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Sunday Spotlight: The Chiefs’ Magnificent 2022 Draft Class

On Saturday evening, Brett Veach and the Kansas City Chiefs put the final touches on their 2022 NFL Draft Class. The draft class features ten players. Seven of them will play on the defensive side of the football. The haul of players is a true masterclass on drafting for value. Put it into the Louvre (it’s that good).

Despite just two picks in the draft’s top 50 selections, the Chiefs came away with a league-leading four of the draft’s top-50 prospects, according to Pro Football Focus. The Kansas City front office showed patience and poise throughout the Draft. They didn’t reach for their guy as in previous years. They traded up when necessary, traded down when they could, and ensured each pick filled a clear need on the roster.

In what was possibly the single-most-important draft in the franchise’s history, the Chiefs knocked it out of the park. Say hello to your Chiefs 2022 draft class:

The Chiefs Get Two Week One Starters In The Draft’s First Round

Out of the University of Washington, Trent McDuffie gives the Chiefs a physical, shut-down corner. Although he lacks size, his ball skills and football intelligence are outstanding. McDuffie was the number three ranked cornerback in the entire draft class. The Chiefs traded three picks to the Patriots, including the 29th overall selection, to move up and select McDuffie. With the departure of Charvarius Ward, McDuffie figures to start alongside Rashad Fenton and L’Jarius Sneed from week one. The Chiefs’ cornerbacks offer immense upside and now have great depth to boot.

NFL Comparison: Jaire Alexander

George Karlaftis, an edge rusher out of Purdue, was seen by many as the best pass rusher in the draft beyond the clear trio at the top. Just Aiden Hutchinson, the draft’s number two overall selection, posted a higher pass-rush win rate in 2021. As a rookie, Karlaftis will give the Chiefs’ defensive front a new look. With quick, powerful hands, the 21-year-old can overpower opposing offensive tackles. His bend needs work, and he doesn’t bring elite speed but can overcome with his explosive first step and overpowering nature.

NFL Comparison: Cameron Jordan

On Day Two Of The Draft, The Chiefs Look To Replace Two All-Pros

Skyy Moore was hailed as one of the draft’s best-kept secrets. He carried a first-round grade from Pro Football Focus after hauling in 95 receptions for 1,292 yards and ten touchdowns at Western Michigan. Moore was productive in all three of his NCAA seasons before he slipped to the Chiefs at pick 54. Originally slated to pick at 50, the Chiefs instead opted to trade down with (again) the Patriots.

Three wide receivers were taken in those four picks, including Georgia wideout George Pickens to the Steelers. The Chiefs must have felt secure that their man would fall to them. Moore won’t be a replacement for Tyreek Hill but will surely be a candidate to take his place as the new number one option for Patrick Mahomes

NFL Comparison: Tyler Lockett

Bryan Cook can hardly be expected to replace Tyrann Mathieu as a rookie but gives the Chiefs another solid bit of depth in the secondary. The safety out of Cincinnati hits hard and plays exceptionally against the run. Cook will not slide directly into the Tyrann Mathieu role but instead will fit into the role formerly filled by Daniel Sorensen. With Juan Thornhill’s future still up in the air (he’s a free agent after 2022), the Chiefs will look to Cook as a strong safety of the future.

NFL Comparison: Keanu Neal

Leo Chenal becomes the third of a trio of young Chiefs linebackers. With Chenal, Willie Gay Jr, and Nick Bolton, the Kansas City defense now boasts one of the best young linebacker corps in the entire NFL. Chenal is an excellent pursuit linebacker. He will slot in immediately as the Kansas City strong side linebacker with Nick Bolton up the middle and Willie Gay Jr. shoring up the weak side. Like Bryan Cook and Trent McDuffie, Chenal is an outstanding tackler who plays outstanding against the run game.

NFL Comparison: Sean Lee

The Draft’s Final Rounds See The Chiefs Acquire Impressive Depth

Joshua Williams, a cornerback out of Fayetteville State University, gives the Chiefs a big-bodied defender who can utilize his size and versatility well. Although not extremely fast (4.53 40-yard dash), Williams has long arms and should match up well against NFL wide receivers in a variety of coverages and alignments.

NFL Comparison: Trumaine Johnson

Darian Kinnard from Kentucky led all SEC Tackles in PFF Grade last season. The lowest run-blocking grade he received in three seasons at Kentucky was 89.2. Although much of the Kansas City offensive line is in place, many questions still remain at Right Tackle. Can Lucas Niang get healthy and pay off on his draft value? Kinnard adds himself to that equation now as the Chiefs hope to find a long-term answer on the right side.

NFL Comparison: James Carpenter

Jaylen Watson became the third cornerback selected by the Chiefs in this year’s draft. The 6’2″ product of Washington State becomes yet another large-statured corner, joining Joshua Williams. With smaller corners already in hand, in Rashad Fenton and Trent McDuffie, the Chiefs have made a point to draft a different makeup of cornerback in this year’s draft.

NFL Comparison: Marcus Cooper

Isiah Pacheco of Rutgers became one of three Chiefs’ seventh-rounders selected on the third day of the NFL Draft. Pacheco fits the Chiefs’ scheme very well. At 5’10”, 216 pounds, Pacheco is a short, stocky back who can fight for yardage. The Chiefs already have the top three running back roster spots filled, but Pacheco will battle with undrafted free agent Jerrion Ealy to capture the team’s final roster spot this fall.

NFL Comparison: Isaiah Crowell

Nazeeh Johnson rounded out a masterful 2022 draft class for the Chiefs. Johnson is very raw, which is to be expected from the 259th pick of the draft. He was listed as a safety but, in reality, could very well play cornerback for the Chiefs. Johnson played five seasons at Marshall and profiles as yet another speedy but under-sized weapon in the Kansas City secondary. He can play all over.

NFL Comparison: Terrance Mitchell

How well do you think the Chiefs drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.

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