Now that the dust has settled on the 2023 NFL Draft held at Kansas City’s Union Station, it’s worth reflecting on how the hometown Chiefs fared in the three-day exhibition.
Between the team’s first round selection of former Kansas State defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah and six other college prospects, the Andy Reid-coached team drafted players from six different positions across seven rounds.
Although the draft was held in the state, because there is no legal Missouri sports betting, those wanting to wager on the draft had to cross the border into Kansas.
Despite having three fewer picks than last year (seven, down from 2022’s 10-man draft class), the Chiefs hope they have once again mined some diamonds.
Between the two-time All-Big 12 defensive end and players out of conference stalwarts Oklahoma and Texas, there’s no shortage of local ties in the Chiefs’ 2023 draft class.
Chiefs 2023 NFL Draft Class
- 1st round (31st overall): Felix Anudike-Uzomah (DE)
- 2nd round (55th overall): Rashee Rice (WR)
- 3rd round (92nd overall): Wanya Morris (OL)
- 4th round (119th overall): Chamarri Conner (DB)
- 5th round (166th overall): BJ Thompson (DE)
- 6th round (194th overall): Keondre Coburn (DT)
- 7th round (250th overall): Nic Jones (CB)
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Chiefs 2022 Class Among Most Productive
Out of the 32 NFL teams, the Chiefs had the third-most production out of their rookie class from a year ago.
Using Pro Football Reference’s Weighted Career Approximate Value (wAV) system, K.C. finished 2022 with a score of 30 from their 10-man draft class.
Draft experts from the NFL Network gave the Chiefs’ class their third overall ranking after the 2022 draft, so Kansas City’s rookies were right on the money compared to expectations.
Based on the network’s projections from a year ago versus where the Chiefs wound up, it seems like Kansas City’s 2023 rookies will finish a tad lower this year based solely on the lack of draft pick quantity.
The Chiefs also were buoyed by the production seventh-round running back Isiah Pacheco turned in, as he rushed for 830 yards and five scores. Pacheco and fellow seventh round pick Jaylen Watson gave the 2022 class a third of its wAV value.
Re-Ranking 2022 NFL Draft Class
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How Chiefs 2022 Draft Class Scored So Highly
A major reason why the Chiefs excelled so much with their 2022 class was the performance turned in by lower round picks, like Pacheco and Watson.
In total, first round defensive end George Karlaftis III finished atop the Chiefs’ wAV leaderboard alongside Pacheco at 7, followed by linebacker Leo Chenal (4 wAV), Watson and first-round cornerback Trent McDuffie (3 wAV apiece).
Out of Kansas City’s 10-man class, all but one player had at least 1 wAV during the 2022 season, with offensive tackle Darian Kinnard being the lone Chiefs draftee not to provide measurable production.
The net result of that top-to-bottom value was the Chiefs finishing in a tie for second in the league with the Jets at 30 wAV, ranking behind the Seahawks.
What We Can Learn About 2023 From 2022?
Based on the sheer lack of draft pick volume, year-over-year, fans would be rational to assume the Chiefs’ 2023 draft class is bound to lack the overall production numbers of last year.
With Kansas City taking three defensive linemen, two defensive backs, an offensive lineman and a wideout this year, it seems the most likely prospects to contribute in 2023 are Anudike-Uzomah and Rice.
If both can live up to the standard last year’s first round defensive end (Karlaftis) and wideout (Skyy Moore) put forth, then Kansas City will likely be among the top teams for draft class production again this season.