The Chiefs knocked it out of the park over the weekend, seemingly finding value with every pick they made. Kansas City general manager Brett Veach gave his defense a much-needed infusion of talent in Round 1, moving up a few spots to take a versatile cornerback in Washington’s Trent McDuffie before staying at no. 30 to take Purdue edge rusher George Karlaftis. I loved that Kansas City came out of the second round with Western Michigan receiver Skyy Moore, who should soak up targets in the short and intermediate passing game and make life easier for Patrick Mahomes. Cincinnati safety Bryan Cook is a hard-hitting defender with excellent tackling chops and plenty of range. And Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal might end up being an absolute steal: He’s big, physical, extremely athletic and brings a fiery demeanor to the field. Keep an eye on Fayetteville State corner Joshua Williams, too: He’s long, quick-footed, and fluid in coverage.
Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan (Round 2, No. 54)
Replacing Tyreek Hill is no easy task. The Chiefs signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency to help fill the target/production void. Drafting Moore on Day 2 takes that another step forward. He was just shy of 1,300 receiving yards last season, and he wowed a lot of scouts with his combine workout in Indianapolis.
Moore might not have Hill’s speed — though he ran a 4.41 in the 40 at the combine, so he’s no slouch in that department — but he will look an awful lot like Hill when running routes for quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Moore is slightly under 5-foot-10, and his best trait is generating yardage after the catch by making defenders miss. Sound familiar? He excels at beating press coverage with elite short-area quickness, sure hands and a smooth transition after the catch. And while he has a smaller build, Moore will make plays in the vertical game. He’s at his best out of the slot, but he can also play out wide, depending on what Kansas City decides.
Kansas City Chiefs: B
Leo Chenal (103) could challenge to start at middle linebacker. He’ll thump ball carriers. Cornerback Joshua Williams (135) is raw, but at 6-foot-3, he’s the type of Day 3 pick I don’t mind. Darian Kinnard (145) played tackle in college, but I think he could move inside for the Chiefs.
So why the B grade here? I would have liked to have seen Kansas City take one more wideout, because Moore isn’t going to replace Hill’s production by himself. I think this offense needs to get another veteran.
Kansas City Chiefs
Brett Veach had his best draft as Chiefs GM, although the trade up for Trent McDuffie was an overpayment for a corner who doesn’t fit the scheme and has minimal upside. Skyy Moore in Round 2 was as good as Kansas City barbecue, and the two seventh-round picks, Isaih Pecheco and Nazeeh Johnson, will make the team and produce early. Leo Chenal is a throwback linebacker who’s an inexperienced coverage type. Joshua Williams could eventually be better than McDuffie. Grade: A-
Kansas City Chiefs
Grade - A
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A+
Day 3 grade: A
Analysis: The Chiefs found starters in the first round. They focused on McDuffie’s cover skills and aggressiveness rather than his lack of size and length, and Karlaftis’ superior hand usage and leverage rather than his lack of bend off the edge. Moore is a great fit in their offense and excellent value. Cook and Chenal are nice picks who will play roles as rookies.
Williams has the size-speed combination to excel on the outside, as does Watson, who could have been picked two rounds earlier. Kansas City added another powerful tackle in Kinnard. Pacheco was a steal in the seventh round as a fast and hard-hitting runner.
Winner: Kansas City Chiefs
The offseason overall has been disappointing for the Chiefs, as they traded Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins and watched all of their rivals improve in pretty dramatic fashion. However, they had one of the best drafts.
Kansas City filled two obvious needs in the first round with cornerback Trent McDuffie out of Washington and Purdue pass-rusher George Karlaftis, and then landed Patrick Mahomes’ newest receiver in Skyy Moore out of Western Michigan in Round 2. While he’s not a hair over 5-foot-10, Moore’s incredibly quick and a legitimate playmaker from the slot. Some viewed him as a legitimate first-round talent.
All five of the Chiefs’ Day 3 picks received a grade of B or higher from CBS Sports NFL Draft expert Chris Trapasso. Kansas City landed two more big cornerbacks in Joshua Williams from Fayetteville State and Jaylen Watson from Washington State, as well as Kentucky offensive lineman Darian Kinnard, who has plenty of upside. To finish out the draft, the Chiefs drafted running back Isaih Pacheco from Rutgers, and another safety in Nazeeh Johnson from Marshall.
