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Kansas City Chiefs May Scouting Report
The 2023 NFL Draft came and went, and the Kansas City Chiefsended up making 7 selections after trades. I mustadmit there are prospects chosen by GM Brett Veach and the KC war room that, frankly, have me scrambling for information. I take a pretty deep dive pre-draft in evaluating draft eligible college players and at least having a passing knowledge on a good amount of those "unknown" types. After round 3 and the pick of Oklahoma OT Wanya Morris, the Chiefs lost me. Chammari Conner? BJ Thompson?Keondre Coburn? Nic Jones?Heck, at least I got 1 projection right, in a roundabout way. Ihad the Chiefs opting for KahlefHailassie, CB, Western Kentucky in the 5th round. Hailassie went undrafted BUT was signed by Kansas City.
Here's what Mr. Veach and Coach Andy Reid walked away with.
The Chiefs picks:
Round 1Pick 31(31),Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State
Round2Pick 24(55),Rashee Rice, WR,SMU
Round3Pick 29(92),Wanya Morris, OT, Oklahoma
Round4Pick 17(119),Chamarri Conner, CB, Virginia Tech
Round5Pick 31(166),BJ Thompson, EDGE, Stephen F. Austin State
Round6Pick 17(194),Keondre Coburn, DT, Texas
Round7Pick 33(250),Nic Jones, CB, Ball State
Now let's compare my Kansas City draft projections to what really took place in the hometown draft.
ROUND 1. 31 (31)
My projection- Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College.
Flowers went 1.22 (22)TOBALTIMORE.
KC PICK 1.31 (31) WAS FELIX ANUDIKE-UZOMAH, EDGE, KANSAS STATE
It was pretty much a given the Chiefs needed to trade up to secure WR Zay Flowers and that obviously did not take place. As we'll learn later the KC draft crew did have a WR in their sights and made it happen in the 2nd round. Mr. Veach chose to sit at 1.31 and select edge defender Felix Anidike-Uzomah out of the home state university, Kansas State. Nice touch. KC let Frank Clark walk and Anudike-Uzomah comes in to provide youthful energy and more urgent play. He is an aggressive pass-rusher already equipped with an abundance of rush moves. Defensive coach Steve Spagnuolo knows what he needs and the Chiefs scouting bird dogs seem to have a knack for sniffing out outstanding D-line talent. I anticipate the Chiefs' defensive coaches to mix in Anudike-Uzomahsome in the early part of the season then increase his snaps down the stretch, much as they did with last year's rookie DE, George Karlaftis. Karlaftis recorded 5.5 sacks in his final 7 regular season games. Anudike-Uzomah is a ball of razorblades coming after a QB, a non-stop motor type. Run defense? Needs work!
ROUND 2. 32 (63)
My projection- Tuli Tuipulotu, DL, USC.
Tuipulotuwent 2.23 (54) TO LACHARGERS.
KC PICK 2.24 (55) WAS RACHEE RICE, WR, SMU
GM Brett Veach made a key pick at WR in the 2nd round with a call for the services of SMU wideout Rashee Rice. Rice is a better version of the now departed JuJu Smith-Schuster; faster, quicker, expansive route tree and able to create YAC with urgency. Rice, as his name historically might suggest, is a smooth operator through his routes and after the catch. Can fantasy coaches count on Rashee Rice to cook in 2023? That is a tough call at this point as Coach Andy Reid proved he can win a Super Bowl without a go-to WR1 as long asTE Travis Kelce is around and QB Patrick Mahomes is under center. There's a real WRBC (Wide Receiver By Committee) going on in Kansas City, and if it's not broken why would Coach Andy try and fix it. Rice heats up if an injury occurs to any one of Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore or Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Toney has a heavy injury dossier so fanballers should keep Rice on the backburner but cooking on a roster playing the long game.
ROUND 3. 32 (95)
My projection- Anthony Bradford, OL, LSU.
Bradfordwent 4.6 (108) TO SEATTLE.
KC PICK 3.29 (92) WAS WANYA MORRIS, OT, OKLAHOMA
Well, gotta say I'm disappointed with this one, not because of Wanya Morris' talents but that my projected O-lineman, Anthony Bradford, was still on the board. IN any event, this is one of those Coach Reid-Coach Heck influenced selections. Morris has experience at both LT and RT, and right there begins the attraction for the two Andys. Morris is tailor-made for swing tackle duties at the next level and that's exactly how he'll be coached up then utilized. He's one of those talented but needs work and more strength to succeed at the next level - just how Coach Andy Heck likes 'em.
ROUND 4. 20 (122)
My projection- Nick Saldiveri, OL, Old Dominion.
Saldiveriwent 4.1 (103) TO NEW ORLEANS.
KC PICK 4.17 (119) WAS CHAMMARI CONNER, CB, VIRGINIA TECH
Here's a head-scratcher for me. Chammari Conner is a slot-corner or nickelback at best in the NFL. He's average in speed (4.51x40) and not the greatest in coverage versus slick, swift wideouts. KC must be thinking slot-CB or strong safety here, but those spots are already filled by Trent McDuffie (2022 first rounder) and Bryan Cook (2022 second rounder). Conner could make a keen special teams ace but the 4th round is an awful price to pay.
ROUND 4. 32 (134)
My projection- Jonathan Mingo, WR, Ole Miss.
Mingowent 2.8 (39) TO CAROLINA.
