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AP Dream Draft: Building the perfect 2022 draft for the Chiefs

While taking in the many opinions of the Arrowhead Pride draft team, I tried to build the best case scenario for this weekend.

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Baylor v Georgia Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

For roughly three months, the Arrowhead Pride writers crazy enough to cover the NFL Draft have had countless group-chat debates and late-night researching sessions preparing themselves for this weekend. Melding our thoughts and conversations into one decision-making entity, I attempted to build the AP Dream Draft. Here’s what it would look like:

First Round

Right away, the focus goes to either the edge-rushing position or the wide receivers — especially if one of the top-tier prospects falls to a certain range.

Possibilities like Florida State defensive end Jermaine Johnson II and Purdue edge George Karlaftis went off the board in the top 15, plus the top of the receiver class got swept up quickly.

Basically, there isn’t a desirable trade-up scenario. The Chiefs will sit at 29 and 30 and allow the board to fall to them. Here is a board of available players when they go on the clock:

  • Georgia WR George Pickens
  • Penn State WR Jahan Dotson
  • Penn State Edge Arnold Ebiketie
  • Michigan Edge David Ojabo
  • North Dakota State WR Christian Watson

The Chiefs choose to bolster their pass rush from Day 1 and draft Arnold Ebiketie at pick 29. Ebiketie’s pass-rush abilities and athletic profile make him one of the most agreed-upon draft selections for the Chiefs among our draft team. I broke him down for the site a few weeks ago.

Instead of just choosing one of the other available prospects, Veach makes a trade to back into the top of the second round: he sends picks 30, 121, and 233 to the New York Giants in exchange for pick 36 and pick 81. This trade is basically even by the Rich Hill draft trade chart, and Arrowhead Pride’s John Dixon has a model where it is only a 60-point differential.

They lose a fourth-round pick to add a mid-third-round selection on the back end, with the idea that they like their choice of prospects and can wait to choose from them at 36.

Second Round

Early on Day 2, potential draft targets like Dotson and Pickens are still on the board at pick 36. Watson and Ojabo get selected in the meantime.

Other names are available as they get on the clock:

  • Washington CB Kyler Gordon
  • Western Michigan WR Skyy Moore
  • Penn State S Jaquan Brisker
  • Clemson CB Andrew Booth Jr.

They’ll finally invest a high pick at cornerback here — selecting Kyler Gordon at 36.

AP writer Kristian Gumminger broke down Gordon for the site; he believes Gordon fits well in Kansas City:

“In defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme, Gordon’s physicality and burst will be a welcome addition to the cornerback group. With his ability to play both outside and in the slot — and the quick burst that allows him to go wherever he is needed — Spagnuolo will have another chess piece to move around.”

Before their next selection at 50, the Chiefs find a trade partner in the Atlanta Falcons to move up and secure a particular player. The trade is for pick 43 and pick 82, and the Chiefs would send picks 50, 103, and 135 in exchange.

The Chiefs take their wide receiver target: George Pickens, at pick 43. Injury and personality question marks make him one of the surprising falls of the draft — but Kansas City stops the slide, admitting that the value is worth the risk at this point.

After writing a draft profile on Pickens earlier this month, AP writer Rocky Magana is a firm believer in the big-play wideout:

“When healthy, Pickens is the clear WR1 in this draft and it’s not even close.” He is just over a year removed from an ACL tear, which puts him on a timetable of about midseason when he would be returning to full strength from the injury. If the medicals check out on the knee, this could be the greatest draft steal of the weekend.

Senior writer Matt Stagner believes the Pickens selection is the type of swing the Chiefs should make with the first receiver they take.

“The WR they should target is one with huge WR1 upside. No need for a safe pick or another WR2.. they have those guys on the roster.”

The Chiefs let the draft board come to them next, keeping their minds open on which position to pick since they’ve addressed each major need. With how the board fell, they went ahead and executed the double-up move: The Chiefs select Alabama wide receiver John Metchie at pick 63. Metchie’s injury forced him to miss most of the pre-draft process, but his on-field ability is likely worth a higher pick than 63. His play style also complements what Pickens will bring.

Third Round

With the double-up move done for a receiver, the Chiefs will likely look elsewhere for the next few selections. With picks at 81, 82, and 94 in the third round, these are the last picks for Kansas City until the seventh round.

At 81 and 82, the board — minus receiver prospects — looks like this:

  • Montana State linebacker Troy Anderson
  • South Carolina edge Kingsley Enagbare
  • Houston cornerback and returner Marcus Jones
  • Cincinnati safety Bryan Cook
  • Ole Miss edge Sam Williams

With the first pick, the Chiefs make their second double-up move — selecting Sam Williams at 81.

Bryan Stewart got to break down his play for the site, and shares my belief that Williams could be the steal of the draft:

“If the Chiefs are comfortable with the background checks and do select Williams — likely in the 3rd round — they will have secured a long-term starter at defensive end with a Pro Bowl caliber ceiling and the potential to become an elite-level pass rusher.”

Up next, the Chiefs stick to defense — but maybe a bit of a wild-card selection: Troy Anderson at pick 82. He was one of the most impressive athletes relative to his size in the pre-draft process, signaling that the Chiefs are looking to raise the floor of athleticism on the unit.

With the seventh and final pick of the first three rounds for Kansas City, they add to the defensive backfield with a versatile player: Pittsburgh’s Damarri Mathis at pick 94. Mathis played outside cornerback primarily in college but has the athleticism and aggressive play style to also be used as a strong safety.

Seventh Round

With three seventh-round selections, the Chiefs’ secure priority-free agents. Here are those players:

  • Pick 243: LSU OT Austin Deculus
  • Pick 251: Florida International RB D’Vonte Price
  • Pick 259: Florida A&M Safety Markquese Bell

AP Dream Draft Summary

The Chiefs made 10 total selections, two less than they started with. They turned eight picks in the top 135 — six in the top 103 — into seven in the top 94 selections, while still maintaining three swings at priority free agents in the seventh round.

Pick 29: Penn State Edge Arnold Ebiketie

Pick 36: Washington CB Kyler Gordon

Pick 43: Georgia WR George Pickens

Pick 63: Alabama WR John Metchie

Pick 81: Ole Miss Edge Sam Williams

Pick 82: Montana State LB Troy Anderson

Pick 94: Pittsburgh DB Damarri Mathis

Pick 243: LSU OT Austin Deculus

Pick 251: Florida International RB D’Vonte Price

Pick 259: Florida A&M Safety Markquese Bell

Let us know what you think you’re dream Chiefs draft would look like!

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