The Chiefs’ class will be headlined by the first three picks, but they did a great job hammering the defense — especially the secondary. This was a great haul.
The Chiefs defense: In cornerback Trent McDuffie and defensive end George Karlaftis, the Chiefs drafted two of the easier NFL projections in the first round. Maybe they don’t have superstar upside, but both players look like immediate starters and upgrades for a defense that needs some fresh blood.
Worst pick (C+): LB Leo Chenal, Wisconsin (R3, P103)
Oversized, throwback type who tested through the roof but doesn’t play to that level of athleticism on the field. Awesome as a blitzer and quality run defender. Little-to-no experience or refined skill in coverage, which is a concern, and Chiefs already have young LBs on the roster. (Chris Trapasso)
Most interesting pick (B+): CB Joshua Williams, Fayetteville State (R4, P135)
A Fayetteville State draft pick! Williams appears to have the frame and the athleticism to hold onto a roster spot for years to come. Obviously this transition to the next level will be a learning process, but he has talent.
After failing to land a safety during the draft, the New Orleans Saints are expected to revisit their talks with free-agent safety Tyrann Mathieu and make an aggressive push to try to add him to their roster, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Mathieu, who was born and raised in New Orleans, visited the Saints in April. He also had a virtual visit with the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason but has so far gone unsigned.
The Saints visited with both Mathieu and former LSU receiver Jarvis Landry last month but didn’t sign either player — keeping the possibility alive that they could revisit talks if they didn’t fill those needs in the draft.
Around the NFL
The Bulldogs, powered by the nation’s top-scoring defense, set a record this weekend for players from one school selected in a seven-round draft. Georgia, when cornerback Derion Kendrick and tight end John FitzPatrick were taken with back-to-back picks in the sixth round (Nos. 212 and 213 overall), finished with 15 players selected in this year’s draft.
The current seven-round format began in 1994. The previous record in the format had been set by Ohio State with 14 players selected in 2004 draft and LSU with 14 in 2020, including quarterback Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick.
Former Bears general manager Ryan Pace and former Chicago head coach Matt Nagy traded for Foles ahead of the 2020 season to give Mitchell Trubisky a little competition and hopefully get the best out of both or either of them. The move just muddied a murky Bears offense. When Chicago signed Andy Dalton and drafted Justin Fields prior to the 2021 campaign, Foles was simply hanging around as an overpriced third-stringer. That would’ve likely been the same situation this season with Fields as the next hope at QB1 and Trevor Siemian having been signed to be the backup. Thus, the Bears looked for a trade partner, but never found one.
Foles would’ve been a $10.66 million cap hit this season. His pre-June 1 release, comes with a cap savings of $3 million, but a dead cap number of $7.66 million, per Spotrac.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling: The hyphenated pair remain the Chiefs’ starting receivers despite early buzz linking them to an aggressive first-round trade-up at the position. While the Chiefs did add Skyy Moore in the second round, the Western Michigan product profiles as a complement to them rather than a replacement for one of them. Valdes-Scantling will likely see at least two seasons of his three-year contract. Smith-Schuster — who will be a 26-year-old free agent next March — retains a path to a monster season with no comparable rookie looking over his shoulder.
Joshua Kaindoh: When considering draft needs for a team, the great unknown is always the team’s opinion of the existing roster. Kaindoh — the Chiefs 2021 fourth-round pick — spent most of his rookie year on injured reserve and was always expected to require extended development. While Karlaftis is expected to be starting EDGE rusher opposite of Frank Clark, not doubling up on the position implies that the Chiefs see a role for the 23-year-old.
In-house receiver and tight end depth: Most multiple-round mock drafts had the Chiefs taking at least two wide receivers — and often adding a tight end. After adding Moore in the second round, however, no pass catchers were taken with the remaining seven picks. Players such as Josh Gordon, Noah Gray, Daurice Fountain and maybe even 2016 Browns first-round pick Corey Coleman still likely have legitimate chances to compete for the final roster after the weekend.