Kansas City Chiefs 2022 NFL draft hub
The Kansas City Chiefs have completed their 2022 NFL draft, making 10 selections and completing multiple trades, too.
It was a defense-heavy start to the draft for Kansas City, which took four defensive players within their first five picks. That includes a cornerback and edge rusher in the first round, Washington’s Trent McDuffie and Purdue’s George Karlaftis, respectively. On Day 2 of the draft the Chiefs took two more defenders, Cincinnati safety Bryan Cook in the second round and Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal in the third. The only exception to that early trend was Western Michigan wide receiver Skyy Moore, the Chiefs’ pick at No. 54 overall.
Day 3 saw the Chiefs do more of the same in terms of their general approach to the draft. While they grabbed offensive lineman Darian Kinnard in the fifth round and running back Isaih Pacheco in the seventh, they also selected another three defensive backs with impressive athletic profiles. Those three choices were Fayetteville State’s Joshua Williams (fourth round), Washington State’s Jaylen Watson (seventh round) and Marshall’s Nazeeh Johnson (seventh round).
Below, you can find brief recaps of every pick the Chiefs made this year, links to their draft write-ups and trade recaps. Additionally, their undrafted free agent signings are included at the bottom.
Day 1: Chiefs receive pick No. 21; Patriots receive pick Nos. 29, 94, 121.
Day 2: Chiefs receive pick Nos. 54 and 158; Patriots receive pick No. 50.
Day 3: Chiefs receive pick No. 145; Seahawks receive pick Nos. 158 and 233.
Round 1: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington (21st overall)
The Chiefs moved up to take McDuffie, a first-team All-Pac-12 honoree. He’s the first cornerback drafted by Kansas City in the first round since Marcus Peters, also out of Washington, back in 2015. He has top-end speed, running a 4.44 40-yard dash at this year’s NFL draft combine, and he pairs strong coverage skills with a willingness to tackle. General manager Brett Veach said McDuffie should be able to contribute right away.
Round 1: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue (30th overall)
Edge rusher was arguably the biggest need for the Chiefs in this year’s draft, and they addressed it early on with Karlaftis, a first-team All-Big Ten pick in 2021. His college production wasn’t overwhelming, racking up just 4.5 sacks last year, but he still generated plenty of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Karlaftis also tested well athletically, with a 9.23 Relative Athletic Score and “Elite” grades for his explosiveness. Expect him to pair up with Frank Clark as Kansas City’s top two edge players immediately.
Round 2: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan (54th overall)
On the clock with the 50th pick, the Chiefs were in a great situation for a team needing a wide receiver, with several of the best Day 2 prospects on the board. They moved out of that pick, dropped back four spots and still came away with a great fit. Moore has blazing speed, running a 4.41 40-yard dash, and in his final season at Western Michigan he caught 95 passes for nearly 1,300 yards. He’s the third receiver added by the Chiefs this offseason, joining free agents JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Round 2: Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati (62nd overall)
Bryan Cook didn’t get to do much athletic testing during the pre-draft process as he recovered from shoulder surgery, but the tape speaks for itself with the former Bearcats safety. He was a first-team All-American Athletic Conference pick last year from one of the best defenses in the country, and intercepted a pair of passes while recording 96 tackles. Standing 6-foot-1 and weighing 210 pounds, upon being drafted he became the biggest safety on the Chiefs’ roster.
Round 3: Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin (103rd overall)
In a draft class full of athletic freaks, Chenal may be the freakiest of the bunch, posting a 9.99 Relative Athletic Score out of a possible 10. He’s at his best playing down hill, where he can be especially aggressive and can unleash his impressive big-hit abilities as a tackler. Thanks to those skills and abilities, Chenal is also an effective blitzing threat from the second level. This is the third straight year the Chiefs have drafted a linebacker on Day 2.
Round 4: Joshua Williams, CB, Fayetteville State (135th overall)
Joshua Williams was the only Division II player invited to this year’s Senior Bowl and he impressed in Mobile, Alabama, and tested well athletically during the pre-draft process, too. In his senior season at Fayetteville State he broke up nine passes and intercepted three more on his way to All-CIAA honors. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com complimented Williams on his size, body control and ability to recover.
Round 5: Darian Kinnard, OT, Kentucky (145th overall)
Kinnard was arguably one of the biggest steals of the draft when Kansas City selected him in the fifth round. Pro Football Focus had him as the 79th-best prospect while he came in No. 119 on Daniel Jeremiah’s final big board, but the Chiefs were able to draft him at No. 145 overall. Kinnard offers the Chiefs’ offensive line versatility, as he was an All-American offensive tackle at Kentucky but physically projects as more of a guard in the NFL.
Round 7: Jaylen Watson, CB, Washington State (243rd overall)
Another elite athletic tester with a 9.21 RAS, Watson was a two-time JUCO All-American before transferring to Washington State, where he became an All-Pac-12 honorable mention. He had two interceptions in his final season in Pullman, and projects to find more success in zone coverage at the next level. Watson is the third of three cornerbacks the Chiefs drafted this year, which doubles the total number of cornerbacks they had on the roster going into the draft.
Round 7: Isaih Pacheco, RB, Rutgers (251st overall)
Pacheco is the second offensive weapon drafted by the Chiefs this year, and he joins a crowded running backs room in Kansas City. He’s coming off a 2021 campaign at Rutgers in which he ran for 647 yards and scored five touchdowns. It will be hard to crack the rotation with the Chiefs, as he’s already behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Ronald Jones, among others, but he has special teams potential and excellent speed, running a 4.37 40-yard dash.
Round 7: Nazeeh Johnson, S, Marshall (259th overall)
The Chiefs used their final pick of the draft on the oldest player in their class. Johnson spent six years at Marshall, including a redshirt year as a walk-on and a Covid season, but ended his college career on a high note with All-Conference USA honorable mention recognition. He made 67 tackles last year and had two interceptions. This pack came off the beaten path for the Chiefs, with few major draft outlets listing him among their top draftable prospects.
Undrafted free agents
Jack Cochrane, LB, South Dakota State
Tayon Fleet-Davis, RB, Maryland