Kansas City Chiefs NFL mock draft for 2022

Kansas City Chiefs NFL mock draft for 2022

With 12 selections in the 2022 NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs are loaded with the draft capital needed to reload at key positions to try to get back to a fifth-straight AFC title game.

General manager Brett Veach hit home runs in the 2021 NFL draft when he selected Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith to rebuild the offensive line. He’ll need similar hits in the 2022 class as Kansas City faces depth problems at wide receiver, defensive end, cornerback and safety. And that doesn’t include future needs at right tackle and tight end.

The Chiefs have been the standard in the AFC since Patrick Mahomes took over as the starting quarterback in 2018, but to remain in that lofty position the roster must be turned over after the losses of stars Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu. They’re also going to face salary-cap issues Mahomes’ contract value goes up as part of his extension signed in 2020.

With 12 picks – including six in the first three rounds – now is the time to do a roster renovation. Here’s one look at how Veach and Co. can add key pieces to fuel another deep playoff run.

First, some rules:

  • There are no trades projected in this mock draft, even though the Chiefs are in a great position to maneuver in Round 1. I wanted to show just how many needs Kansas City has and how effectively those needs can be filled via the draft.

  • We’re keeping this realistic with each selection by drafting players who are ranked near the selection number on my overall Big Board.

Scroll to the bottom to see how ESPN Chiefs reporter Adam Teicher evaluates this haul. We’ll start with the two picks at Nos. 29 and 30:

Round 1, no. 29 (via MIA / SF): Daxton Hill, DB, Michigan

We know the Chiefs love speed on offense, but they’ve also done a great job of drafting speedy defensive backs and letting them wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks. Michigan’s sticky cover man Hill fits that bill.

The 6-foot and 191-pound Hill has the size to play the free safety role, but what intrigues me most is drafting him as a replacement for Mathieu. Hill often played in the slot on Michigan’s defense and is capable of covering receivers and tight ends in man coverage. Thanks to his 4.38 speed in the 40-yard dash and instincts as a defender, he’s a potential difference-maker in the secondary.

With both Mathieu and Charvarius Ward departing this offseason, adding to the defensive backfield is a top priority for Kansas City.


Round 1, no. 30: Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State

A favorite pairing of mine is to give the 6-foot-4 Watson to the Chiefs to bulk up a wide receiver corps that was undersized last season. The additions of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling will no doubt help, but both are on short-term deals.

Watson, with 4.36 40 speed and excellent body control, gives Mahomes a vertical weapon with size and speed to separate from defenders. Watson was also used in a variety of ways in college and has proven he can produce taking handoffs from the backfield, working on screens or simply posting up defenders in the red zone.

Watson has one of the most unique skill sets in the entire class. Watching coach Andy Reid and Mahomes put those traits to use would be a blast for football fans.


Round 2, no. 50 (via MIA): Drake Jackson, DE, USC

The Chiefs restructured the contract of Frank Clark to keep their top pass-rusher, but the spot opposite him has been a revolving door of stop-gap veterans since draft day misses on Breeland Speaks (2018) and Tanoh Kpassagnon (2017). This is the year to fill that need permanently.

Jackson had a red-hot start to the 2021 season before slowing down as the season wore on, finishing with five sacks. His ability to win with speed at 254 pounds is exactly what defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo needs.

Jackson’s profile as a 4-3 defensive end with upside makes sense for Kansas City.


Much like defensive end, the Chiefs have struggled to find a solution next to star defensive tackle Chris Jones. In Round 2, addressing the defensive line becomes the priority with a stout 6-foot-4 and 312-pound tackle who can not only stuff gaps but get to the quarterback.

Mathis started two seasons at Alabama while showing he has power in the run game and uses his length exceptionally well in both the A and B gaps. He’s raw as a pass-rusher, but Kansas City needs his run-stuffing ability on Day 1.


Round 3, no. 94: Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State

Ruckert is one of my favorite tight end prospects in the class, and a player who is flying under the radar as he started just one season in college. The fit with Ruckert here is perfect, as he’s experienced as an inline tight end and as a run blocker – something Ohio State demands of its tight ends. He’s also a soft-handed receiver (26 catches in 2021) and has proven himself as a red zone target.

An ascending prospect who I believe will be a better pro than college player, Ruckert would be in no rush to produce in the Chiefs’ offense but could be the replacement for future Hall of Famer Travis Kelce.

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Check out the best highlights that contributed to a stellar college career for Ohio State’s Jeremy Ruckert.


