The 2022 NFL Draft begins on April 28, which means that The Game Haus will be writing draft profiles for every team. Each NFL team will be evaluated heading into this year’s draft, as our staff recaps their last season, highlights their needs, and pinpoints their potential 2022 NFL Draft targets. The Kansas City Chiefs are the subject of today’s 2022 NFL Draft profile.
Coming into the 2021-22 season many expected the Kansas City Chiefs to make their third straight Super Bowl appearance. However, the team got off to a slow start and fell short in the AFC Championship game. The team’s success was dependent on the offense being able to be productive without the use of huge plays.
This past season was the worst year Patrick Mahomes has had in his career statistically. However, he still was voted to the Pro Bowl this season. Since becoming the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs Mahomes has been involved in the MVP conversation every year except this past one. Mahomes threw for 4,839 passing yards, 37 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.
Second-year running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire did not break out into the player Kansas City thought he would be when selecting him in the first round. Edwards-Helaire missed time due to injury which trusted Darrel Williams into the lineup. The Chiefs’ backfield turned into a committee once Edwards-Helaire returned from injury. Williams led the team with 558 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns despite only starting seven games. Edwards-Helaire accumulated 517 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns in ten games.
Both Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce had great statistical years that earned them Pro Bowl nods this past season. However, for the first time in their careers they were not unstoppable offensive weapons. Hill had been neutralized down the field and was forced to run routes closer to the middle of the field in order to make impact plays. While Kelce wasn’t putting up the same production week after week as he had earlier in his career. That is understandable considering he is 32 years old. Hill led the team with 1,239 receiving yards and nine receiving touchdowns. Kelce was second on the team with 1,125 receiving yards and nine receiving touchdowns.
Kansas City’s poor defensive play early in the season limited their team and forced them to win in shootouts. However, after acquiring pass rusher Melvin Ingram and kicking Chris Jones back to the interior the Chiefs’ defense began playing a lot better and helped the team win nine of their final ten games of the regular season. Rookie second-round pick Nick Bolton led the team in tackles with 112 combined tackles. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Chris Jones led the Chiefs with nine sacks. Tyrann Mathieu led the team in interceptions this past year with three and was voted to the Pro Bowl. Defensive end Frank Clark was voted to the Pro Bowl this year too despite having a rough season with only 4.5 sacks.
The Chiefs’ offseason has not been great to this point. Their AFC West rival teams acquired and signed notable players like Russell Wilson, Randy Gregory, Davante Adams, Chandler Jones, J.C. Jackson, and Khalil Mack. Also, the Chiefs lost Tyrann Mathieu in free agency and were forced to trade Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins after a contract dispute. On top of that Kansas City lost notable players like Charvarius Ward (three years $40.5 million w/ San Francisco 49ers), Mike Hughes (one year $2.25 million w/ Detroit Lions), Jarran Reed (one year $3.25 million w/ Green Bay Packers), DeMarcus Robinson (one year $1.2 million w/ Las Vegas Raiders) and Bryon Pringle (one year $4.125 million w/ Chicago Bears) in free agency. Other notable Chiefs free agents still on the market include Melvin Ingram, Darrel Williams, and Tyrann Mathieu.
Kansas City has also made some free agent signings to replace some of the players they lost and fill the voids on the roster. They were able to sign former Pro Bowl wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (one year $3.25 million), former Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (three years $30 million), former Texans safety Justin Reid (three years $31.5 million), and former Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones (one year $1.5 million). The Chiefs have been able to retain free agents like Derrick Nnadi (one year $2.75 million) and Andrew Wylie (one year $2.5 million).
The Tyreek Hill trade came down to two teams the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins who both had similar offers. In the end, Hill chose to play for the Dolphins which gave the Chiefs five draft picks in return. Kansas City acquired a 2022 first-round pick (29th overall), 2022 second-round pick (50th overall), 2022 fourth-round pick (121st overall), a 2023 fourth-round pick, and a 2023 sixth-round pick for Tyreek Hill.
