NFL Draft Grades: Re-grading the KC Chiefs 2022 draft class
Jaylen Watson, Cornerback, Round 7, Pick 243
One of the biggest surprises of the whole season was Jaylen Watson becoming such an important player very early in the season. In just the second game of the whole season, against Justin Herbert and the Chargers, Watson returned an interception 99 yards to the house to give the Chiefs a 24-17 lead. Although it was early in the season, a serious argument can be made that play was the most important of the regular season. Who knows what happens if the Chargers score there and win that game?
Overall, Watson’s rookie year was excellent, considering where he was picked in the draft. For the 243rd overall pick, he’s already done enough to be worth the pick that the Chiefs used on him. Even if he does nothing for the rest of his career, it still would be a great pick by Brett Veach.
The Grade in 2022: B
The 2023 Grade: A
Isiah Pacheco, Running Back, Round 7, Pick 251
In a rookie class loaded with future starters and stars, Isiah Pacheco may be the belle of the ball. The Pacheco hype train was up and running early in training camp but he didn’t start to see a regular role on offense until after the bye week.
Between the regular season and playoffs, Pacheco racked up over 1,000 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. He got better as the year went on and is poised to be the team’s primary running back for the next several years.
The Grade in 2022: A-
The 2023 Grade: A+
Nazeeh Johnson, Safety, Round 7, Pick 259
Not many fans will know who Nazeeh Johnson is, unfortunately, but they absolutely should. He played exactly zero defensive snaps last season, but that’s not where was expected to contribute.
Though he’s listed as a safety, I have a feeling that Johnson was purely a special teams pick. Starting in Week 11, Nazeeh Johnson played 126 special teams snaps and was the highest-graded Chiefs special teamer over that span.
If we’re grading Johnson purely as a safety, then his grade won’t be amazing. But if we grade him based on why he was actually brought onto the team, then his grade will be excellent, especially when we remember how late he was selected in the draft.
The Grade in 2022: C-
The 2023 Grade: A-