Round 3, no. 103 (comp pick): Tariq Woolen, CB, UT-San Antonio

Speed ​​and length in the secondary is a must, and the 6-foot-4 Woolen would bring that to the Kansas City secondary.

He posted amazing numbers at the NFL combine, including a 4.26 40 and a 42-inch vertical jump. That’ll turn heads and would excite a Kansas City defensive staff that loves players with rare measurables in the past such as L’Jarius Sneed.

Woolen profiles best as an outside cornerback, but his length makes him a candidate to play multiple positions. He was a wide receiver his first two years of college and needs time to develop, but he has a high ceiling.


Round 4, no. 121 (via MIA): Zach Tom, OL, Wake Forest

A versatile and experienced offensive lineman, Tom won postseason awards at both center and offensive tackle in the ACC.

The Chiefs are set at center with Humphrey, but the right tackle position has been a question mark since Mitchell Schwartz went down during the 2020 season. Tom has the agility and balance to play in the Chiefs’ zone blocking scheme. He also has the poise and instincts to get on the field earlier than expected as a midround pick.

There will be questions about his best NFL position due to limited size (6-foot-4, 304 pounds), but his value as a swing lineman is hard to pass up on Day 3 of the draft.


Round 4, no. 135: Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati

Watching the Chiefs’ offense last season, it was notable how badly they needed speed at the running back position – which is why we saw Jerick McKinnon have some late-season success.

With McKinnon gone, and even after adding free agent Ronald Jones II, speed should be a priority addition. Ford brings that slasher speed with solid hands out of the backfield. And if Jones struggles, Ford would be waiting in the wings to not only provide depth in 2022 but over the next three years, too.


Round 7, no. 233 (via MIN): Jack Jones, CB, Arizona State

In this mock draft, the Chiefs have now used three selections on improving the secondary – which speaks to the lack of talent on the depth chart and just how important depth is at cornerback given the quarterback and wide receiver talent that exists in the AFC West .

Jones had a fantastic week at the 2022 Shrine Game and started to get his name on the map. A 4.51 40 at the combine didn’t help his cause, but his tape shows a feisty cover corner who could develop into a valuable third or fourth cornerback if he can overcome his lack of elite size (5-foot-11, 177 pounds) .


Round 7, no. 243 (via LV / NE): Smoke Monday, S, Auburn

Not only does Monday have one of the best names in the 2022 class, but he’s also an intriguing all-around safety prospect. A two-year starter at Auburn, Monday has the versatility in the secondary the Chiefs tend to crave. Over the course of his career, he lined up at slot cornerback, free safety and box safety while also adding big plays on special teams.

In Round 7, every team is looking for depth at a position group, impact special teams players and high-character / high-effort players. Monday checks those boxes.


Round 7, no. 251: Tyshaun James, WR, Central Connecticut

Let’s take a flier on a speedster whose measurables are turning heads. The 6-foot and 212-pound James posted “wow” numbers at his pro day, running a 4.49 40, but most importantly a 2.53-second 20-yard split and a 10-foot-11 broad jump. Those numbers might not mean much, but to scouts they show a player’s explosiveness (broad jump) and his acceleration (20-yard split).

In Round 7, evaluators will bet on those numbers, especially with a quarterback such as Mahomes who can elevate the talent around him.


Round 7, no. 259 (comp pick): Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M

And finally, here’s another pick at tight end, trying to find a potential steal. A year ago, Wydermyer was talked about as a potential top-50 pick before he had an odd pre-draft cycle this spring.

At 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, Wydermyer looks like an ideal “F” tight end on tape with agility and speed. But his testing times – a 5.02 40, 25.5-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-1 broad jump – simply don’t match up with what he put on tape at Texas A&M.

For Wydermyer, the testing times make him close to undraftable. For Kansas City, taking the chance on a productive college player whose numbers don’t match the tape is a risk worth taking this late.

Adam Teicher’s take

This draft would cover some much-needed ground for the Chiefs. I’d have to think they would be happy with this haul.

The secondary is due for a refresh after the Chiefs lost long-time regulars in Mathieu, Ward and Daniel Sorensen. Hill and Woolen are good places to continue this effort that began in free agency with the signing of Justin Reid. I also like the idea of ​​throwing numbers at the problem in later rounds. Watson, coming from the FCS level, can’t be reasonably expected to become the No. 1 wide receiver as a rookie, but he would eventually need to step into that role.

I’m nervous about a couple of defensive linemen in the second round, only because Tanoh Kpassagnon and Breeland Speaks were second-round choices, too. If even one of those players had worked out as the Chiefs had hoped, they’d be a lot better off at this point.

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