Like many Kansas City Chiefs fans, I was excited to learn about the new lineup, including players traded for, signed, and Chiefs draft picks during the 2022 offseason.
But the real question is, how are these National Football League teams going to do in the 2022-2023 season. And for us living in Kansas City, and the greater Kansas and Missouri areas, the real question is how are the Chiefs going to do!
I followed the offseason closely and have a breakdown of all of the Chiefs draft picks, new signings as well as some of the losses.
Kansas City Chiefs Free Agency Losses & Trades
While I know a lot of people are sad about the loss of Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu, there is a lot of upside with the new players both traded for, signed, and drafted in the 2022 offseason.
the Tyreek Hill Trade
First off, let’s get something straight, the Kansas City Chiefs did not lose the Tyreek Hill trade.
Of course, Tyreek Hill (wide receiver) was a fantastic player for us and still is the fastest player in the NFL. But what we got for him in return was well worth it because he was going to request a payday that we could not fulfill within the next year.
Receivers such as Davante Adams signed with the Las Vegas Raiders for 140 million dollars over 5 years. This gives Davante Adams an average of 28 million dollars a year.
With Tyreek Hill being one of the top receivers in the league alongside Davante Adams, it was only logical that Hill would want a piece of the action and the Chiefs also have Frank Clark’s massive contract.
In my opinion, this type of contract wasn’t something the Chiefs could simply fulfill for Hill.
the Tyreek Hill Trade outcome
Therefore the Chiefs ended up trading Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins in return for 5 draft picks.
In return for Hill, the Kansas City Chiefs received the following:
- The 29th pick in the first round (2022)
- A second round pick (2022)
- Two 4th-round picks (one in 2022 and one in 2023)
- A sixth-round (2023) pick.
This by no means is a small return for Tyreek Hill. For example, Robert Woods, who is not nearly as good as a receiver, yet still a top 30 receiver in the NFL, was traded from the Los Angeles Rams to the Tennessee Titans for only a sixth-round pick.
Tyrann Mathieu Loss
On the other hand, we did lose Tyrann Mathieu (safety) to free agency and got nothing in return.
The Chiefs did sign Tyrann Mathieu as a free agent in 2019, so unlike Hill, he was not drafted, therefore, his loss was not as significant.
Additional Chiefs Losses for the 2022-2023 Season
I would be remiss if I did not also mention that we also lost Byron Pringle (wide receiver), Chardavious Ward (cornerback), Jarran Reed (defensive tackle), Mike Hughes (cornerback), Daniel Sorenson (safety), Demarcus Robinson (wide receiver), Austin Blythe (center), and Armani Watts (safety), all to free agency.
Kansas City Chiefs New Players – Free Agency Pick Ups
Now that we’ve got the losses out of the way, we can look at the new pickups for the Kansas City Chiefs. Losing almost all of our big-name receivers aside from Mecole Hardman, the Chiefs front office needed to make some big moves in free agency, and that’s exactly what they did.
Below are the new players for the Chiefs that were picked up as free agents.
Juju Smith-Schuster (slot receiver)
The Chiefs signed Juju Smith-Schuster to a one-year 10.75 million dollar deal. Smith-Schuster is a large guy at 6’1 and 215 pounds.
He is a great slot receiver that has a surprising amount of speed for his size, running a 4.54 at his combine in 2017.
He is comparable to receivers such as Kenny Golladay, and Tee Higgins.
While he has had some off-the-field antics with his Tik-Tok videos, he has stated he is firmly committed to playing his best football this season and keeping his mindset on that goal.
I believe Juju Smith Schuster will be a great addition to the Chiefs as we have lacked a good slot receiver for a while; to the point where Travis Kelce (Tight end) has had to take over some of the duties of a slot receiver.
With the addition of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Travis Kelce will be covered by more linebackers and safeties giving him an even bigger advantage than he would have to play against quarterbacks who are faster than him.
While Smith-Schuster spent the majority of the 2021-2022 season injured, he is back to full health by all reports and looks better than ever. He is one of the Chiefs new players I am most excited to watch this season.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Wide receiver)
The other big pick-up the Chiefs had in free agency was signing Marquez Valdes-Scantling, from the Packers.
Valdes-Scantling ran a remarkable 4.37 40 yard dash at his NFL draft combine in 2018. This is especially remarkable because he is 6’4 and 206 pounds.
