2023 NFL Draft: Reviewing team needs in the AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Kansas City Chiefs (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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NFL Draft
Kansas City Chiefs (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

2023 NFL Draft: Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs are a very good team with a very real chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in the air once again. Simultaneously, they have a unique challenge of roster management going forward, as the Patrick Mahomes contract is substantial. The Chiefs have a good handle on the ways to work around that, but drafting well is imperative to ensure Mahomes delivers Super Bowls to the city of Kansas City on a routine basis.

Top Draft Needs: OT, S, EDGE

Kansas City has issues at the offensive tackle position. Franchise-tagged left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. wanted a record contract extension last summer, rebuffed Kansas City’s best offer (6yr/$139m), and negotiations are expected to pick up again this offseason. Brown may come to regret not signing on the dotted line. For someone making over $16 million on the franchise tag this season, he has played quite poorly, allowing four sacks and 38 pressures.

Counterpart Andrew Wylie’s play was also rough, as he allowed nine sacks and 49 pressures. The interior offensive line has been good, but I expect the Chiefs to draft an offensive tackle in April. I do believe Kansas City and Orlando Brown Jr. will eventually come to an agreement and Brown should return to an elite level of play, but the Chiefs need to get more out of the right tackle position.

Safety is another position to keep an eye on, as Deon Bush and Juan Thornhill are due to be free agents this offseason. The Chiefs did draft Bryan Cook in the second round of last year’s draft but depending on if they resign either Thornhill or Bush, I expect Kansas City to add to that position group.

The Chiefs should also look to pair another rookie EDGE with George Karlaftis. The pass rush needs improvement and age is a factor. Carlos Dunlap is turning 34 next month and Frank Clark will be 30 this summer. Clark’s 2023 cap number could make for a potential offseason cut as well.