All signs point to a Chiefs first-round pick plan Patrick Mahomes will love

The Kansas City Chiefs are expected to draft a wide receiver early in the 2024 NFL Draft. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes would be happy to hear it, especially after the offensive struggles last season.
Chicago Bears v Kansas City Chiefs
Chicago Bears v Kansas City Chiefs / Jason Hanna/GettyImages

The Kansas City Chiefs cemented themselves as a dynasty with a Super Bowl championship in 2023. It was their third championship in the past five years, but the 2023 campaign came with more struggles than the Chiefs have become accustomed to.

Former New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman recently outlined the challenges Kansas City will face moving forward. Among them was the ability to adjust the team on an annual basis. The team spent most of the 2023 regular season searching for its identity and went on a 2-4 stretch late in the season before finding it.

Kansas City took a conservative offensive approach and leaned on its defense to win games. They beat more talented teams in the postseason by being more disciplined, making wiser coaching decisions, and only asking quarterback Patrick Mahomes to cut out the opponent's heart when it mattered most.

Despite all of his success, general manager Brett Veach bears responsibility for the team's subpar passing attack in 2023. The Chiefs have whiffed on most of their wide receiver picks in recent years, but they may be looking to take another swing.

Chiefs expected to draft a wide receiver early in 2024 NFL Draft

Kansas City will likely draft a wide receiver early in the 2024 NFL Draft, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter ($). Mahomes will love having a dynamic weapon on offense after last season's struggles, but there's no guarantee that the Chiefs can get a premier wideout with the No. 32 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Veach has taken three swings at wide receivers in the second round: Mecole Hardman in the 2019 NFL Draft, Skyy Moore in the 2022 NFL Draft and Rashee Rice in the 2023 NFL Draft. Veach recently expressed regret about not drafting wide receiver DK Metcalf, who was selected a few picks after Hardman in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Moore had a disappointing start to his career, and the Chiefs seem to be losing faith in him.

There were high expectations for Rice after a promising rookie season, but he is facing a multi-game suspension after his involvement in a street racing incident that resulted in a six-vehicle crash. Despite signing Hollywood Brown in free agency, the uncertainty of wide receiver Rashee Rice's status could leave the Chiefs even thinner at wide receiver.

"Kansas City, which owns the No. 32 pick, would have been expected to look for wide receiver help even before Rice's troubles," Schefter wrote. "The team had the most drops in the league (38) last season. Now, it sounds like it's the right draft to add a wideout."

Kansas City has been linked to a few wide receiver prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, and it's no secret that the Chiefs are interested in bolstering their wide receiver corps. Veach confirmed that the team is interested in drafting a wideout, although his comments suggest that the Chiefs may lean toward drafting an offensive tackle in the first round before addressing the wide receiver position in the second round.

The Chiefs became the first team in league history to win a Super Bowl championship with their quarterback accounting for more than 13 percent of the salary cap. Things will only get harder moving forward. With Mahomes and defensive tackle Chris Jones currently projected to occupy over one-quarter of the team's salary cap, general manager Brett Veach will have to fill out the 53-man roster with difference-makers on rookie contracts.

Veach has done a magnificent job constructing the Chiefs roster, but his mistakes in the NFL Draft will be magnified with so much of the team's salary tied up in its star players. After missing on wide receivers in recent years, Kansas City cannot afford to select the wrong prospect and look back with regret again.

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