2022 NFL Picks
Kansas City will have twelve picks to use in the 2022 NFL Draft
First Round (two picks): No. 29, No. 30
Second Round (two picks): No. 50, No. 62
Third Round (two picks): No. 94, No. 103
Fourth Round (two picks): No. 121, No. 135
Fifth Round (zero picks):
Sixth Round (zero picks):
Seventh Round (four picks): No. 234, No. 244, No. 252, No. 260
Wide Receiver- Kansas City traded away Tyreek Hill and lost both Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle in free agency. They need to add a capable number one wide receiver and add depth in the later rounds to replace Robinson and Pringle in their depth chart.
Edge Rusher- As it currently stands the Chiefs need a replacement for Melvin Ingram at defensive end to start opposite Frank Clark. The team should add a pass rusher who is capable of getting the passer at a high rate because Clark’s 4.5 sacks from last season cannot be second on the team in that category again.
Cornerback- The Chiefs have not made major investments at cornerback despite possibly spending a first-round pick at the position over the last few seasons. They have been able to get production out of later draft picks or solid veterans throughout the years. Now that Charvarious Ward and Mike Hughes are gone they need to add a cornerback that could be trusted to cover top receivers on opposing teams.
Right Tackle- Back in 2020 Kansas City drafted TCU tackle Lucas Niang in the third round to possibly eventually replace Mitchell Schwartz at right tackle. He opted out of his rookie season due to COVID-19 concerns and only started in nine of the twelve games he played this past season. It could be a good idea for the Chiefs to invest in a tackle with one of their premium picks to solidify their offensive line.
Defensive Tackle- Kansas City brought back Derrick Nnadi on a one-year deal to play next to Chris Jones. The team could explore bringing in another defensive tackle to rotate with Nnadi on the interior and become his long-term replacement at the position
Tight End- Travis Kelce is getting up there in age as he will be 33 in October of next season. It could be a good idea to explore drafting a possible replacement for him in this year’s deep tight end class. Kansas City drafted Noah Gray in the fifth round last year and could look to add another tight end this year.
Running Back- After two seasons it is clear that Clyde Edwards-Helaire likely will not be a star running back. He was barely able to fend off Darrel Williams from taking his job last season. It could be a good idea to invest a middle-round pick on a running back that could possibly rotate with Edwards-Helaire long-term since Williams is unlikely to return and Ronald Jones is only on a one-year deal.
Safety/Linebacker- Even though it is impossible to replace what Tyrann Mathieu was for the Chiefs team as a whole they could look to add a subpackage defender to fill the role he had on their defense. There are only a few prospects who play that role. But it could be something the team looks to address in the draft.
2022 Draft Targets
Pick No. 29: Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
It seems like there could be six cornerbacks taken in the first round (including Daxton Hill) of this draft. Late in the first round, the Chiefs may have to take one of the cornerbacks with a second-round grade to ensure they get a solid starter at the position.
Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon is no longer considered “the other Washington cornerback”. During this draft process, he has removed himself as Trent McDuffie’s running mate and emerged as a possible first-round prospect. Gordon is an extremely smart football player and is versatile to play both on the outside and in the nickel. He needs some development at the next level but has the potential to be a great starting cornerback.
Kansas City could start Gordon right away and coach him up to be a more than capable CB1 for them going forward. They should address the cornerback position in the first round because there is a massive drop-off from this point to the second round and beyond.
Pick No. 30: Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
Kansas City could very well be waiting for the draft to find Melvin Ingram’s replacement. There are plenty of prospects in that could go in the early rounds that could start right away and make an impact for the Chiefs. One prospect they could target late in the first round is Minnesota edge rusher Boye Mafe.
Among all pass-rushers that could be taken between the middle of the first round and the second round, Mafe has the highest ceiling as a pro. He has the size and athleticism to be a great player at the next level. Mafe is even versatile enough to play in a 4-3 or 3-4 front. The team that drafts him will need to refine his craft and get him to maintain consistent production in order for him to succeed in the league.
The Chiefs have enough veterans on their roster and great coaching staff to develop Mafe to reach his potential peak. Playing with veterans like Chris Jones and Frank Clark will allow him to grow over time without facing the pressure to have great production right away. In a few seasons, Mafe could overtake Frank Clark as the team’s second-best pass rusher and one of the best young defensive players in the league.
