champs) here is what their options may be.

Here, the board leaves us with a few intriguing prospects: WR Ladd McConkey, DB T.J. Tampa, & DT Braden Fiske, all of whom would be perfect fits. We’ll start with my personal choice given the board.

Ladd McConkey WR

Pros: He’s quick with incredible footwork and graduated with a degree in route running at Jerry Rice University

Cons: He’s not very physical throughout his routes, lacks the necessary size to consistently win from the X, and has a smaller catch radius than 81% of WRs.

T.J. Tampa CB

Pros: Has above average size, length, and agility for the position, is a natural playmaker and plays with great anticipation, and excels in both man and zone coverage.

Cons: Doesn’t show the consistency you’d like from a potential 1st round pick, lacks some fluidity in his hips when changing direction, and gets caught being too aggressive and lets up big plays.

Braden Fiske DT

Pros: He’s large and in charge with surprising speed for his size, can play at any of the DT positions (NT, 1 tech, or 3 tech), and has a very high ceiling as both a pass rusher and a run stopper.

Cons: His shorter arm length means he has to be incredibly fast and accurate with his hands, his ability to anchor is sometimes overmatched against opponents, and he lacks some consistency against better opponents.

Trade Up

This is clearly the most fun to think about (especially considering the Chiefs just got some extra draft compensation in 2025 from Tennessee) and honestly, probably the most likely to occur. Elite prospects slide down draft boards all the time and Veach has the capability, willingness, and conviction to act if one of their top guys is falling. Here’s a potential trade up scenario.

There are more than a few options here if the Chiefs decided to move up and get their guy. Let’s take a look at who I believe they would be targeting in a trade up scenario

Brian Thomas Jr. WR (My Personal Choice)

Pros: Above average measurables and agility for both his size and the position, fantastic at tracking and catching throws deep down the field, plays with physicality throughout his routes, and has the potential to be a top 10 WR in the league.

Cons: Lacks some nuance in his route running, needs a few more releases to be able to reach his true potential, and could bulk up a bit to increase his physicality.

Payton Wilson LB

Pros: HYPER athletic with the ability to get sideline to sideline in a heartbeat, great in coverage and against the run, and is a perfect scheme fit as a Will linebacker (which the Chiefs just lost in Willie Gay Jr.).

Cons: Lacks the size to be a heavy hitter, is probably only suited for a Will/SS (against the run) role, and has some serious medical/durability concerns (2 previous ACL tears and a shoulder injury).

Kool-Aid McKinstry CB

Pros: Absolutely cerebral in coverage with 16 batted passes against SEC opponents, he’s extremely physical in press and throughout the route, and has outside/slot versatility (which is incredibly rare amongst CBs with his gifts).

Cons: Sometimes gets abused by quicker/shiftier WRs, lacks some smoothness when flipping his hips, and his consistency in zone coverage could use some work.

Trade Down

Now I know this isn’t everyone’s favorite option but realistically, Veach only has about 15-20 1st round grades on prospects this year, meaning, if there is no one available that they believe can become an elite player at the next level, and another team believes a prospect on the board can, then a trade down scenario is the one that is the most beneficial to the team. Look at this board with the Chiefs drafting at pick 40.

Here, 2 of the prospects we’ve already covered were still available and the Chiefs got an extra 3rd round pick out of the deal. I still believe they would choose McConkey but Jordan Morgan would also be an interesting choice.

Jordan Morgan OT

Pros: He’s VERY athletic with the ability to get out in space in zone blocking scenarios (Reid’s favorite), his knee bend and ability to get leverage raise his ceiling as a run blocker, and his best attribute (by far) is his ability to lock out opposing DEs against the pass.

Cons: He doesn’t meet Veach/Reid’s arm length threshold (by literally 1/8″), lacks experience in a gap run system (something the Chiefs have utilized more as of late), and sometimes wastes movement off the snap.

Conclusion

There are a million different outcomes and scenarios that could happen in the 2024 draft. The Chiefs getting worse isn’t one of the outcomes. No matter what happens, the Chiefs are getting better this upcoming year. Whether they take a WR, OT, LB, or DL, the Chiefs are going to be fine.

1 Comment

1 Comment

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