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Never Too Early: Potential Chiefs Targets in the 2023 NFL Draft

With the 2022 NFL Draft barely in the rearview, who could the Chiefs be keeping an eye on in the 2023 college football season?

The Kansas City Chiefs have loaded up on talent in the past two NFL drafts, with general manager Brett Veach seeming to up his game each year. That improvement in the Chiefs' front office is great news for Chiefs fans, and terrifying news for the rest of the league.

Even though only a week has passed since the 2022 NFL Draft wrapped up, it’s never too early to look ahead. Without knowing the Chiefs' roster holes entering next year's draft in Kansas City, let’s take a look at one player from each position group. This week, we'll start with the offense.

Dec 31, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback JT Daniels (18) warms up prior to the Orange Bowl college football CFP national semifinal game against the Michigan Wolverines at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback: JT Daniels, West Virginia (via USC, Georgia)

Current projection: 6th-7th round

JT Daniels has been through a lot. The 6-foot-3, 210 lb. quarterback started at USC and went through coaching changes and injuries before getting the chance to play for a National Championship squad at Georgia. Ultimately, his final season at Georgia was riddled with injury and a battle between him and teammate Stetson Bennett, which led to Bennett getting the job, pushing Daniels to transfer to West Virginia. The Chiefs aren’t really in desperate need of a quarterback, so a guy like Daniels who has experience at high-level collegiate programs could come in and be a project/backup quarterback to Mahomes.

Nov 27, 2021; Pasadena, California, USA; UCLA Bruins running back Zach Charbonnet (24) carries the ball for a first down against the California Golden Bears in the first half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Running back: Zach Charbonnet, UCLA (via Michigan)

Current projection: 2nd-3rd round

Zach Charbonnet is a big, bruising running back who isn’t afraid to get the tough yards. Despite his size, he also has speed to burn. He has good vision and has shown flashes as a receiver out of the backfield. He had 11 touchdowns as a freshman at Michigan before taking a step back during the COVID-impacted season in 2020. He transferred to UCLA and picked right back up where he left off, but looked even better. He rushed for 1,137 yards and 13 touchdowns during his junior year. Throughout his college career, he has averaged an impressive 5.5 yards per carry. He needs to improve in pass protection when going to the next level but he could be a running back the Chiefs take a look at if current their starting running back, former first-round selection Clyde Edwards-Helaire, doesn’t show greater improvement in 2022.

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Nov 27, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jadon Haselwood (11) warms up before the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium. Oklahoma State Cowboys won 37-33. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Wide receiver: Jadon Haselwood, Arkansas (via Oklahoma)

Current projection: 4th-6th round

Jadon Haselwood seems like a player who is just scratching the surface and on the verge of breaking out. He only had 399 yards receiving but added six touchdowns for the Sooners last season. With so much movement and uncertainty, he decided to transfer to Arkansas, so the jury is still out on if this move will help boost his stock or if he’ll have to stick around for his senior season in 2024. He has the size (6-foot-3, 202 lbs.) to compete at the next level and has a fantastic catch radius, excellent technique, and rarely drops a pass. He isn’t the fastest receiver, but his route-running and other talents should help him get to where he wants to go at the next level.

Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta (84) runs for extra yards after a catch as Kentucky defensive back Davonte Robinson (9) defends during a NCAA college football game in the Vrbo Citrus Bowl, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. 211231 Iowa Kentucky Citrus Fb 010 Jpg Syndication Hawkcentral

Tight end: Sam LaPorta, Iowa

Current Projection: 2nd-3rd round

Sam LaPorta could be the next great tight end to come out of the University of Iowa. He has the size (6-foot-4, 250 lbs.) and enough speed to create mismatches at any level. He tracks the ball well and has good body control when needing to adjust mid-throw. He’s a tough player to tackle and will make you pay if you come at him softly and don’t wrap up. He’s also an excellent downfield blocker. If the Chiefs want to get solid depth behind All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce, LaPorta may be one of the top options in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Apr 23, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman Wanya Morris (64) in action during the spring game at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Line: Wanya Morris, Oklahoma (via Tennesee)

Current Projection: 2nd-4th round

The Chiefs love offensive linemen from Oklahoma and Tennesee. Look no further than three of their current starting offensive linemen, Orlando Brown Jr. (Oklahoma), Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma), and Trey Smith (Tennessee). Wanya Morris would fit right in with this group. He is tough and has a mean streak to his game that will translate well to the next level. He isn’t afraid to knock a defender on their back when blocking for his running back, and he holds his own in pass protection. At 6-foot-5 and 320 lbs., he would be a fine swing tackle who could be reliable if an injury forces him into starting duty. If Brown is locked in as the starting left tackle of the future, Morris could compete for the starting right tackle job as well. With a solid senior season, he could very well boost his draft stock and put himself in line to potentially be a late first-round pick.

Western Michigan wide receiver Skyy Moore (24) receives a pass during the Battle for the Cannon between Western Michigan and Central Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019 at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich. Wmuvscmu02

It’s hard to project what offensive positions the Chiefs will prioritize next year, but with a few Chiefs wide receivers currently in a contract year, Veach could look to take a wide receiver early again in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Next week, we’ll take a look at some defensive prospects the Chiefs could consider when the 2023 NFL Draft comes to Kansas City.