Rival comparisons: Grading the Denver Broncos rookie class

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 18: Outside linebacker Nik Bonitto #11 of the Oklahoma Sooners sacks quarterback Adrian Martinez #2 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers on the last drive of the fourth quarter at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 18, 2021 in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma won 23-16. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 18: Outside linebacker Nik Bonitto #11 of the Oklahoma Sooners sacks quarterback Adrian Martinez #2 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers on the last drive of the fourth quarter at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 18, 2021 in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma won 23-16. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /

Now that the 2022 NFL Draft has ended, we can properly evaluate the picks made by each team. Let’s compare the picks made by the Kansas City Chiefs to the Denver Broncos.

The Denver Broncos have had an active offseason. Going into free agency, their biggest hole was at quarterback. They had been linked in trade rumors with Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson since they first surfaced in 2020.

On March 8, the Broncos traded quarterback Drew Lock; tight end Noah Fant; defensive tackle Shelby Harris; and 2022 first, second, and fifth-round picks, as well as 2023 first and second-round picks for Wilson and a 2022 fourth-round pick. The Broncos also added other big names to the roster in free agency such as pass rusher Randy Gregory, offensive lineman Billy Turner, and linebacker Alex Singleton.

Overall, the Broncos had a very successful free agency and they appear to be wildly improved from their bad season in 2021. But, how does their recent draft classcompare to the Chiefs?


Chiefs, Pick 21: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

For what it is, I love this pick. Jermaine Johnson II was on the board here and I would have loved for the Chiefs to have picked him. But the longer this pick sits, the more I realize it was a very good selection. Corner was a high position of need and McDuffie can fill that role well. He runs a 4.44 40-yard dash and only allowed 16 catches on 296 passing snaps in 2021. He has below-average size for an NFL CB, but I believe he will be successful with the Chiefs Grade: A

Chiefs, Pick 30: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

I never imagined a talent like Karlaftis would have fallen to the Chiefs. I thought we were going to be stuck choosing Boye Mafe at 30. But, somehow he fell. In his three seasons (Only 2 games in 2020), Karlaftis recorded 61 solo tackles, 29 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. EDGE was easily the Chiefs’ highest position of need and Karlaftis fills that need very well. Grade: A+

Broncos – No First-Round Pick

The Broncos did not make a First Round selection.


Chiefs, Pick 54: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan

I’ll be honest, I really wanted Jalen Tolbert at 62. But, Skyy Moore is a very good WR. In 2021, Moore racked up 1292 receiving yards and 10 TDs with Western Michigan. He also ran a 4.41. My only concern with Moore is that he doesn’t have the special teams value that I believe we need right now. Grade: A

Chiefs, Pick 62: Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati

I think we picked a Safety about 41 picks too early. I believe we should have gotten a LB or DL with this pick. Cook is an absolutely lockdown Safety and knows what he’s doing. I just don’t think this was the right place to take him. Grade: B-

Broncos, Pick 64: Nik Bonitto, OLB, Oklahoma

OLB was a position of need for the Broncos. Bonitto fills that need and is expected to play Weakside LB. He was easily the best EDGE on the board at the time. In his career, he recorded 69 solo tackles, 33 tackles for loss, and 19.5 sacks. Overall, this was a very solid pick for the Broncos. Grade: A-


Chiefs, Pick 103: Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin

Chenal was a guy I was hoping the Chiefs would pick at 62. Turns out, he made it all the way to 103. In my opinion, this was the most perfect pick of the draft for the Chiefs. In 2021, Leo Chenal had 62 solo tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, and 8 sacks. He is an absolute beast and I’m so glad the Chiefs drafted him. Grade: A+

Broncos, Pick 80: Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA

Tight end was a glaring hole in the Broncos’ offense. Sure, they have Albert Okwuegbunam (and I’m a huge Mizzou fan, so I love that guy), but I don’t think Albert O. is quite ready to bear the weight of being an every-down TE yet. The only thing that brings down the grade on this pick is that Dulcich wasn’t the best TE on the board. Isaiah Likely and Chigoziem Okonkwo were still there to take and I prefer both of them. Grade: B


