KC Chiefs rookies shine once again in Week 2 vs. Chargers

Jaylen Watson #35 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Jaylen Watson #35 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /
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: Jaylen Watson #35 of the Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
: Jaylen Watson #35 of the Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) /

Bryan Cook, Safety (Round 2, Pick 62)

Bryan Cook has been one of the more disappointing rookies this season that has seen playing time. He’s played 28 defensive snaps over the first couple of games and has looked a little overwhelmed. He’s missed a couple of tackles and has allowed a passer rating of 91.7 in 24 coverage snaps, per PFF ($).

The bigger story with Bryan Cook has been the two unnecessary roughness penalties he committed in the 4th quarter against the Chargers. In the end, the two penalties didn’t end up costing the Chiefs but it was still a very rough game for their rookie safety.

It’s way too early to give up on Cook, as he has the tools to be a great starting safety in the NFL, but it’s fair to say that he’s had a rough start to his career.

Jaylen Watson, Cornerback (Round 7, Pick 243)

The Kansas City Chiefs have had a number of great moments so far in this young season but I think Jaylen Watson’s pick-six against Los Angeles has been the belle of the ball.

When Trent McDuffie went down, there was a lot of pressure put on starting corners L’Jarius Sneed and Rashad Fenton but no player needed to step up more than rookie Jaylen Watson. When Steve Spagnuolo’s defense needed someone to make a play at one of the most important moments of the entire game against Los Angeles, Jaylen Watson jumped a Justin Herbert pass to Gerald Everett for a pick and returned it for a touchdown to give the Chiefs a 24-17 lead.

In the game overall, Watson had a strong game in coverage. According to PFF ($), in eight targets, he allowed three receptions for 25 yards, plus the interception for a total passer rating against of 6.8. He did miss two tackles but Watson had a very impressive game and proved that he should be the starter in the absence of Trent McDuffie. The Chiefs likely have one of the steals of the entire 2022 NFL Draft in Jaylen Watson and if he continues to grow, he can very well be one of the best corners in his entire class.

George Karlaftis, Defensive End (Round 1, Pick 30)

George Karlaftis had high expectations coming into the season and he’s backed up the hype over the first two games. After totaling six pressures (1 QB hit and 5 hurries) in 33 pass rush snaps against the Cardinals, he had three pressures (1 QB hit and 2 hurries) in 42 pass rush snaps against the Chargers, per PFF ($). He also batted one pass in each of the first two games and recorded a defensive stop (a tackle that constitutes a “failure” for the offense) on Thursday Night.

Karlaftis has yet to have a complete game in the NFL, as he still has a lot to improve, but he’s shown flashes of a potential superstar and I think the Chiefs absolutely nailed the 30th overall pick in the 2022 Draft. Kansas City desperately needs someone that isn’t Chris Jones to step up when rushing the passer and it appears that Karlaftis is that guy. If he continuously improves throughout this season, then the Chiefs may be on their way to a third Super Bowl appearance in four seasons.

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