You mentioned Trent in that long line. How does he compare?
I don’t think people really understand what kind of player he is. A lot of people I’ve talked to—coordinators, head coaches—ask me and I’m like, ‘Look man, this guy is a bona fide first-rounder. Take him immediately. He’s going to be an All-Pro.’ I know how it sounds because I’m his coach but think about it. I’m coming from the University of Washington where there’s a bunch of guys we have in the NFL. I’m seeing it and watching it and I’m like, ‘Hey I’m letting you know he’s one of the better ones to come up out of here.’
Previous rank: No. 9
We thought the Chiefs would get aggressive in pursuit of one of the more hyped wide receivers in this year’s class, but Kansas City instead hung back as six wideouts came off the board in the first 18 overall picks. Brett Veach used the team’s two first-round picks to fill obvious needs on defense (CB Trent McDuffie, Edge George Karlaftis), before addressing wideout in Round 2 with Western Michigan speedster Skyy Moore. Moore joins Marques Valdes-Scantling and Juju Smith-Schuster as the new faces in the receiver room, but will they be enough for Patrick Mahomes after Tyreek Hill took his magic act to Miami? K.C. still has work to at that position.
Purdue · Edge
Kansas City Chiefs
Drafted: No. 30 overall (Round 1)
Placing the Purdue standout on a front line that already features Chris Jones and Frank Clark could help push the Chiefs’ defense into the ranks of the elite. As a power player with heavy hands and a non-stop motor, Karlaftis complements the speed-rushing prowess of Clark and the “beat ‘em up” approach employed by Jones at the line of scrimmage. Moreover, he brings a little attitude and nastiness that will raise the bar for a group that responded well to Pro Bowler Melvin Ingram’s enthusiasm and physicality after he was added during the 2021 season. With Karlaftis poised to step into Ingram’s shoes, the Chiefs’ defense should close the gap on the competition in the AFC.
Kansas City Chiefs: A
Best Pick: First-round pass rusher George Karlaftis will end up being a major steal in this draft. The Chiefs need help rushing the passer, especially in their division, which is why it fills a need as well.
Worst Pick: Third-round linebacker Leo Chenal doesn’t seem to be a player that fits with what they want to do. He doesn’t run like their current linebackers.
The Skinny: First-round corner Trent McDuffie will be an immediate starter and Karlaftis will push for a job right away. Second-round receiver Skyy Moore and second-round safety Bryan Cook were good picks.
Kansas City Chiefs
How effective will the offense be after the Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill?
The Chiefs don’t have a receiver with Hill’s impressive collection of skills anymore, but they do have a deeper group of players catching Patrick Mahomes’ passes. That fact, combined with Andy Reid’s offensive creativity, is intriguing. It might take some time before the Chiefs fit all of the pieces together, but it would be a big disappointment if eventually the Chiefs don’t produce something close to what they did with Hill in their lineup. — Adam Teicher
Round 1 - Pick 30
Bijan Robinson RB
TEXAS • SOPH • 6’0” / 214 LBS
No running backs went in the first round of the ‘22 draft but two went the year before, and one went the year before that ... when the Chiefs took Clyde Edwards-Helaire. K.C. doesn’t have a ton of needs but if any RB is a likely first-round target, it will be Robinson.
Around the NFL
“DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals has been suspended without pay for the first six games of the 2022 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances,” an NFL spokesperson said in an official statement. “Hopkins is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. He will be allowed to return to the Cardinals’ active roster following the team’s sixth regular-season game.”
The suspension comes after Hopkins produced a positive test result for a prohibited substance plus a diuretic or masking agent/attempt to substitute, dilute or adulterate a specimen/attempt to manipulate a test result.
Hopkins released a statement via social media expressing that he was “confused and shocked” that he tested positive.”
“In my 10-year NFL career, I have never tested positive for using performance enhancing drugs,” Hopkins’ statement read. “To learn that my November test came back with trace elements of a banned substance, I was confused and shocked.
Jackson was fired by Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam eight games into the 2018 season with a 3-36-1 overall record in two-plus years.
In February, Jackson indicated in a series of posts on social media that the team paid him bonuses incentivizing him to lose and that he was set up to fail. Jackson later softened those allegations.
The NFL announced that after a 60-day review, independent investigators led by former Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Jo White “determined that none of the allegations could be substantiated.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Third-round pick (No. 103): Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal
Round 3, pick 103: meet Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenel pic.twitter.com/o2jiVOwKlC
— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) April 30, 2022
Leo Chenal is a 6-foot-2, 261-pound linebacker out of Wisconsin.
Chiefs’ take: “People who watch my game know I’m going to be one of the most violent guys on the field at all times. Just being physical with every single play that I’m in. The areas where people would say I struggled in college, I’m just going to continue to grow and grow. Freshman year going into college, I was struggling with a lot of the things that you see as my strengths right now. I’m going to continue to grow and adapt and do whatever I can to be the best I can for this defense.” - Chenal, himself
How he fits with the Chiefs (Ron Kopp): “Chenal will come in and be the third linebacker along with Willie Gay Jr. and Nick Bolton in the base formations. Chenal will play the SAM, giving them the ability to defend the run — but sometimes rush off the edge in certain packages. He will be a great special teams player right away, but he should be a very competent linebacker — even if playing the traditional MIKE position. It makes the linebacker position one of the team’s strongest positions — and maybe even one of the best groups in the league.”