Chiefs, Pick 135: Joshua Williams, CB, Fayetteville State

Williams isn’t the most impressive CB taken in this draft. In fact, his stats are kind of average for a Division II college CB. However, he has size. He is 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds and ran a 4.53. Grade: A

Broncos, Pick 115: Damarri Mathis, CB, Pitt

I wasn’t terribly impressed by Mathis’ stats, to be completely honest. There were at least two better CBs on the board when he was picked as well. Tariq Woolen and Jaylen Armour-Davis. CB was a position of need, but the Broncos could have done a whole lot better with this pick. Grade: C-

Broncos, Pick 116: Eyioma Uwazurike, DT, Iowa State

DT was, again, a position of need for the Broncos. For when and who the pick was, this was one of the Broncos’ better picks. Uwazurike was the best DT on the board at this pick and they got him. Nothing to complain about here. Grade: A


Chiefs, Pick 145: Darian Kinnard, OG, Kentucky

The most concerning pick, in my opinion. Kinnard looks fierce on tape, his combine really scares me. Also, I think tackle was a higher position of need than guard. And for that, we should have gone either Braxton Jones or Matt Waletzko, both of whom were still on the board. Grade: C

Broncos, Pick 152: Delarrin Turner-Yell, S, Oklahoma

Not only did the Broncos not need a Safety that bad, but they also didn’t even select the best available Safety. Tycen Anderson was still on the board and they skipped right over him. Overall, a bad selection. Grade: D

Broncos, Pick 162: Montrell Washington, WR, Samford

While WR wasn’t necessarily a position of need, Washington was the best one available. Also, giving Russel Wilson more weapons to choose from is always a good idea. Also, Washington was relatively decent as a special teams player.Grade: B

Broncos, Pick 171: Luke Wattenberg, C, Washington

I think this was more of a depth pick than anything. If that is what the Broncos were going for, it was a solid pick.Grade: B-


Chiefs – No Sixth-Round Pick

The Chiefs did not make a Sixth Round Selection.

Broncos, Pick 206: Matt Henningsen, DT, Wisconsin

This pick was absolutely a depth selection. Prior to the draft, the Broncos only had four rostered defensive ends. For what the pick was, I think this was a solid acquisition. Grade: A


Chiefs, Pick 243: Jaylen Watson, CB, Washington State

Another CB…? I would’ve liked either a Safety or DL here. This pick confuses me. He has a fire in him though. I hope he goes and proves me wrong. Grade: B

Chiefs, Pick 251: Isaih Pacheco, RB, Rutgers

I absolutely love this guy. I was iffy on the pick at first, but he’s got some skill to him. Not that we needed a RB, we had three likely game-day guys and the potential to resign McKinnon, but this guy has me wanting to run through a brick wall for him. He wasn’t all that impressive at Rutgers, but his Senior Bowl and Combine show me that was likely due to his offensive line not being all that good. Grade: A+

Chiefs, Pick 259: Nazeeh Johnson, CB, Marshall

A fourth CB. This is easily my least favorite pick. He’s fast. That’s it. I believe this guy should’ve gone undrafted. Especially when Smoke Monday was still on the board here. Grade: C-

Broncos, Pick 232: Faion Hicks, CB, Wisconsin

This was a terrible pick in my opinion. Even if you were just going for the best player available, go for a position where you don’t already have a huge number of players. If I were the Broncos, I would have gone for Thayer Munford Jr. Grade: F


CHIEFS: Not taking the 7th round grades into consideration (because I feel like Johnson and Watson were BPA picks at their position), I can only really see one misstep in the Chiefs draft. Darian Kinnard. Other than that one pick, Brett Veach and co. pitched a perfect game. Grade: A

BRONCOS: I really didn’t think the Broncos did very well in this draft. They made a few good picks but missed on a lot of others. I still think they will be tough competition for us this season, however. Grade: C-

Next. AA writers grade the Chiefs draft class. dark