Three edge rushers the Kansas City Chiefs should target in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft

Last year, the Kansas City Chiefs took an edge rusher with their first pick in the NFL draft. At pick No. 31 in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Chiefs selected a KC native, Felix Anudike-Uzomah, an edge rusher out of Kansas State University. He was very good in college and deserved to be drafted where he was. However, he wasn’t quite ready for the pros yet.

Three edge rushers the Kansas City Chiefs should target in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft

In 2024, we could see him a ton more, and we should see him a ton more, because the Chiefs may not have an option but to play him more than they did last season, which saw him play just 218 total defensive snaps. The Chiefs desperately need some help on the edge, so FAU will have to show up at some point, just like he did in the postseason at times.

With Charles Omenihu likely to miss at least a few games with a torn ACL he suffered against the Baltimore Ravens, the Chiefs still not signing another defensive end after losing Mike Danna, and FAU having little experience and still being so raw of a prospect, edge rusher could be a huge priority in the draft, just like it was last season.

I don’t think the Chiefs will target an edge rusher in the first round, as I think it’s more likely they will go with an offensive tackle or a wide receiver with that pick, but I’m not ruling it out. This is the NFL draft, where anything is possible. If they were to target edge rushers at pick No. 32 or even trade up to get one in the first round, there are three they should target.

Three edge rushers Chiefs should target in round 1
Laiatu Latu, UCLA
According to A to Z Sports’ Big Board, he is the third-best edge rusher in the draft behind Dallas Turner and Jared Verse and the 16th-overall prospect in the draft, but he could fall a bit later. Several mock drafts have him going in the mid-20s and, most notably, picking No. 25 to the Green Bay Packers.

There is a chance he falls to pick No. 32, or even a chance the Chiefs trade up, as the draft is so unpredictable. His injury history with his neck injury could also hold him back in the draft; if he is on the board at pick No. 32, it would be crazy for the Chiefs to pass on him. Here are some of the strengths and weaknesses he showed at UCLA:


Looks like he practices the cross-chop 100x every night before he goes to sleep
Rapid hand quickness leaves tackles frozen
A blur transitioning between moves & crossing the blocker’s face
Plays with relentless effort & pursuit to the QB
Bounces off the LOS & forces tackles into oversets. Attacks the B-gap with a fluid inside counter
Above average bend
Wins from every alignment. Uses a club-rip/swim vs. IOL
Uses hands to keep himself clean in run defense
Good screen awareness & coverage instincts in zone drops

Major injury concerns. Was forced to sit out 2 seasons & medically retire due to a neck injury
Spin move is still a work-in-progress
Hasn’t developed much of a power rush
32-inch arms will make it harder to win with his hands in the NFL
Misses with his hands fairly often
Pass-rushing juice can die when blockers land a quick punch
Looked pedestrian against the better tackles he faced
Tackling control is inconsistent
Thin lower half, struggles to anchor vs. downhill runs
Lacks range to keep contain consistently
Darius Robinson, Missouri
Many of the Chiefs fan base roots for the Mizzou Tigers, meaning a large portion would love this pick and likely already know about Darius Robinson. He is one of those freak athletes who is simply stronger than his opponent most of the time. The Chiefs need a bully on the edge; he could be that guy.

Our Big Board has Robinson as the fourth-best edge rusher in the draft and the 29th overall prospect. He has been compared to Cam Jordan of the New Orleans Saints and has a very high ceiling. He is exactly the kind of guy that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo likes, and he would be a perfect fit on the Chiefs’ defensive line. Here are some of his strengths and weaknesses:


Dream build for a defensive end. Elite size/length/frame
Converted DT with only one year of experience on the edge
Offers positional versatility along the defensive line
Advanced swim move technique. Latches the blocker’s outside shoulder & pulls through
Bull rushes with heavy hands, low pads, & relentless leg-drive
Effective club move to win the inside
Had wins with a double swipe, cross-chop, & forklift
Showed flashes of flexibility to win the corner
Steers block with inside hands & low pad level
Has the contact balance to blow up pullers/set the edge

Explosive testing highlighted limitations as a stand-up edge
Early strikes disrupt his pass-rushing tempo
Delayed transition into the secondary rush effort
Misses chops/swipes when blockers bait with the outside hand
Raises pad level on cross-face moves & exposes his frame
He is still developing his hand usage & and rushing plan
Might lack the speed & explosiveness to threaten as a speed rusher
Limited lateral range vs. outside runs
Stationary tackling platform, 19.4% MTKL rate in 2023
Chop Robinson, Penn State
This may be my favorite edge rusher in the draft, especially after seeing all of his measurables and times at the NFL Draft Combine. He ran a faster 40-yard dash than any other edge rusher at 4.48 and had the fastest 10-yard split time. He can get off quickly and is as explosive as they come. But he is still raw. Luckily, the Chiefs have been known to develop defensive end players very well. Just look at George Karlaftis.

On our Big Board, he is the fifth-best edge rusher and the 31st overall prospect, which means there is a legit chance the Chiefs can grab him. His best comparison would be to Dee Ford, a former Chiefs edge rusher. Right now, he is being projected to go late in the first round and even early in the second round, which makes the Chiefs a threat to get what I think is the guy with the best upside in the draft. Here are some of his strengths and weaknesses:


Overwhelming 1st step. Slow-footed tackles have no chance
Times the snap to maximize his acceleration upfield
Dips his inside shoulder & sinks underneath the tackle’s punch
Maintains speed while flattening at the top of the rush
Flashes the ability to cross the face with inside counters
Uses an inside stutter-step to create more space around the edge
Three career-forced fumbles
Punches above his weight class as a run defender. Good hand activity-shedding blocks
Disruptive run defender. Quick lateral shifts make him an evasive target

Modest production that’s highly concentrated in a few games vs. weak competition
Loses balance when bending through contact
Speed rush success is dependent on beating tackles to their landmarks
Doesn’t really have any pass-rushing moves. It’s all speed
He will need to develop some way of winning with his hands
Fairly undersized, with a thin frame
Unlikely to hold his ground vs. NFL drive blocks
The Chiefs may not even go edge rusher in the first round, but if they did, they certainly should have their eyes on these three guys, as they have great potential, could help right away, and would fit in Spagnuolo’s system.

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