Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy (1) makes a catch while...

Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy (1) makes a catch while covered by Washington cornerback Elijah Jackson, left, during the Sugar Bowl CFP NCAA semifinal college football game Jan. 1, 2024, in New Orleans. While Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. will most assuredly be gone the Buffalo Bills' scheduled NFL draft pick at No. 28, the Texas junior tandem of Adonai Mitchell and Worthy, or perhaps Georgia’s Ladd McConkey, could be available. Credit: AP/Jacob Kupferman

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs traded up to select Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy with the No. 28 pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night, giving Patrick Mahomes the kind of speedy deep threat they have not enjoyed since Tyreek Hill was on the roster.

The Chiefs were supposed to pick last in the first round after winning their second consecutive Super Bowl and third in five years, but they managed to trade up with one of their biggest AFC rivals in Buffalo. The Chiefs sent the 32nd pick along with a fourth-rounder and seventh-rounder to the Bills for No. 28, a fourth-rounder and a seventh-rounder.

“Listen, I like the wide receivers we've got,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, “but to go add somebody of this quality is important, or a good move to strengthen it. I don't want to slight the guys we have but he's a nice addition.”

So nice that Mahomes, who was attending a gala in New York, instantly took to social media to approve of it.

“We told Patrick," Reid said with a smile. “Patrick is curious. He loves this stuff. It doesn't matter if it's offense or defense. He just loves the draft. He's texting away at us and we get back to him. He's great with it.”

Worthy broke the NFL combine record when he ran a 4.21-second 40-yard dash, exhibiting the kind of raw speed that Kansas City last enjoyed when Hill was on the team. But Worthy is more than just a deep threat, showing promise as a route runner and cutting down on the number of drops last season, when he caught 75 passes for 1,014 yards and five TDs.

“It doesn’t hurt to have down-the-field speed,” Reid said. “We’ve functioned without the great speed down the field and done well, but if you have an opportunity to get somebody you think is a good player, you probably need to take advantage of that.”

The Chiefs won the Super Bowl last year with a patchwork wide receiver corps, and they were in the market for help even before second-year pro Rashee Rice — their biggest breakout star of last season — got embroiled in legal trouble in Texas.

Dallas police allege that Rice was driving a Lamborghini well over 100 mph when he and a friend, who was driving a Corvette, lost control and began a chain-reaction crash that resulted in injuries to several people. Rice left the scene without seeing if anyone was injured, but turned himself in when police issued warrants for his arrest.

Rice has been released on bond, and Reid has said he would continue to participate in the Chiefs' offseason program as the legal situation plays out. But the Chiefs must prepare for the possibility they will be without him for at least the first part of the season — if not the entire season — as they try to become the first team to win three consecutive Super Bowls.

“It's a quarterback league and a speed game,” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said, “and the more speed you have on the field, the harder it is for defenses to take away different elements of the game. We have a couple of guys now that can keep a defense guessing, and we're excited about what this will do.”

The Chiefs signed Hollywood Brown in free agency, and tight end Travis Kelce has been every bit as productive as any wide receiver. But otherwise, the Chiefs were faced with heading into the summer with Justin Watson, drop-prone Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore, and journeymen such as Montrell Washington filling out the receiver corps.

So the trade to get Worthy wasn't a surprise. But the fact that the Bills picked up the phone raised some eyebrows.

Along with the fact that Kansas City has frequently ended their season in the playoffs, the Chiefs also swung a memorable first-round trade with them in 2017: They sent Buffalo their first- and third-round picks that year and a first-round pick the next year to move up to No. 10 and select Mahomes, which ultimately altered the trajectory of the entire franchise.

“Everyone goes into the process with their own list of priorities of what they want to do and what they want to accomplish,” Veach said. “I think they had a mindset of what they wanted to do. They've done a great job over the years. I'm sure it made sense to them. We were on our own agenda. We saw value there.”

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