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NFL Draft results: Chiefs select cornerback Trent McDuffie at No. 21

With their first pick in 2022, the Chiefs grab one of the top cornerback prospects in the class.

Oregon v Washington Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs selected Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie at pick No. 21 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Chiefs traded picks No. 29, 94 and 121 to the New England Patriots to select McDuffie in the first round.

5 feet 10 | 193 lbs. | Washington

Westminster, California

Background: As a four-star recruit from Orange County, California with success as a track athlete, McDuffie got tons of offers from every big school — including Alabama and LSU. Yet, McDuffie chose Washington based on the school's reputation for producing defensive backs for the NFL.

McDuffie played three years at Washington, leaving after his true junior year for the draft. He played significant snaps all three seasons — totaling 94 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions and eight passes defended in his career. In 2021, he spent 85% of his snaps as an outside cornerback.

Strengths: McDuffie is a very smooth-moving player, fluent in his coverage drops and breaking on routes. He seamlessly transitions from a backpedal to coming up to either make a tackle or break on a pass. He looks to be a high-football IQ player — looking comfortable passing off routes to other zone defenders; he played mainly zone defense at Washington. He shows the competitiveness and aggressive mindset you want to see from your cornerback.

Weaknesses: He didn’t have a lot of repetitions as a man-coverage defender in college, playing primarily in a zone scheme. He isn’t the typical size profile we think of for a Chiefs’ outside cornerback. He doesn’t have much size in terms of mass or length, and that prevents him from being successful breaking up a pass on a contested catch at times. It may be a reason he only has two career interceptions.

How he fits with the Chiefs: This pick gives the Chiefs a higher-ceiling athlete at the cornerback position than they usually have — which pairs well with the dynamic athlete that L’Jarius Sneed is. It seems they’re valuing that coverage ability and athleticism over length and size at the position, which could lead to more unique coverages and less-predictable coverage play calls.

Chiefs Draft Picks (10)

  • First round (21st): Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie
  • First round (30th): Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis
  • Second round (54th — from Patriots): Western Michigan wide receiver Skyy Moore
  • Second round (62nd): Cincinnati safety Bryan Cook
  • Third round (103rd — special comp pick): Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal
  • Fourth round (135th): Fayetteville State cornerback Joshua Williams
  • Fifth round (145th): Kentucky tackle Darian Kinnard
  • Seventh round (243rd): Washington State cornerback Jaylen Watson
  • Seventh round (251st): Rutgers running back Isaih Pacheco
  • Seventh round (259th): Marshall safety Nazeeh Johnson

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