Kansas City Chiefs mailbag: Trading up, All-Juice Team and Rashee Rice’s impact on the 2024 NFL draft

We’re kicking off the 2024 NFL draft with a new draft tradition.

I asked fans on X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook to send in their Kansas City Chiefs questions ahead of the 2024 NFL draft.

The Chiefs Kingdom submitted some great questions on trading up for an offensive tackle, Terez Paylor’s annual All-Juice Team, and how Rashee Rice’s offseason accident might impact the team’s draft plans.

From @nj_chiefs_fan on X: “If the Chiefs move up for an OT, best guess who it would be?”

Brett Veach and Andy Reid have both indicated that this draft class is top-heavy at the offensive tackle position and the drop-off comes rather quickly. Waiting around at pick No. 32 might not be an option for them if they want to land a player who they believe can develop into a starting-caliber left tackle. I wouldn’t be shocked if 4-5 offensive tackles are off the board in the first 15 picks. Frankly, I don’t think they have the means or desire to trade up that far to secure one of the top offensive tackles in the class, but it’d sure be fun if they did and went up to grab someone like Joe Alt. That just doesn’t seem realistic, though. If they move up, a slight jump feels a lot more likely.

Players like BYU’s Kingsley Suamataia, Houston’s Patrick Paul, and Arizona’s Jordan Morgan (despite his arm length) all feel like options in a slight trade-up. Two players, Georgia OT Amarius Mims and Washington OT Troy Fautanu, are said to have some medical red flags. If one of those players drops, you have to hope the Chiefs did their homework and feel comfortable with the prospect and their injury. As far as we’re aware, neither came to Kansas City on a top-30 visit.

From Tim Rozell on X: “Who is your All-Juice Team at the biggest positions of need for the Chiefs?”
I adore this question because I always used to message the late great Terez Paylor about draft prospects and try to guess if they’d be in his annual All-Juice Team. He’d never actually tell me if they were on his team, but I like to think that a few times I nudged him enough on a prospect or two that ended up on the team in a given year. Knowing that the Chiefs really can’t go wrong with any position other than quarterback (Terez would have picked Caleb Williams for that one), here are a few players who I think would be All-Juice at every other position.

RB: Memphis RB Blake Watson

WR: Texas WR Xavier Worthy + Florida WR Ricky Pearsall

TE: CSU TE Dallin Holker

OT: Oregon State OT Taliese Fuaga + TCU OT Brandon Coleman

iOL: Boston College OL Christian Mahogany

EDGE: Utah EDGE Jonah Elliss

DT: LSU DT Mekhi Wingo

CB: Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell + Michigan CB Mike Sainristil

S: Texas Tech S Dadrion Taylor-Demerson

KR/PR: Oregon State WR Anthony Gould

From Hank S. on Facebook: “Do you think a potential Rashee Rice suspension will impact the Chiefs’ draft plans?”

During his pre-draft press conference, Brett Veach basically answered the question by saying, “No, because the wide receiver was already a need.” That’s about where I’m at with it. You have to expect Rice to miss time at some point due to a suspension, but the Chiefs already learned a lesson in 2019 about drafting a player with a hypothetical suspension in mind. I think the NFL could seek to make an example out of Rice and issue a big suspension, but I also think he has a good case to appeal and get the suspension reduced if that does happen. Brandin Echols’ one-game suspension in 2023 could serve as a precedent should Rice need to appeal (not saying his suspension will get reduced to a single game, just that it serves as a precedent for a lesser suspension length).

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