Pick No. 50: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
Even though the Chiefs desperately need to add a wide receiver they may wait until the second round to select one. It is unlikely that any of the top-5 receivers in this year’s class fall to Kansas City’s selections late in the first round. They could possibly trade up to land one of those receivers. But if they fail to trade up they may be better off waiting to land a wide receiver and addressing other needs in the first round. This year’s wide receiver class is very deep and it is not uncommon for receivers from Day 2 to emerge as stars early in their career.
Western Michigan wide receiver Skyy Moore was a PFF draft darling at the beginning of the draft process. However, after an outstanding combine he started gaining more national attention as a potential top-60 selection in this year’s draft. He is considered a possible sleeper to even go in the first round if a team wants to reach on a receiver late. Moore may not have 4.2 speed like Tyreek Hill but he is a great route runner and has the explosiveness to be a dynamic weapon for the Chiefs’ offense.
NFL Insider Jordan Schultz reported that the Chiefs could be interested in drafting Moore in this upcoming draft. He has been mocked to them even going in the first round by a few national draft analysts. If he were to fall to them in the second round there seems to be little doubt that they would pass on him to potentially be one of their best receivers in the near and distant future.
Pick No. 62: Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
The offensive tackle is a popular talking point at the beginning of the draft. But the potential Day 2 tackles in this year’s class like Minnesota’s Daniel Faalele deserve more attention because they could potentially be solid starters for their teams at the next level.
Faalele is a massive human being at 6’8″ and 387 pounds. Even though he was a left tackle at Minnesota, he will likely transition to the right side in the NFL. He had an outstanding Senior Bowl week which should solidify his status as a potential Day 2 selection.
Pairing Faalele with Orlando Brown Jr. would give the Chiefs two massive bookended tackles to protect Patrick Mahomes from all the talented pass rushers in the division.
Pick No. 94: Matthew Butler, DT, Tennessee
Over the past few seasons, the Kansas City Chiefs have usually added a defensive tackle to rotate opposite Chris Jones in the middle rounds of the draft. Last offseason they signed former Pro Bowler Jarran Reed instead of drafting one in the middle rounds. However, Reed is now a member of the Green Bay Packers. Kansas City could look to add another defensive tackle especially since Derek Nnadi, Tershawn Wharton, and Taylor Stallworth will all be free agents next offseason.
Tennessee defensive tackle Matthew Butler was arguably the best defensive player at the East-West Shrine Bowl this past season. He emerged as a player who could be a rotational nose tackle at the next level. Butler will likely be drafted either late on Day 2 or early on Day 3.
Kansas City could get production out of Butler as soon as his rookie year by inserting him into their defensive tackle rotation. He would be a stout run defender for the Chiefs and open up pass-rushing lanes for players like Chris Jones and Frank Clark on early downs.
Pick No. 103: David Bell, WR, Purdue
It wouldn’t be shocking to see the Chiefs take two wide receivers in this upcoming draft. Even though they signed two receivers to help replace the three they lost this offseason, they had a need at receiver prior to losing them. Late in the third round, Kansas City could target a receiver who could start off as a rotational player and find themselves in a key role later in their careers.
Purdue wide receiver David Bell felt like a lock to be selected in the top-45 or at least the second round early in the draft process. However after a poor combine many project him to slide into the middle or late rounds of the draft. Bell would be an interesting prospect for Kansas City because, despite his poor athletic testing, he has great tape showing production throughout his college football career at Purdue. He is also versatile enough to line up on the outside or in the slot which could benefit the Chiefs who are rebuilding their receiver group.
Bell likely won’t emerge as a star for whichever team drafts him. However, he could possibly emerge as a solid third or fourth receiver for an offense that will be reliable in the middle of the field. As much as the Chiefs need a star receiver to replace Tyreek Hill, they also need a quality option in the middle of the field. Patrick Mahomes should be able to maximize the production out of Bell if he were to have a consistent role in the Chiefs’ offense.