In Andy Reid’s 24 years as an NFL head coach, his teams have rarely used an NFL draft pick to select a prospect from his alma mater, BYU.
In fact, it’s happened just once: in 2005, the Philadelphia Eagles (where Reid coached from 1999-2012) used a fifth-round selection to take former BYU guard Scott Young.
However, Reid has had several former BYU guys play for him over the past two decades.
In Philadelphia, there were tight end Chad Lewis and return specialist Reno Mahe. Both made a Super Bowl appearance with the Eagles.
In Kansas City (where Reid has coached since 2013), Daniel Sorensen played for him for eight years, while tight end Matt Bushman won a Super Bowl ring with the team as a member of the practice squad this past season.
All those guys were undrafted players who ended up playing for one of BYU’s most famous and accomplished alumni.
Based on Kansas City’s needs this offseason, though, perhaps a former Cougar could be drafted by Reid’s team during the 2023 NFL draft, which takes place in Kansas City from Thursday to Saturday.
Two recently released seven-round mock drafts had the Chiefs going with a BYU player with Kansas City’s fourth-round draft pick at No. 122 overall.
ESPN’s Matt Miller predicted the Chiefs would select former Cougars offensive tackle Blake Freeland, while The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has Kansas City selecting quarterback Jaren Hall at the same spot.
The case for the Kansas City Chiefs drafting Blake Freeland
While the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs are set at most positions along the offensive line, there is a need at right tackle after last year’s starter, Andrew Wylie, left via free agency.
Lucas Niang, a third-round selection in 2020 who’s signed through 2024, is already on Kansas City’s roster and is projected to take over the starting right tackle position. He started nine games in 2021 before injuries sidetracked his development.
The tackle position has been listed by other draft experts as a need for the Chiefs, though, to help build depth at the position. One offensive tackle who’s been tied to Kansas City is early-round prospect Anton Harrison of Oklahoma.
“Similar to last year, this position is listed here more for roster insurance,” The Athletic’s Nate Taylor wrote, about Kansas City’s offensive tackle situation. “... If the Chiefs want to add competition, they could select a right tackle prospect, perhaps in the second or third round. If Niang wins the starting job after training camp, the prospect could spend their rookie season serving as the team’s swing tackle.”
That’s where the Chiefs selecting Freeland makes sense. The BYU and Herriman High product is seen as a mid-round draft pick — some experts project him as a potential second- or third-round draftee, while most have Freeland landing somewhere in the final day of the draft.
“Kansas City has a potential need at right tackle, and Freeland — coming from Andy Reid’s alma mater — has elite movement ability at 6-8 and 302 pounds. He would give Lucas Niang a run for his money as the starting right tackle for the reigning Super Bowl champs,” Miller wrote, in explaining why he has the Chiefs selecting Freeland.
The case for the Kansas City Chiefs drafting Jaren Hall
Kansas City is set for a long time at starting quarterback, with reigning Super Bowl NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes signed through the 2031 season.
There is a need to determine Mahomes’ backup, though, after backup Chad Henne (who had been with the team since 2018) retired following the Chiefs’ win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 57 in February.
Last week, veteran journeyman quarterback Blaine Gabbert signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs worth $1.3 million, per Over the Cap.
The other two quarterbacks currently on Kansas City’s roster are Shane Buechele, who went undrafted in 2021, and Chris Oladokun, a seventh-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022.
One argument against bringing Hall to Kansas City is that he and Buechele are both the same age, 25, and Chiefs general manager Brett Veach recently spoke positively about Buechele’s development.
“On one end, we know with 11 (draft) picks we’ll have a chance to maybe add competition to that room,” Veach told The Kansas City Star last month. “But on the other end, we’re certainly thankful that Shane has been here, and we feel confident in him moving forward.”
None of the backups is signed beyond 2023, though, and drafting a quarterback could signify a commitment to finding a longer-term solution at backup for Mahomes.
Hall, who prepped at Maple Mountain High, is projected to be a mid- to late-round pick, a tier or two below the top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft.
Hall’s skillset could also be appealing to Kansas City, Brugler argued.
“The BYU connection between Andy Reid and Hall is a fun story, but I’m told the Chiefs ‘love’ Hall’s skill set. Kansas City understands the importance of the backup quarterback, so much so that the Chiefs might even make this pick a round earlier,” Brugler wrote.