How will KC Chiefs maximize historic number of draft picks?

Oct 17, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; A view of Kansas City Chiefs players' helmets on the bench against the Washington Football Team at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 17, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; A view of Kansas City Chiefs players' helmets on the bench against the Washington Football Team at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The NFL Draft season is an exciting time for any fanbase. Every team is 0-0, and the next season could be theirs. Some of those teams are looking for their franchise’s savior, while others try to remain on top. Thankfully, the Kansas City Chiefs are the latter.

The Chiefs have 12 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, tied with the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars for the most picks. That is double that of some franchises, such as the Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears. The Chiefs’ excess of picks is rare, as the team last made 12 selections in the 2008 NFL draft. Those draftees included several long-time starters, such as running back Jamaal Charles and defensive back Brandon Carr. and could benefit the team in many ways.

Chiefs fans have grown accustomed to picking late in each round of the NFL draft. Lower overall selections are a byproduct of a winning team. The Chiefs have only selected in the top-16 picks twice since hiring head coach Andy Reid. One time was after the abysmal 2012 season, which netted Kansas City the top overall selection. The other instance was trading up to tenth overall for quarterback Patrick Mahomes. No matter the front office, Kansas City has a decent recent history of picking in the draft’s upper half.

The Kansas City Chiefs have 12 picks in the upcoming draft. Will 12 rookies join the team, or how else will excess picks be used?

Kansas City currently has these picks in the 2022 draft:

  • Round 1: Nos. 29 (from 49ers through Dolphins), 30 overall
  • Round 2: Nos. 50 (from Dolphins), 62
  • Round 3: Nos. 94, 103
  • Round 4: Nos. 121 (from Dolphins), 135
  • Round 7: Nos. 233 (from Vikings), 243 (from Raiders through Patriots), 251, 259

Those six selections in the first three rounds have amazing value for Kansas City. Those are six prospects that could start or be productive in the Chiefs’ near future. Kansas City has glaring holes on the defensive side of the ball, and underrated needs on the offensive side. No one would blame Kansas City for using all 12 picks as they stand. Those prospects would provide immediate cheap players, all with various expectations and futures. But, is that a reasonable expectation?

Speculation is running wild on Kansas City’s draft plans, with some rumors pointing to the Chiefs moving up. ESPN analyst Todd McShay believes in the possibility, evident in his most recent mock draft where the Chiefs trade up to 17th overall. While trading with the Los Angeles Chargers does not make much sense, the idea of trading up is enticing. The Chiefs have clear needs for pass-rushers or cornerbacks, plus needing to add a new wide receiver. If the team doesn’t see the board falling their way, a move-up could be necessary.

Also, teams could make more players available via trade. The James Bradberry rumors have cooled for now, but that trade could still materialize. There is a litany of depth players that could be available for one of the Chiefs’ four seventh-round selections. A third of Kansas City’s picks are not worth much alone but could be sweeteners in a trade-up as well. They could also be parlayed into slightly higher picks if the Chiefs were to unreasonably trade down.

Since the NFL draft was reduced to seven rounds, the Chiefs have only made 12 selections one year. 2022 is not going to be the second time. The Chiefs may still make 10 or more selections, but not all 12. Kansas City general manager Brett Veach should not settle this draft, especially if the front office loves a prospect. This team is chasing a championship, and champions turn their picks into productive players. Just look at the Los Angeles Rams. Whether it is trading for higher picks, players, or something else, Kansas City will not use all 12 of their draft picks.

Next. Eight players worth trading up for in the draft. dark