Kansas City Chiefs: Trade-up targets in the 2021 NFL Draft

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images) /
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Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

With the start of the free agency period last week, we’re starting to get a better understanding of what the Kansas City Chiefs’ priorities will be in the 2021 NFL Draft. As this year’s roster begins to take shape, the positions the Chiefs‘ front office will need to address in the draft are starting to become a bit more clear. One thing is very clear after the first week of the 2021 free agency, the Chiefs have no intention of slowing down and intend to contend for a third Super Bowl appearance in 2021.

The signing of former New England Patriots guard Joe Thuney shows that clear enough. With a five-year, $80 million deal inked at the start of the legal tampering period last Monday, the Kansas City Chiefs have locked down one of the most reliable starting left guards in the NFL. Securing protection for Patrick Mahomes (their newly minted $450 million quarterback) was always going to be a priority after the ouster of both starting offensive tackles in early March. It will be interesting to see what other veteran options the Chiefs bring in during free agency to shore up the offensive line and give Mahomes the best chance of staying upright deep into the postseason.

With the start of the 2021 NFL Draft less than a month and a half away, it’s time to start looking at which prospects are going to be on the team’s radar come the first day of the draft, which starts on April 29th in Cleveland, Ohio. One of the most important things a front-office can do prior to the draft is build their Big Board. It helps give team decision-makers a visual representation of which players are still on the board and how much the team prioritizes securing their services, in relation to the other 31 NFL franchises.

Every team’s Big Board looks a bit different based on team needs and individual scout evaluations and the Kansas City Chiefs will have to see a lot of good players pass them by, considering they draft second to last in the first three rounds this year.

But if there are draftees that the scouting department deems a worthy investment but could be selected by a team before them, it makes sense for the Chiefs to trade-up to snag them first. Sometimes it takes trading a Day Two or Day Three pick to make that happen, or trading current players along with a draft pick to make the jump. With two fourth-rounders and two fifth-rounders in 2021, the Chiefs are in an excellent position to make one or more trade-up plans happen if a player they really like looks to be within striking distance.

In this article, we’ll explore three players the Kansas City Chiefs might venture to trade-up for in the 2021 NFL Draft. We’ll explore why each position is such a need for the Chiefs this year, what each player did well in college football and what they’ll bring to the Chiefs roster in 2021.

Finally, we’ll explore what draft resources the front office might need to part with to ensure these players join the Chiefs and potential trade partners that make sense for each player. Click below to get started and see which players should be priority trade-up targets for the Cheifs in this year’s NFL draft.