After a rollercoaster start to the offseason, it is time for the Kansas City Chiefs to retool the roster with the slew of draft picks at their disposal.
It has been a bit of a bumpy ride for Kansas City this offseason. The team traded away franchise legend, Tyreek Hill, to Miami, in exchange for the No. 29, No. 50, and No. 121 overall picks in 2022. The Chiefs also added two extra picks in the 2023 draft. Tyrann Mathieu is another key member of the team that is going to be playing elsewhere next season. Mathieu made it no secret how much he wanted to stay with the organization, but it has been reported that the Chiefs didn’t extend an offer to the star safety.
Salary cap restraints are presumed to be the reason behind these two moves, at least in part. The Chiefs aren’t strapped for cash, but it was a long-term move to preserve future flexibility by bringing in the much younger Justin Reid at safety and replacing Tyreek with far cheaper options than the ~30 million dollars AAV that he was demanding. It is not going to be easy replacing the impact that the Honey Badger and Cheetah brought to the team, but the show must go on.
Now, the Chiefs find themselves with back-to-back picks in the first round. After addressing wide receiver multiple times in free agency (Juju Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling) and bringing in Reid to play safety alongside Juan Thornhill, it is no longer a guarantee that either of these positions are taken on the opening day of the draft. The moves made this offseason give general manager Brett Veach the freedom to employ a “Best Player Available” strategy.
Veach has been with the organization since 2013, eventually working his way up to the general manager position, where he has resided since 2017. Over the course of the five drafts spearheaded by Veach, the Chiefs have selected only two players in the first round — quarterback Patrick Mahomes (2017) and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaide (2020). This doesn’t give enough to find any trend, other than the high likelihood that one of the first-round picks this year will be used to trade down into the second round.
Kansas City Chiefs: First-Round Targets in the 2022 NFL Draft
If we extend it to second-round picks, there are seven total selections, with the most recent being a pair of steals in 2021 — linebacker Nick Bolton and center Creed Humphrey. Most of the picks from round two fit the classification of best players available at the time, which further supports the idea of using the same mentality early on in the 2022 NFL Draft. This article is meant to highlight six prospects — four on defense and two on offense — that are realistic options for the Kansas City Chiefs at picks No.29 and No.30 overall.