NFL Draft: Daniel Jeremiah Predicts Chiefs Desperately Reach for Tyreek Hill Replacement

The Kansas City Chiefs have played in four consecutive AFC Championship games, two Super Bowls, and won one Lombardi Trophy in the last half-decade. This offseason, the franchise shockingly traded one of its most dangerous offensive weapons, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, to the Miami Dolphins. Now, the team will likely try to replace him in the 2022 NFL Draft, but it would be a mistake if they do so in the way that NFL Network draft guru Daniel Jeremiah predicts.

The Kansas City Chiefs offense will look much different without Tyreek Hill

North Dakota State Bison wide receiver Christian Watson catches the football for a first down during the FCS Championship game. Watson could be an NFL draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Christian Watson | Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

WR Tyreek Hill, a six-year NFL veteran, has one of the few things you can’t teach an NFL player: Pure speed.

Coming out of West Alabama — after leaving Oklahoma State following a horrific domestic violence incident — Hill ran a 4.29 40-yard dash at his pro day, the fourth-fastest run ever recorded at the time.

The 5-foot-10, 195-pound pass-catcher wasn’t just a workout warrior, though. In pads, he played as fast as he tested. In Hill’s rookie season, he took the league by storm. He caught 61 balls for 593 yards and scored six touchdowns. That was good enough to make the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams.

Since then, Hill has made the Pro Bowl every season with two more All-Pro nods. Last year, he caught 111 balls for 1,239 yards and scored nine TDs. He also torched the vaunted Buffalo Bills defense in the AFC Divisional Round game to the tune of 11 catches for 150 yards and a score.

This offseason, the Chiefs and Hill seemed to be on their way to a long-term contract extension. However, when those talks broke down, KC swiftly traded the WR to the Miami Dolphins for five picks, including 2022 first-and second-rounders.

The Chiefs signed Juju Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling this offseason to help deal with the loss. In order to truly replace Hill, though, the team will need to find WR talent in the NFL draft.

Daniel Jeremiah projects the Chiefs will take a WR in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft

After the Tyreek Hill trade, the Kansas City Chiefs now hold the Nos. 29 and 30 picks in the upcoming NFL draft.

In his most recent mock draft, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has the Chiefs taking a shot at replacing Hill by selecting North Dakota State wideout Christian Watson. While Watson could someday turn into a good player, he’s not the immediate replacement the Chiefs need and would be a reach at their picks.

Watson has excellent size and speed at 6-foot-4, 208-pounds, and running a 4.38 40 at the combine. He also put up decent numbers but didn’t dominate at his FCS school like you’d want to see from a first-round pick. Last season he had career highs in receptions (43), yards (801), and touchdowns (seven), per GoBison.com.

While Jeremiah predicts the Chiefs will pick Watson in the first round, he seems to agree that it’s a reach. In his most recent updated player rankings on NFL.com, the draft expert has Watson ranked No. 45 overall in his rankings.

Watson has all the physical tools, but rolling the dice in Round 1 on a good — not great — small-school player is risky.

There are six legit first-round receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft

The 2022 WR draft class is an incredibly deep and talented one, especially at the top. There are six no-doubt first-round receivers and several, like Christian Watson, who probably should be second-rounders but could easily sneak into the draft’s opening night.

The top six wideouts that will go in the first round this year are:

  1. Drake London, USC
  2. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
  3. Jameson Williams, Alabama
  4. Chris Olave, Ohio State
  5. Jahan Dotson, Penn State
  6. Treylon Burks, Arkansas

This list is ranked by general consensus. However, different experts will have one player or another higher than others isn’t unusual in 2022. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder this year, but, especially with the top four, you can’t go wrong this draft.

Right behind this group is a smaller group of pass-catchers who have a solid second-round grade but could easily jump into the first after the Big Six are off the board. This group consists of:

  1. Christian Watson, North Dakota State
  2. Skyy Moore, Western Michigan
  3. George Pickens, Georgia

Additionally, Alabama’s John Metchie III and Memphis’ Calvin Austin III won’t sneak into Round 1 but will definitely find a team in Round 2 along with several other wideouts.

After what players like Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, CeeDee Lamb, DeVonta Smith, and Amon-Ra St. Brown have done in the last two seasons, chances are at least a few of these first two round receivers will have big rookie years.

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