In three weeks at the 2022 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs must find an edge rusher and receiver on Day 1.
It’s been an offseason of change for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Over the last month, the Chiefs have allowed future Hall of Fame safety Tyrann Mathieu to walk in free agency, and traded away superstar receiver Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins for five draft picks.
Additionally, Kansas City has remade its offense, signing receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling while replacing Mathieu with his former Houston Texans teammate, Justin Reid.
Entering the 2022 NFL Draft, Kansas City has a league-high 12 draft picks. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars have as many. For the Chiefs, they’re loaded up to start with two selections in each of the first, second, third and fourth rounds, including six choices in the top-103 overall.
The good news is aplenty for Kansas City fans in this draft. While there aren’t a litany of big-name quarterbacks or a star running back, there are oodles of talented edge rushers and receivers, the two biggest needs for the AFC powerhouse.
Picking at Nos. 29 and 30 overall in the first round, there will be a host of options. On the edge-rusher side, it could be Minnesota Golden Gophers star Boye Mafe, who is projected as a late-first round choice. Maye starred at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine, and could be a nice fit alongside Chris Jones and Frank Clark on the defensive front in coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme.
Offensively, George Pickens from Georgia makes plenty of sense. He’s coming off a knee injury that robbed him of most of his 2021 season, but he remains an elite talent. Then there’s Jameson Williams, who likely doesn’t get to Kansas City where it’s currently picking, but would general manager Brett Veach package a few picks and move up to get the electric burner from Alabama? There are additional options as well including North Dakota State’s Christian Watson, who has a great build and good speed, or Arkansas’ Treylon Burks, who struggled at the Combine but has great tape in the SEC.
Regardless of the names, the Chiefs must walk away with a pair of difference-makers in the first round at those positions, provided the board isn’t a hellscape. If they do that, their offseason will have more answers than questions for the first time in months.