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Most Kansas City Chiefs mock drafts have the team playing it safe and taking an offensive lineman, wide receiver, or the next pass-rusher on the consensus board. However, the latest Daniel Jeremiah mock draft has the team taking a bit of a risk at No. 31, and if they do take Georgia edge-rusher Nolan Smith, it could be the steal of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Daniel Jeremiah Chiefs mock draft has team taking Nolan Smith

In every Chiefs mock draft, you’ll see the team addressing one of three needs (more on that below). In the latest Daniel Jeremiah mock draft on, the draft guru has the team looking to fill a hole at pass-rusher.

With the 31st pick in the 2023 NFL mock draft, Jeremiah has the Chiefs selecting Georgia EDGE Nolan Smith.

This is a gamble in the first round, but one that could pay off huge for the Chiefs.

Smith was the No. 1 player coming out of high school in Savannah, Georgia, and immediately made an impact on the Georgia Bulldogs defense, putting up 5.0 sacks in his first two seasons. As a junior, Smith had a breakout campaign with 56 tackles, 9.0 sacks, and three forced fumbles.

The pass-rusher was trending the same way in 2022, with 7.0 sacks in eight games before a torn pectoral muscle ended his season. That season-ending injury caused Smith’s draft stock to drop.

There are now questions about Smith’s size — 6-foot-3, 235 pounds — and how he will hold up rushing the passer every down in the NFL, but his athleticism and pass-rushing skill are hard to ignore.

A Chiefs mock draft showing another player other than Nolan Smith is definitely safer, as plenty of sub-250-pound pass-rushers have busted in the NFL.

However, if the Chiefs do take a risk on Smith in the 2023 NFL Draft, like the most recent Daniel Jeremiah mock draft suggests, Kansas City may have the next Haason Reddick on their hands.

Who else could the Chiefs pick in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Chiefs mock draft, Kansas City Chiefs, Daniel Jeremiah mock draft, Nolan Smith, 2023 NFL Draft
Nolan Smith | John Adams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After winning the Super Bowl, the Chiefs pick No. 31 (and not No. 32) thanks to the Miami Dolphins losing their first-round pick in a tampering scandal.

With that pick, the Chiefs mock drafts show they will likely go one of three ways.

The team could need a left tackle if Orlando Brown Jr. leaves in free agency. They could use pass-rushers if the front office decides to cut Frank Clark and save $19 million. And the team could draft a wide receiver to replace JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman if/when they sign elsewhere.

On the left tackle front, Tennessee OT Darnell Wright is the most likely player to be on the board at No. 31. As far as the WRs and EDGEs go, that’s up in the air right now, and a lot will be decided as the combine starts at the end of February.

That said, in addition to Nolan Smith, Georgia Tech pass-rusher Keion White and Auburn’s Derick Hall are the most likely names still on the board at the end of the first.

And at wideout, the variance is the biggest. Boston College’s Zay Flowers, Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt, USC’s Jordan Addison, and Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba could all be off the board at the Chiefs picks, or one or more of them could be available.

The combine will go a long way toward sorting this out, but if Nolan Smith gets a clean bill of health, he’ll be a steal at No. 31.


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