Skip to main content

Sportscasting | Pure Sports

Patrick Mahomes throws a pass during a Kansas City Chiefs game.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes throws a pass. | David Eulitt/Getty Images

Re-Grading Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2017 NFL Draft Class

After a strong regular season, the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2021 campaign ended in disappointment. Some offseason adjustments and the release of a new schedule, however, will provide a new test for Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid.

The biggest change in KC is, of course, the departure of Tyreek Hill. While the speedy receiver proved to be the perfect complement to Mahomes and Travis Kelce, the finances became unmanageable. With the six-time Pro Bowler looking for a massive contract, the Chiefs had to bite the bullet, look at the big picture, and move on.

General manager Brett Veach didn’t go big-game hunting and instead opted to replace Hill by committee. Mecole Hardman, who’s been playing in the Cheetah’s shadow since arriving in Kansas City, will theoretically take over as the team’s resident speedster. Marquez Valdes-Scantling can also go deep, and JuJu Smith-Schuster provides a big target for Mahomes.

KC also selected Western Michigan receiver Skyy Moore in the draft and signed Justyn Ross after the festivities concluded. They both have plenty of potential, but it remains to be seen how they’ll translate to the NFL level.

On the subject of drafting, Veach used seven draft picks on defensive players. That level of focus isn’t unprecedented — think of how the general manager rebuilt the offensive line last summer — but it does tell you about the organization’s priorities. After watching Joe Burrow pick it apart in the AFC title game, Kansas City knew it needed to improve on that side of the ball.

Largely, the moves make sense. Trent McDuffie slots right into the starting lineup, replacing Charvarius Ward. George Karlaftis will give Frank Clark and Chris Jones some help; Kansas City’s pass rush vanished whenever those two weren’t on the field together. Bryan Cook, in combination with free-agent signing Justin Reid, will help replace Tyrann Mathieu.

With all of that being said, the schedule won’t do the Chiefs any favors. Beyond their divisional games, KC will host Buffalo and Tennessee while traveling to Cincinnati and Tampa Bay. That slate will provide a stern test for the new-look receiver room and updated defense.

As the cliche says, you have to beat the best if you want to be the best.

2022 Kansas City Chiefs Schedule

1@ Arizona CardinalsSunday, Sept. 114:25 p.m. ETCBS
2vs. Los Angeles ChargersThursday, Sept. 158:20 p.m. ETPrime Video
3@ Indianapolis ColtsSunday, Sept. 251:00 p.m. ETCBS
4@ Tampa Bay BuccaneersSunday, Oct. 28:20 p.m. ETNBC
5vs. Las Vegas RaidersMonday, Oct. 108:15 p.m. ETESPN
6vs. Buffalo BillsSunday, Oct. 164:25 p.m. ETCBS
7@ San Francisco 49ersSunday, Oct. 234:25 p.m. ETFOX
8Bye WeekN/AN/AN/A
9vs. Tennessee TitansSunday, Nov. 68:20 p.m. ETNBC
10vs. Jacksonville JaguarsSunday, Nov. 131:00 p.m. ETCBS
11@ Los Angeles ChargersSunday, Nov. 204:25 p.m. ETCBS
12vs. Los Angeles RamsSunday, Nov. 274:25 p.m. ETFOX
13@ Cincinnati BengalsSunday, Dec. 44:25 p.m. ETCBS
14@ Denver BroncosSunday, Dec. 118:20 p.m. ETNBC
15@ Houston TexansSunday, Dec. 181:00 p.m. ETCBS
16vs. Seattle SeahawksSaturday, Dec. 241:00 p.m. ETFOX
17vs. Denver BroncosSunday, Jan. 11:00 p.m. ETCBS
18@ Las Vegas RaidersTBDTBDTBD

Like Sportscasting on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @sportscasting19 and subscribe to our YouTube channel.