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Nick Jacobs' 7-round Chiefs mock draft: What Chiefs GM Brett Veach may do at 31

Super Bowl Football
Posted at 5:47 AM, Apr 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-25 15:25:10-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The first mock draft was to put on record for what I would potentially like to do if I was in the Chiefs' shoes. This one is to predict what I think Chiefs general manager Brett Veach will do with the 10 picks on the board.

The thing to keep in mind is most NFL teams boards are going to be different at a certain point. The belief by some in NFL circles is that there are between 17 to 20 first round grades in this draft. After that most teams are essentially picking up second round graded players with fifth year options, if they are unable to trade up or trade out of the first round.

Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said the following statement during his pre-draft press conference that has stuck with me about when team's board start to different significantly.

"I would say every year it definitely starts in the third round. I would say for the most part, the first 50 guys are probably consensus guys," Veach said. "I think once you get past 50, there is a smaller deviation but then once you get to the third round it’s all bets off and there’s guys that we have in the seventh round that go top of three and vice versa."

That is something to keep in mind with seventh round mock drafts. The prospects become scheme fits and eye of the beholder. My goal is to at least get the positions right. In an ideal world I hope to get the correct player and even better the exact spot. So here are my best guesses for 2023.

First round, 31st overall - DT Mazi Smith, Michigan

Fiesta Bowl Football
Michigan defensive lineman Mazi Smith (58) during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football semifinal playoff game against TCU, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, in Glendale, Arizona. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

I have been wrestling with this pick for nearly two weeks. The workouts of Quentin Johnston and Zay Flowers had me debate whether to stick with this pick. Smith is arguably the best one-tech in the draft and defensive line coach Joe Cullen can get the most out of him. Smith's presence and strength could help free up the rest of the defensive line. It could be the biggest impact for the pass rush if Myles Murphy doesn't drop.

Second round, 63rd overall - WR Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss

Jonathan Mingo
Mississippi wide receiver Jonathan Mingo (1) runs along the sideline after catching a pass against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Oxford, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mingo may not last this long and the Chiefs might need to make a move up for him but he is a promising big bodied wide receiver that can work in the slot or on the outside. I appreciate his aggression as a receiver. He will lower the shoulder on a defender when necessary. Mingo catches the ball cleanly and attack the football when it is required to win the catch. He has a good blend of speed, power, balance and a great stiff to take it the distance. I will also be keeping my eye on Michigan State wide receiver Jayden Reed and South Dakota State tight end Tucker Kraft in this range.

Third round, 95th overall - OT Blake Freeland, BYU

Wyoming BYU Football
BYU offensive lineman Blake Freeland (71) blocks during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Wyoming Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, in Provo, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

There is a ton of promise to Freeland's game. He has the ideal size to play tackle in the NFL. He has really impressive athletic ability. Freeland was one of he best I saw at getting to the second level. He had a really good reach and down block. His ability to pull in space was impressive as well. He brings the right demeanor to his blocks and gives all that he has effort wise. Freeland did a really good job at picking up and passing off defenders with his quick reaction. This is also a spot where Alabama offensive tackle Tyler Steen and Ohio State defensive end Zach Harrison makes sense.

Fourth round, 122nd overall - DE Yaya Diaby, Louisville

NC State Louisville Football
Louisville defensive lineman YaYa Diaby (6) attempts to grab North Carolina State quarterback Ben Finley (10) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Diaby is a strong rusher. He has a good initial punch combined with his bull rush. Diaby showed good lateral quickness and he could also rush from a three technique when necessary. Diaby showed a good rip move. He continued to work towards the quarterback or down the line of scrimmage to help contain the run. Diaby has a solid spin move and counter off of it.

Fourth round, 134th overall - LB DeMarvion Overshown, Texas

La Monroe Texas Football
Texas linebacker DeMarvion Overshown plays during an NCAA college football game against Louisiana-Monroe, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

Overshown does well in both man and zone coverage from being a converted safety. He has the athletic ability to cover a lot of ground quickly. The Longhorn still appears to be adjusting at linebacker, but the ceiling is very high. He comes down quickly like a missile on blitzes to blow up the play.

While Overshown is still learning how to get off blocks, he will be valuable in sub-packages and as a four-phase special teamer immediately.

Fifth round, 166th overall - TE Cameron Latu, Alabama

La Monroe Alabama Football
Alabama tight end Cameron Latu (81) leaps for a pass reception over Louisiana-Monroe defensive back Tavier Williams (6) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Latu has the speed to take a touchdown the distance if he is schemed properly. He looks comfortable with the ball in open space and can get promising yards after catch. Latu has the ability to juke, stiff arm or adjust his speed to create a cutback lane. He has long enough arms to stretch out and make a catch. Latu was motioned around as well to help block on the edge or some pulls. He could also be a promising special teams starter early in his career.

Sixth round, 178th overall - RB Travis Dye, USC

USC Arizona Football
Southern California running back Travis Dye (26) scores a touchdown against Arizona in the second half during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Dye is a natural runner in the open field. He has a good combination of speed and acceleration. He reminded me a lot of Charcandrick West when watching his games. Dye shines on counters and off tackle runs. He is able to run between the tackles but needs some solid lanes to run through. Dye had good vision and saw the cutback lanes quickly to get positive yardage.

Sixth Round, 217th overall - LB Jalen Graham, Purdue

Jack Sullivan, Jalen Graham
Purdue linebacker Jalen Graham (6) celebrates a sack with defensive end Jack Sullivan (99) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Graham is another hybrid like Overshown. He is stuck between a safety and linebacker. It is what allows him to be a solid coverage linebacker in sub-packages but also a strong special teams starter. He will need to bulk up in the league to play as a three down linebacker but the coverage skills are already there to work with. He showed good acceleration, smooth turns and an added bonus as a good blitzing linebacker.

Seventh round, 249th overall - WR Xavier Smith, FAMU

Florida A M North Carolina Football
North Carolina's Storm Duck (3) tackles Florida A&M's Xavier Smith (19) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

Smith has the explosiveness in his game that is hard to find. He catches the ball cleanly for the most part but will body catch if he thinks a hit might be coming. Smith understands where the boundary is and how to maintain position on his routes. He could thrive in the Chiefs scheme and replace the role of Mecole Hardman immediately.

Seventh round, 250th overall - OT Jake Witt, Northern Michigan

Witt as a tight end that transitioned to a offensive tackle. He is a project. A team will need to help him bulk up to an acceptable level as an offensive lineman. His tape showed a guy who buried opponents on the field. He has quick feet from his days as a basketball player. Witt could pull and get out into space very quickly. He only has 14 games at offensive tackle but there were glimpses of Eric Fisher's tape coming out of Central Michigan. The untapped talent is there with the right investment of coaching and strength training.

The First Round of the NFL Draft will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27, in Kansas City, Missouri.