Jaylen Watson selected with 243rd pick, third cornerback selected by Kansas City Chiefs in 2022 NFL draft

The Kansas City Chiefs have made a concerted effort to restock their cornerbacks room in the 2022 NFL draft, using their first of three seventh-round picks to add another, Washington State’s Jaylen Watson.

Entering the draft, the Chiefs had just three players listed at cornerback on their official roster: L’Jarius Sneed, Rashad Fenton and DeAndre Baker. Watson is the third drafted this weekend, joining first-round pick Trent McDuffie from Washington and fourth-round pick Joshua Williams from Fayetteville State.

Watson played two seasons at Washington State, earning All-Pac-12 honorable mention status in 2021 after intercepting two passes and recording four fumble recoveries. He was even more dominant at the junior college level, where he was a two-time JUCO All-American at Ventura College.

Athletically, Watson fits the mold the Chiefs have been following throughout the draft: super athletic. His Relative Athletic Score of 9.21 is right in line with the other cornerbacks Kansas City has selected. McDuffie’s score is a 9.48, while Williams’s is 9.43. In fact, every Chiefs defensive draft pick who qualified for a score has one above 9.00 out of 10.00 (safety Bryan Cook did not test due to injury).

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com assigned Watson a priority free agent grade, writing: “Currently, he’s unable to stay in phase with quality route runners but does have physical traits that might warrant a practice squad stint for defenses reliant upon Cover 2 and/or Cover 3 schemes.”

The Chiefs have two more selections in the final round of the draft, Nos. 251 and 259 overall.