Valdes-Scantling’s height would lead you to believe that he would be a jump ball slot receiver or even a tight end, however, he is a fantastic deep threat receiver that can beat most cornerbacks at the line of scrimmage and get wide open for long plays. He is one of the new players for the Chiefs that is generating a lot of excitement.
With Patrick Mahomes elite ball placement and fantastic arm strength, I believe this will be a great addition to the Chiefs that will lead us fans to see many 50+ yards plays from this duo.
Justin Reid (Safety)
The Chiefs also signed a very big name on the defensive end of the field in free agency. His name is Justin Reid. He is a 6’1, 203-pound safety that is only 25 years old.
Reid is expected to replace Tyrann Mathieu as an elite force in the Chiefs’ secondary.
Reid has up until now, only played for the Texans and due to the Texans’ lackluster performance in the past couple of years, Reid has been overlooked as a player due to his team’s poor performance.
However, after looking at his tape it is quite obvious to see that he is one of the top young safeties in the NFL. Physical and fast, Reid has racked up seven interceptions, As well as creating fantastic pressure on both the receiver and the quarterback depending on the play call.
While I do not believe he will be quite as good as Mathieu right away I do believe that he will grow into the role Mathieu played for the Chiefs and be just as good if not better in the future.
Other notable signings from the free agency include the following;
Jermaine Carter (Interior Line-Backer) who was previously with the Carolina Panthers and played college football at the University of Maryland.
Ronald Jones II (Running Back) played college football at USC and then for Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Taylor Stallworth (Defensive Tackle) played college football at the University of South Carolina and was signed by the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2018.
Deon Bush (Safety) played college football at the University of Miami and was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Geron Christian (Offensive Tackle) played college football at Louisville and was drafted by the Washington Commanders in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Chiefs Draft Picks
While the Chiefs did not have the biggest free agency class, I do believe they filled almost all of the holes in the roster where improvement was crucial.
Brett Veach, who is the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs, did a great job during the 2022 NFL Draft to put together an incredible draft and fill the roster with great choices.
In those spots we did not fully improve, we had the NFL draft. Going into the NFL draft the Chiefs had two first-round picks, two second-round picks as well as multiple pics in rounds 3-7.
In other words, they were stacked when it came to the number of pics available, having around double the pics that the average NFL team had.
Most of the Kansas City Chiefs draft picks were acquired from the Tyreek Hill trade to the Miami Dolphins.
With the first pick in the first round, the Chiefs traded up with the New England Patriots from pick 29 to pick 21, giving up the 94th and 121st picks in the draft.
Here are the Kansas City Chiefs draft picks
Trent McDuffie (cornerback)
With the 21st pick of the NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs took Trent McDuffie, a cornerback from The University of Washington.
McDuffie is a fantastic lockdown cornerback standing at 5’11, 193 pounds, who ran a 4.44. After losing Chardavious Ward, McDuffie will be a fantastic addition to the Chiefs not only being a player in a position of need but being a steal in the draft as most draft analysts had him ranked in the top 15 players in the draft.
George Karlaftis (defensive end)
With the 30th overall pick in the first round, The Kansas City Chiefs selected George Karlaftis, a defensive end from Purdue.
Karlaftis stands at a massive 6’4 and 266 pounds. He was a monster in college racking up 14 sacks, 29 tackles for loss, as well as four fumble recoveries.
Karlaftis is going to be a much-needed addition to the team, as besides Frank Clark, they do not have any depth on either Right Edge or Left Edge.
As well as the fact that Frank Clark’s salary is a disaster and the Chiefs will likely be looking into trading him or releasing him to save money. Karlaftis will be a major focal point of the Chiefs’ defensive line and a stellar new signing.
Skyy Moore (receiver)
Even after signing Juju Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, the Chiefs needed one more big-time receiver on the team.
So, with the 54th pick in the NFL draft, The Kansas City Chiefs selected Skyy Moore, a lightning-fast receiver from Western Michigan.
Analysts said that wide receiver Skyy Moore was a perfect pick for the Chiefs, making him one of the most exciting choices in the draft for Chiefs fans.
Hopes are that Skyy Moore can easily replace Tyreek Hill in both play style and his over-the-top, but lovable personality.
Skyy Moore stands at 5’10, 195 pounds, And not only runs a 4.41 40 yard dash but is incredibly physical and strong for his size and speed. I believe he will be a fantastic addition to the Chiefs next season and I can’t wait to see all of the deep pass connections between him and Mahomes.
