The Chiefs have plenty of options regarding the 2022 NFL Draft, but one strategy we don’t hear a ton about is the possibility of trading down. This year especially, given the lack of top-shelf QB talent, trading down, out of the first round to be specific, could be a viable option for the Chiefs.
If you aren’t familiar, trading down typically refers to when a team trades a draft pick away for a collection of lower, less valuable draft picks. For instance, the Chiefs have the 30th overall draft pick this year. Let’s say the New York Giants call and offer the 36th and 67th picks in exchange for the 30th. The Chiefs accepting such a hypothetical trade is an example of trading down. Teams may choose to trade down for a variety of reasons, but the basic reasoning is that trading down provides a team with a volume of draft picks. Given the crap-shoot nature of the draft, trading down offers a team, by more draft picks, more chances to add talent and contributors to a team. In short, you get “more tries” in exchange for a more premium pick. A team will trade up when they want a specific player that they are unsure/do not believe will fall to them.
Anyways, why might the Chiefs be in a good position to trade down this year? Well, the 2022 Draft is pretty weak at QB. Bucky Brooks, for instance, projects only two QBs will be selected in the first round. Daniel Jeremiah, in his first mock draft, only has three QBs going in round one. Both Brooks and Jeremiah have Kenny Pickett as the first QB taken off the board at pick 9.
While there isn’t top-tier QB talent in this year’s draft, there are still plenty of teams that will be aiming to take one of the top QB talents available. The opportunity to add a QB on a rookie contract has tremendous upside, as the contract allows a team to spend money refurbishing other positions. Remember, there is an incentive to take a QB in the first round; the fifth-year option allows a team to retain the rights of a player for five instead of four years, and the fifth-year option only applies to first-round picks.
The point being, just because there isn’t a Trevor Lawrence in this year’s draft doesn’t mean we won’t see a rush of QBs taken later in the first round. The potential upside is simply too high. The affordability of the rookie contract along with the fifth-year option is going to tempt teams to take a swing at QB. We know quarterbacks are by far the most valuable position in football, so if you can lock in a franchise QB for five years for low cost, your team is in great shape. After all, as Chiefs fans, we know Mahomes’ rookie deal helped make it so that the team could spend money on other crucial free agents like Tyrann Mathieu, pivotal to Kansas City’s Super Bowl win.
At pick 30, where the Chiefs select, a couple of the top five QBs could very well still be available. Brooks and Jeremiah are some of the best football minds in the business, and their mocks suggest it could happen. A QB-hungry team that passed up on selecting a QB with their first pick could very well target the Chiefs at pick 30 in order to find their QB. This year, unlike in other years, pick 30 may be a viable position to draft a top five QB. Along with strategies regarding who to select in the draft, the Chiefs may be in ripe position to trade down, out of the first round. If we accept the idea that the Chiefs may be in a position to trade down this draft, the next question is whether they should consider such a strategy.