KC Chiefs might find an easier time trading up in 2022 NFL Draft

Mar 1, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach talks to the media during the 2022 NFL Combine. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 1, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach talks to the media during the 2022 NFL Combine. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Typically at this time of year, we’re used to hearing multiple references to the “chart” as fans of the annual NFL Draft. When it comes to teams trading anything related to the draft, the chart becomes a sort of guidebook or consultant, a map of the stars by which general managers set their course on how much they will give up in a particular trade.

There are variations of the “chart”, but the idea is straightforward and simple: each team likely has its version of a chart that places a specific value on each spot in the NFL Draft order. From there, a team like the Kansas City Chiefs that wants to trade up or down in the order can put together a reasonable batch of picks that match the numerical value of what the other team is giving up.

In 2022, the chart might be set aside for once.

The Kansas City Chiefs might find it easier to trade up in the draft order than in other seasons due to a lack of top-tier talent.

The 2022 draft class is generally viewed as a solid class with depth at several important positions. Teams that need edge rushers or wide receivers, for example, are going to love their options in this class and the rounds in which valuable contributors can still be found.

On the flip side, this draft class has also been criticized for its lack of can’t-miss talent. The Jacksonville Jaguars still aren’t entirely sure who they will take at the top of the draft and they’ve known for months that they are first overall in the official draft order. Every quarterback comes with serious questions. No defensive player is so dominant that he’s considered a franchise cornerstone. No one is referring to a single 2022 draft entrant in terms of being a future Hall of Famer—at least not yet.

All of this is important because it will affect how teams view the value of trading up and down. Right now there are a number of teams reportedly interested in moving back. Both teams from New York, the Giants and Jets, reportedly want to slide back for more picks. The Carolina Panthers desperately need to do the same. If the right offer was there, there’s no doubt the Jags would be happy to move off of the top spot itself.

What does this mean for the Chiefs? Kansas City has 12 overall picks in this draft and another 10-11 in next year’s draft with which to improve the team for 2022 and beyond. This means the Chiefs have loads of ammunition to go up and grab anyone on the draft board they are worried about potentially missing. And as it turns out, the cost to do so might be at its lowest point in years.

If this draft had lockdown corners, franchise quarterbacks, blindside protectors, and game-wrecking pass rushers, the story for moving up would be quite different. Instead, there are valuable contributors and solid starters available for multiple rounds and it’s possible a guy taken at No. 10 overall is rated lower on the draft boards of some teams than another taken at No. 30. ‘Tis the nature of this year’s class.

This means the Chiefs might find the cost to move up to be much more amenable when moving up in ’22. According to the standard draft value chart, the cost to go up to No. 11 overall, for example, should cost the Chiefs their first two picks at No. 29 and 30 overall. If the Chiefs feel like that’s too steep, they can sit back and enjoy the talent that falls to them but a team interested in picking up additional picks, like the Panthers at No. 6, might say yes to that deal despite receiving “lesser value” in return according to the chart. After all, something is only worth what someone else will pay for it.

What’s written on a chart matters little if GMs aren’t abiding by it.  That means the Chiefs might find a buyer’s market if attempting to move up in this year’s draft.

Chiefs find ideal fits in this four-round mock. dark. Next