The Kansas City Chiefs made their first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, trading up to 21st overall for Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie.
Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach bucked his trends by addressing the cornerback position, with a major move in the 2022 NFL Draft. Veach added Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie, a player widely regarded as the third-best cornerback in the draft.
Not considering the trade details, which involved a move up eight spots to No. 21 overall with the New England Patriots, how should Chiefs fans look at this selection?
The short-term gain is clear. McDuffie is a Day-1 starter for Kansas City and will battle Rashad Fenton for the CB2 spot behind L’Jarius Sneed. McDuffie will instantly boost the Chiefs’ secondary and solidifies the secondary for 2022.
Kansas City entered the offseason with several question marks in the defensive backfield. But, depth options are already on the roster and McDuffie gives Kansas City a young starter, with a very high ceiling.
In the long-term, McDuffie has a very high ceiling. He excels in man coverage yet has all the tools for zone coverage. Teams avoided targeting McDuffie in college because he would make quarterbacks pay for it. He has the quickness and footwork to stay with the best receivers in the AFC West—which is now more loaded than ever.
McDuffie excels in playing the ball in front of him, and most AFC West receivers are not going to attack the Chiefs deep. McDuffie matching up against the West’s best will be a fun battle.
McDuffie gives Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo more flexibility, too. If the Chiefs want or need to shift schemes, McDuffie is versatile.
What scouts say
If you need a glowing scout recommendation, look no further than NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein. He compared McDuffie to Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander on his draft profile. Considering how Alexander is now an elite defender, that is an amazing ceiling.
McDuffies biggest knock is his sub-30″ arm length. Which is his biggest negative, as an ideal arm length is 32″ or greater. But, scouts note his ability to stay healthy and excel despite his arm length limitation.
Players passed over
- DE Jermaine Johnson II
- CB Daxton Hill
- LB Nakobe Dean
- DE George Karlaftis
- DT Devonte Wyatt
Not considering the trade, this trade deserves an A-. McDuffie is an immediate impact player at a position of need, which is a win in the NFL draft. McDuffie will be a fun player to watch for years to come.