One of the underrated storylines of the 2022 NFL Draft (except in Kansas City and Buffalo) is the Kansas City Chiefs trading in front of the Buffalo Bills to select Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie. Kansas City sent overall selections 29, 94 and 121 to the New England Patriots to jump in front of Buffalo.
After the draft, general manager Brett Veach confirmed it.
“Obviously (Derek) Stingley (Jr. to Houston) and (Ahmad) ‘Sauce’ (Gardner to New York Jets) went high and we had a grouping of corners there,” explained the GM after night one of the draft. “Knowing some of the team needs that were directly in front of us – and then I believe Buffalo then did take a corner shortly after and I think they traded up a spot, too.
“We knew that was coming and we had called teams, I believe the pick before and the pick after the New England trade, just to put ourselves in the position. With the way the board was falling, knowing that we’re picking really late in the draft, the odds of a guy like McDuffie being at 21, let alone 29 were very low. We just felt like it was the right time to make a move.”
As you can see in Buffalo’s in-house special, “Embeded,” (the good stuff starts at 1:03), the Bills were a bit shocked to receive the news that the Chiefs are trading in front of them (A hat-tip here to Chiefs Wire’s Charles Goldman, the first Kansas City reporter to find this gem).
“Then Kansas City trades up with New England, took a corner,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane notes during the video. “At that point, I was like, ‘Let’s see if we can make a move.’”
The Bills wanted to ensure they too could draft a cornerback, so they orchestrated a trade with the Baltimore Ravens, sending picks 25 and 130 to the Ravens for No. 23.
“When it got close, it felt like, ‘Let’s go get him.’”
The Bills then drafted Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam.
Elam-McDuffie will have some juice to it these next couple of years in the AFC https://t.co/1jFXeNyamN— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 1, 2022
Typically speaking, the forever-comparisons are reserved for quarterbacks, but I would argue that both Chiefs and Bills fans will be remembering this particular moment for at least the next four (or five) seasons. We don't know for sure if the Bills preferred McDuffie to Elam, but we do know the Chiefs did. We also can presume that Veach believed the Bills did.
These two cornerbacks — taken two picks apart — have arguably entered the conference’s top rivalry against one another. They will be compared for years to come.