2022 NFL Draft: Cornerback options for KC Chiefs in each round

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JANUARY 01: Wide receiver George Pickens #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs attempts to tackle safety Coby Bryant #7 of the Cincinnati Bearcats during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 01, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JANUARY 01: Wide receiver George Pickens #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs attempts to tackle safety Coby Bryant #7 of the Cincinnati Bearcats during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 01, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images) /

The Chiefs have not yet signed a cornerback even though they let Charvarius Ward sign with San Fransisco. Could they draft one? If so, who? We discuss.

Kansas City lost Charvarius Ward in free agency and have not yet replaced him. The Chiefs have been rumored to be in the sweepstakes for James Bradberry. They were also “in” on Stephon Gilmore until he signed with Colts on a two year deal. With the options on the open market running thin, it appears that the draft will be where the Chiefs will need to add their talent.

Today we continue our series on players in each round that would make for a good fit on the Kansas City roster. At cornerback there are a ton of intriguing options. So who could the team draft in each round? We discuss.

Likelihood of drafting: High

Of the guys not discussed enough as the Chiefs potential first round pick, Elam may be the one that is most overlooked. The Chiefs like to have lengthy cornerbacks who can play in tight man coverages. Elam may be one of the best overall “fits” in the entire draft class for what Steve Spagnuolo and Brett Veach will be looking for.

Kaiir Elam is nearly 6’2 with really good quickness. While he is not the greatest tackler or run defender, he shows signs of growth in that area. With good tracking skills and long speed, Elam is very effective in man coverage. He is good at making plays on the ball and having a high enough football IQ that he is always where he needs to be. He does not bite on double moves, but it is still aggressive enough to make big-time plays. This would be a huge move in the right direction for the Kansas City defense.

R2. Scouting Report. Tariq Woolen. player. 2408. Pick Analysis. CB. UTSA

Likelihood of drafting: High

A favorite amongst draft experts, Woolen has been noticed not only for his size, but also for his incredible athleticism. A former wide receiver, Woolen and his 6’3 frame are turning heads in the pre-draft process. Although Woolen’s experience is limited, he has done a really nice job of improving himself in a short period of time. He is a willing tackler and looks like he could be very effective in a press man scheme.

The Chiefs should not draft Woolen to be a day one starter because he needs a year of NFL coaching under his belt before he can be trusted with the full-time job. With that in mind, the Chiefs could use Woolen for the next decade as a top-end cornerback with proper growth. The sky is the limit on Woolen’s potential.

Likelihood of drafting: High

Coby Bryant of Cincinnati was an underrated part of why the Bearcats were so successful on the defensive side of the ball. Again, a trait that the NFL and in particular, the Chiefs look for is length. Bryant’s length is easy to spot if you turn on the tape. With functional athleticism, Bryant is able to keep pace with most receivers and instinctively make plays on the ball. While he is not a great tackler, he is physical for a cornerback.

In terms of fit, Bryant checks a lot of the boxes for what the Chiefs like in a cornerback. While he may not be a “day one starter,” he could play the slot cornerback position well enough to get in on some snaps. Bryant could wind up being solid starter one day.

Likelihood of drafting: High

A name that has been floating around with the Chiefs in the pre-draft process is Washington State cornerback Jaylen Watson. It’s easy to see why Kansas City would be ‘in’ on a guy of his physical skillset. He has good strength and straight-line speed. Although his feet are not always moving the way that they should be and he can get caught flat-footed, Watson seems like a guy that with some development and coaching can one day turn into a very functional piece of the defense. While he will probably not get a lot of early opportunities in his career, Watson has a high ceiling.

Likelihood of drafting: Low

Akayleb Evans is a guy you take a risk on because of the potential. Although somewhat frustrating to watch at times, Evans has good length and can make explosive plays from time to time. His tackling is suspect and he can occasionally get burned by faster receivers. With that in mind, Evans seems like the type of player that could be given some better coaching and excel in a new system. Definitely a developmental piece, but a risk worth taking.

Likelihood of drafting: Medium

Mykael Wright is not the typical fit for Steve Spagnuolo because he likes his cornerbacks to be versatile, but he is a functional sub-package guy. With very good fluidity in the middle of the field, it would not be surprising if Wright is one day a starter in the slot. Despite a smaller frame, Wright is a good tackler and is not afraid to press at the line of scrimmage; However, he is not a great zone coverage corner. With a little work, he could develop in this area, but for now, he is a bit limited.

Likelihood of drafting: Low

The Chiefs would certainly be taking Isaac Taylor-Stewart on as a project. He is a bigger, athletic guy that has missed significant time due to injury. As a highly-touted recruit, USC did not seem to utilize him in a role that would have maximized his value. Taylor-Stewart is explosive and able to play man coverage very well. Another candidate for special teams coordinator Dave Toub to fall in love with late in the draft.

Next. A full first-round mock draft. dark