KC ENDED WITH NO PICK HERE
ROUND 5. 31 (166)
My projection- KahlefHailassie, CB, Western Kentucky.
Hailassie went undrafted and was signed by KANSAS CITY.
KC PICK 5.31 (166) WAS BJ THOMPSON, EDGE, STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE
BJ Thompson is a project. He's long and lean and lacks refinement. Thompson was a 5th-year senior in 2022 at Baylor where he produced 4 sacks and 5 TFL. He's pretty good chasing down RB with the ball but must pack on quality pounds to make an impact as a pro.
ROUND 6. 1 (178)
My projection- Scott Matlock, DL, Boise State.
Scott went 6.23 (200) TO LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
KC PICK 6.17 (194) WAS KEONDRE COBURN, DT, TEXAS
Keondre Coburn is a wide-bodied, stout space-eater in the middle of a defensive front. Pure 1-technique. Comes with loads of game experience having started 45 games at Texas. Coburn is a wider version of current starting DT Derrick Nnadi. At best Coburn becomes a 2-down plugger in the middle.
ROUND 6. 40 (217)
My projection- Jose Ramirez, EDGE, Eastern Michigan.
Ramirezwent 6.19 (196) TO TAMPA BAY.
KC ENDED WITH NO PICK HERE
ROUND 6. 42 (219
My projection- XazavianValladay, RB, Arizona State.
Valladay went undrafted and signed on with HOUSTON.
KC ENDED WITH NO PICK HERE
ROUND 7. 32 (249)
My projection- Derek Parish, EDGE/FB, Houston.
Parishwent7.23 (240) TO JACKSONVILLE.
KC PICK 7.33 WAS NIC JONES, CB, BALL STATE
Nic Jones ran a okay-I-guess 4.51-forty at the Combine. Jones is another head-scratcher for me in this draft. He comes with a 'ball hawk' rep but produced just 3 INTs in 4 years and 49 games at Ball State. He gives up a lot of space to the wideout and projects best as a zone CB. Nic Jones? Again, not sure where the attraction is there and how he fits into the Chiefs current secondary.
ROUND 7. 33 (250)
My projection- Ben Sims, TE, Baylor.
Sims went undrafted and signed with Minnesota.
KC ENDED WITH NO PICK HERE
UNDRAFTED SIGNING TO KEEP AN EYE ON:
KahlefHailassie, DB, Western Kentucky
I found KahlefHailassie worthy of a 5th round call by the Chiefs in this draft. He just 'fits'. Hailassie has the size Coach Spags likes in his CB/DBs (6'-196), he has excellent ball skills and is a willing and able tackler. Last 2 years Hailassie racked up 123 total tackles, 12 TFL, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 4 interceptions and 15 passes defended in 26 games played. He rocked the drills at his Pro Day, pro day, showing incredible quicks and agility. His 4.06short-shuttle and 6.68 in the 3-conewould have him bettering all CBs at the Combine other thanKansas State's CB Julius Brents, who was drafted in the 2nd round by the Colts. Kansas City brought KahlefHailassie in for one of their 30 allowed visits, so there was genuine interest in this talented DB before the draft.
Nikko Remigio, WR, Fresno State
The signing of little known Fresno State slot receiver Nikko Remigio may be one of the slickest moves GM Brett Veach made this off-season. With 4.56-forty wheels and standing 5'9-183, Nikko Remigio is not going to impress scouts and NFL player evaluators much. Remigio played 4 mostly nondescript years at CAL, catching a grand total of 97 passes for 903 yards and 7 TDs. If you do the math here, his YPR comes out to a flatlined 9.3' 9.3 yards per reception and 7 TDs over 4 years! In 2022 Remigio transferred to Fresno State and became a shifty, darting and extremely effective starting slot receiver. IN his 14 games at Fresno State the artful dodger caught 74 passes, gained 852 yards for 11.5 YPR and bagged 6 TD catches. HE also did some nice work rushing the rock, with 6 carries for 42 yards (7.0 YPC) and 2 rushing scores. Again, do the math and that's 80 touches, 894 YFS, 11.2 YPT and 8 total TDs. Pretty nifty numbers from the slot. However, Remigio's true potential value for the Chiefs is as a punt and kick returner. Over the last 2 years, with 2 different college squads (CAL, Fresno State), the quicker-than-fast wideout returned 38 kick offs for 974 yards, a 25.6 average and a TD. Last year for Fresno State,Remigiotook back 13 punts for 259 yards, a stellar 19.9 return average and scored twice. Like many great punt returners of the past who did not possess blazing track speed but found that extra gear with the ball in their hands, Remigio has that natural vision and outstanding balance to keep a return going. He cuts on the fly and kicks into an unsuspecting overdrive once a funnel is formed in front of him. Why all ofthis matters is Isiah Pacheco. Pacheco is coming off labrum and hand/wrist surgeries and Coach Reid will want to lift kick return duties off his new starting RB's shoulder. Kadarius Toney has his own injury history that likely eliminates him from return work as well. Richie James can get it done on punts and kicks, but' yep, injuries of the past are a concern. Coach Reid and Mr. Veach just might have a specific plan for this undrafted rookie WR/returner. IF he isn't on the 53-man roster week 1, Nikko Remigio is surely running scout on the practice squad.
Okay, there you have it. A review of the Chiefs draft through my eye, the Kansas City Eye in the Sky.
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