Andy Reid has had several players from his alma mater, BYU, play for him at the NFL level.

In his 25 seasons as an NFL head coach — previously with the Philadelphia Eagles and now with the Kansas City Chiefs — Reid has seen standouts like tight end Chad Lewis (in Philadelphia) and safety Daniel Sorensen (Kansas City) line up for him and handle significant roles.

There’s only been one time, though, when Reid has coached a former BYU player who was drafted by his organization — in 2005, the Eagles drafted former Cougar offensive lineman Scott Young in the fifth round.

There are a handful of NFL draft prognosticators that believe Kansas City, where Reid has been the head coach since 2013, could draft a BYU prospect, offensive tackle Kingsley Suamataia, in the 2024 NFL draft.

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The two-time Super Bowl-defending Chiefs, who’ve won three NFL titles under Reid, own the No. 32 draft pick in the draft’s first round, which starts Thursday at 6 p.m. MDT.

In recent days, The Athletic, Sporting News and CBS Sports have all published mock drafts where Suamataia has been projected to the Chiefs as a first-round draft pick.

Why is Kingsley Suamataia being projected as a Kansas City Chiefs draft pick?

While most draft experts identify Suamataia as a second- or third-round selection, there is some belief that the Orem High alum, who started his college career at Oregon, could sneak into the late first round.

Both Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer and CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards predict that the Chiefs will use the No. 32 overall pick on Suamataia to close out Thursday’s first round.

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“Kansas City’s offensive tackle solutions did not exactly pan out this past season despite winning the Super Bowl. Orlando Brown Jr. was an attempt to identify the starting left tackle for a decade-plus, but he had his own financial goals that had to be achieved elsewhere. Kingsley Suamataia can hopefully be what Brown wasn’t,” Edwards wrote.

Added Iyer: “Suamataia has become a borderline first-rounder with his standout athleticism for his size.”

The Athletic, meanwhile, presents an even more intriguing projection in a mock draft published Wednesday, where Kansas City trades up with Dallas to the No. 24 pick to select Suamataia.

“Despite the appeal of taking a receiver in the first round, the biggest hole on Kansas City’s roster is that it doesn’t have a clear projected starter at left tackle, the player responsible for protecting Patrick Mahomes’ blindside. At this point, Suamataia appears to be the best candidate as a possible plug-and-play left tackle.”

—  The Athletic's Nate Taylor

“The logical and expected run on offensive tackles has led the Chiefs to make this move. Despite the appeal of taking a receiver in the first round, the biggest hole on Kansas City’s roster is that it doesn’t have a clear projected starter at left tackle, the player responsible for protecting Patrick Mahomes’ blindside,” The Athletic’s Nate Taylor wrote.

“At this point, Suamataia appears to be the best candidate as a possible plug-and-play left tackle. He’ll compete against Wanya Morris, the team’s third-round pick from last year’s draft, for the starting role. By trading away the 95th pick to the Dallas Cowboys, the Chiefs can still target a quality receiver in the second round with the 64th selection.”

Why would Kansas City trade up to draft Suamataia? At least in The Athletic’s mock draft, six other offensive tackles had already come off the board prior to the No. 24 pick, including four from picks No. 16-21.

If Suamataia is a first-round draft pick, he would be the third former BYU standout taken in the draft’s first round since 2013 and first since quarterback Zach Wilson went to the New York Jets with the No. 2 overall pick in 2021.

What are the Chiefs’ top needs going into the draft?

The majority of mock drafts have Kansas City eyeing a wide receiver with the No. 32 overall pick, with wideouts like Texas’ Adonai Mitchell and Georgia’s Ladd McConkey among the more popular options.

Offensive tackle and wide receiver remain needs for the Chiefs, even after the team added former Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown in free agency. Second-year wideout Rashee Rice also faces a potential multiple-game suspension, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, for his alleged role in a multi-vehicle crash.

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The team’s 2023 starter at left tackle, Donovan Smith, is no longer with the franchise and is currently a free agent, while the aforementioned Morris played in 14 games with four starts as a rookie last season.

NFL draft insider Tony Pauline reported that Suamataia impressed Chiefs brass during a visit with the team last month.

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“Over the past 48 hours, multiple sources have told me it’s looking more and more as though Kansas City Chiefs will select offensive tackle Kingsley Suamataia with the final pick on Thursday night,” Tony Pauline wrote for Sportskeeda on Tuesday. “This assumes nothing crazy happens, such as a highly-rated player they don’t expect to be available falling into their laps.”

The 33rd Team’s Ari Meirov also pegged Suamataia as the Chiefs’ selection at No. 32 in his lone mock draft, explaining why going for a long-term offensive tackle solution may be more beneficial than selecting a wide receiver at that spot.

“Many people predict the Kansas City Chiefs will take a receiver, which makes sense, especially due to the Rashee Rice situation. But if there’s one thing the Chiefs have shown us over the past few years, it’s that they are fine with finding receivers using other avenues than a first-round pick,” Meirov wrote.

Kingsley Suamataia is a bit of a project, but he has the size and mobility to become a starting-level tackle in the NFL eventually. He started at right and left tackle at BYU. If there’s a team willing to be that patient, I see Andy Reid and the Chiefs as one of them.”

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. | Michael Conroy
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