Bryan Cook (Safety)
With the 62nd pick in the NFL draft, the Chiefs selected Bryan Cook a Safety from Cincinnati. Cook’s playstyle is reminiscent of Julian Blackmon, being a very strong as well as physical safety that is not afraid to guard any receiver, running back, or tight end, and even goes after the quarterback on blitzes.
Standing at 6’1 and 206 pounds, Cook Looks like he will be a great fit for the Chiefs, both scaring receivers with his physicality and pressuring the quarterback with his speed and strength.
Leo Chenal (linebacker)
Staying on the defensive side of the ball, with the 103rd pick in the NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs selected Leo Chenal, a linebacker out of Wisconsin.
The Chiefs new player is 6’3 and 250 pounds. Chenal is widely regarded as the most violent player in the NFL draft; absolutely obliterating running backs, receivers, and quarterbacks on tackles, as well as shedding blockers to get to whoever has the ball.
With the Chiefs’ other young linebackers such as Nick Bolton and Willie Gay, adding Leo Chenal in my opinion is going to make the Chiefs linebacker core one to be reckoned with for many years to come.
Joshua Williams (cornerback)
In the fourth round, the Chiefs selected Joshua Williams with the 135th pick. Williams is a cornerback out of Fayetteville State, who has been compared to corners in the league such as Greedy Williams, with a fast 40 yard dash time of 4.53.
Darian Kinnard (offensive tackle)
With their next pick, the Chiefs took Darian Kinnard, an offensive tackle out of Kentucky.
With his huge frame of 6’5 and 322 pounds, Kinnard is just what the Chiefs were looking for in a tackle.
As the rest of the Chiefs’ offensive line is elite, including Creed Humphrey ranked as the best center in the league as a rookie, Trey Smith at guard as one of the most underrated rookies last year, Joe Thuney a young but proven guard, and Orlando Brown Jr a solidified elite left tackle.
Right tackle is the only spot the Chiefs seemed to want and need to improve, making Kinnaird the perfect pick.
In the seventh round, the GM Brett Veach had three picks and chose the following new players for Chiefs:
Jaylen Watson, a cornerback out of Washington State. Watson is a two-time All-Pac-12 Conference honorable mention selection and finished 2021 second in the country with four fumble recoveries and posted 31 tackles with three pass breakups and two interceptions.
Isiah Pacheco, a running back out of Rutgers and the teams 2021 team captain. Pacheco started all 12 games for the Scarlet Knights the 2021 season, rushing for 647 yards on 167 carries and five touchdowns. He ended his football career at Rutgers with 2,442 career rushing yards to rank seventh in program history, with his 563 carries sixth. In addition, he is ranked 11th in the school record book with 3,039 career all-purpose yards. He played in the 2022 Hula Bowl and The East-West Shrine Game.
Nazeeh Johnson, a safety out of Marshall University. Johnson claimed All-Conference USA honorable mention honors, is the recipient of the Marshall University football team’s “Unsung Hero Award”, an honor given to players who made significant contributions to the success of the team. He was also the team’s fifth-leading tackler with 67 tackles in the 2021 season.
Justyn Ross (receiver)
One last pic up I can’t go without mentioning is Justyn Ross a superstar receiver out of Clemson. The only reason Ross went undrafted was that he was diagnosed with Klippel-Feil syndrome (when two vertebrae abnormally fuse together).
He was questionable to ever play again after that diagnosis. However, he did and played great until he suffered a foot injury.
It has been reported, that he has now recovered from both injury concerns and seems to be back to full health.
However, because of these injury concerns, he went undrafted. But if those injury concerns had not happened, he was on a trajectory to be a first-round pick. Now that he is, by all accounts healthy, I believe that this signing is going to be a steal for the Chiefs and that he will become a great NFL receiver.
Chiefs Draft Picks and Free Agency Gains Overview
Overall I believe that the Chiefs 2022 draft picks were a massive success for the Chiefs, bringing in established veteran players as well as drafting extremely talented players that will likely be starters on the Chiefs for years to come. so next time that friend that’s a Raiders fan talks about the Chiefs losing Tyreek Hill, remind him what we got in return, and how much better the team is going to be this coming year.
Now that the 2022 NFL draft is over and almost all free agents have been signed, it’s time for the real offseason of NFL football.
Players will take vacations and spend time with their families, and eventually start to head back to training camp to work with head coach Andy Reid and get into peak shape for the upcoming 2022-2023 season.
Which of the Chiefs’ draft picks are you most excited to see on the field in the fall? Let me know below in the comments.