With Tyreek Hill off to field passes from Tua Tagovailoa on the Miami Dolphins, the Chiefs entered the draft with JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Mecole Hardman headlining the positional group. That’s a lot of letters but little guaranteed production even if you believe Mahomes is good enough to make anyone look like a quality option.
Elsewhere, Kansas City needed to find an edge-rusher and help in the secondary, and those gaps should have been easier to fill with eight of the first 140 picks on Thursday and Friday night. A fifth straight trip to the AFC Championship Game might hinge on the ability to unearth immediate contributors.
2022 NFL Draft picks by Kansas City Chiefs
- No. 21 Overall: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
- No. 30 Overall: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
- No. 54 Overall: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
- No. 62 Overall: Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati
- No. 103 Overall: Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin
- No. 135 Overall: Joshua Williams, CB, Fayetteville State
- No. 145 Overall: Darian Kinnard, OL, Kentucky
- No. 243 Overall: Jaylen Watson, CB, Washington State
- No. 251 Overall: Isiah Pacheco, RB, Rutgers
- No. 259 Overall: Nazeeh Johnson, CB, Marshall
No. 21 Overall: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
Breaking news: The Kansas City Chiefs needed to address their porous secondary (yes, it looked better at times during the second half of the 2021 regular season). They did exactly that by trading up into the New England Patriots’ original spot at No. 21 and selecting Trent McDuffie, who should provide an immediate boost at cornerback. His versatility and speed on the outside will fit nicely in Kansas City’s defensive scheme from day one. Expect to see many press coverages throughout the 2022 season from this 5-foot-11 speedster.
No. 30 Overall: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
The Kansas City Chiefs made a great pick choosing Purdue edge-rusher George Karlaftis. The former Boilermaker grew up in Greece and didn’t start playing football until he moved to the U.S. at 13. He’s 6-foot-4, 266-pounds, and racked up 14 sacks in his three years in college. Karlaftis has a great motor and a burning desire to get after the quarterback. He’s very reminiscent of another Big 10 DE who wasn’t an elite athlete but made the most of what he had in the NFL. That’s the future Hall of Famer J.J. Watt. With KC DL Chris Jones moving back inside and Karlaftis rushing opposite Frank Clark, the Chiefs will finally have a pass-rush that needs to be feared.
No. 54 Overall: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
Skyy Moore might not be Tyreek Hill, but he’s pretty close and has better hands. Like Hill, Moore is on the smaller side (5-foot-10, 195-pounds) but can play inside or out. He doesn’t have Hill’s elite speed (4.4-second 40-yard dash) but he can move. Moore is a solid replacement for Hill and a solid second-round pick.
No. 62 Overall: Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati
Another solid pick for the Chiefs. Cincinnati’s Bryan Cook is strong enough to help in the box and can cover tight ends. He’s a versatile modern safety and, while he’s not Tyrann Mathieu, he’s a viable replacement and a nice pick at this spot.
No. 103 Overall: Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin
Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal became a trendy sleeper during the draft process. At 6-foot-3, 250-pounds, with a 4.51-second 40 time, he’s described as a brick wall on the field. He will be a run-stuffer and is an excellent blitzer. He won’t stand up to good tight ends in coverage but he’ll make plays for Kansas City’s suddenly exciting new defense.
Day 3 Picks
No. 135 Overall: Joshua Williams, CB, Fayetteville State
The Chiefs get a CB from an HBCU who hasn’t played against big-time competition yet, but at 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, with fluid athleticism, Williams could be a steal this late in the draft and add to this incredibly sold defensive draft class.
No. 145 Overall: Darian Kinnard, OL, Kentucky
Kinnard played RT at Kentucky but at 6-foot-5, 322-pounds he projects as a guard in the NFL. It’s a good value pick for a backup who can play multiple positions and could develop into a starter someday thanks to his size and mauler mentality.
No. 243 Overall: Jaylen Watson, CB, Washington State
Watson is a big, strong, raw corner who was a JUCO All-American before enrolling and then dropping out of USC before going on to be a solid starter at Washington State.
No. 251 Overall: Isiah Pacheco, RB, Rutgers
Pacheco has serious upside for a seventh-rounder. He ran a blazing 4.37 40 at the combine at 5-foot-10, 216-pounds. His NFL.com scouting report compares him to “a race car with no brakes,” which could be driven incredibly by Patrick Mahomes.
No. 259 Overall: Nazeeh Johnson, CB, Marshall
A small corner with big athleticism, Johnson ran a 4.35 40-yard dash and posted a 42-inch vertical leap in the pre-draft process. Once again, the Chiefs took a big swing on top-of-the-line athleticism, which is what you should do in Round 7.