3 Chiefs who won’t be back after the 2024 NFL Draft

After nailing the 2024 NFL Draft, don't expect these players back with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Chiefs WR Xavier Worthy
Chiefs WR Xavier Worthy / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Coming out of the 2024 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs have to be considered among the big winners. Despite going into the draft obviously picking at the very end of the early rounds, they maneuvered and traded to go and get their guys. In doing so, this franchise filled major holes at wide receiver and offensive tackle, may have found a Travis Kelce replacement, and added a ton of talent.

But as guys like speedy wideout Xavier Worthy, ultra talented tackle Kingsley Suiamataia and high-potential tight end Jared Wiley, among others, enter the fray, the number of roster spots remains the same. Come Week 1, there will still only be 53 players on the Chiefs, which means that some players are ultimately going to be pushed off of the roster.

Specifically, it's hard to see a world where these three Chiefs players are back to try and achieve the historic Super Bowl three-peat in the 2024 season with this franchise.

3. Justyn Ross' time as a Chiefs fan-favorite is over with Xavier Worthy coming in

Anyone who has kept tabs on Chiefs training camp over the past few years is quite familiar with wide receiver Justyn Ross. A standout at Clemson whose college career was derailed by injuries, he was a UDFA signing for Kansas City. Over that time, he's consistently turned heads in camp and even in the preseason.

His regular-season impact, however, has been minimal at best. He played in 10 games in the 2023 season, but also missed time on the Commissioner's Exempt List as well. And now with Xavier Worthy being taken in the first round and even with the ongoing Rashee Rice situation, it feels as if the time spent with Ross in Kansas City is coming to a close.

Worthy should immediately pair with newcomer Marquise Brown as one of the top targets for Patrick Mahomes, but the team also remains high on what Kadarius Toney could bring to the offense and Skyy Moore has the former second-round pick label boosting his stock. Not to mention, Justin Watson was quietly a nice part of this offense. The room for Ross is increasingly limited, no matter what happens with Rice, and it's likely the Chiefs go in another direction henceforth.

2. Deon Bush won't be back with the Chiefs in 2024 after Jaden Hicks pick

There has been some turnover over the past few years at safety for the Chiefs, seeing longtime stalwarts like Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorensen eventually make way for Justin Reid and Bryan Cook, the current starters. And while selecting Washington State safety Jaden Hicks in the fourth round of the 2024 draft likely won't threaten those players immediately in terms of their starting roles, it does further give the position group a facelift.

Hicks is a strong coverage player who should serve as the primary backup to Cook in the free safety role for defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo while also surely seeing time in dime and nickel packages eventually, if not right away, due to his ability in coverage.

But Deon Bush won't see any benefits from this as the veteran is likely going to get pushed off of the roster. He's been a strong depth player for the Chiefs since signing as a free agent in 2022, but his role has decreased over his two seasons in Kansas City and now there is younger, higher-upside depth coming into the safety room with the selection of Hicks. As a result, Bush might be given his walking papers sooner rather than later.

1. Lucas Niang is done with the Chiefs after drafting Kingsley Suamataia

It was almost a formality that the Chiefs would take wide receiver and offensive tackle in some order over the first two rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft. Indeed, that plan was obvious because it was true as they first took Worthy after trading up to No. 28 and then landed BYU tackle Kingsley Suiamataia after moving up one spot in Round 2 to the 63rd overall pick.

Suiamataia is one of the most talented tackles in the draft, though he does have some questions about his immediate readiness. That might concern some Chiefs fans, but the fact that they were confident using their second-round pick on him says quite a bit about how much they believe in him. Having said that, former third-round pick (2020) Lucas Niang should definitely be concerned by the pick.

Niang was already surpassed on the depth chart by 2023 third-rounder Wanya Morris last season as Morris saw significant time on the field as a rookie. Niang played some but it was clear that he was far from a preferred option for Andy Reid and Kansas City. So now that Suamataia joins Jawaan Taylor and Morris, it feels likely that Niang just never worked out for the Chiefs and won't have the chance to beyond this offseason.

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