Chiefs' Top Hypothetical Trades to Make Splash in 2022 NFL Draft

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIApril 4, 2022

Chiefs' Top Hypothetical Trades to Make Splash in 2022 NFL Draft

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    By dealing Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins, the Kansas City Chiefs acquired a plethora of draft capital. But they also lost their No. 1 wide receiver, and there doesn't appear to be anybody on their roster who is capable of taking over that role.

    JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Mecole Hardman are at the top of Kansas City's depth chart. Those guys have plenty of potential, but none of them will likely put up numbers anywhere close to Hill's production.

    So it shouldn't come as a surprise that ESPN's Dianna Russini reported recently that the Chiefs are exploring the trade market for a top wide receiver. Kansas City has 12 picks in the 2022 NFL draft—including two in the first round, two in the second round and two in the third round—so it's possible that it could work out a deal with another team.

    Perhaps the Chiefs will make a big splash on the opening night of the draft on April 28. Here's a look at several trades Kansas City could explore to help it fill the void left by Hill's departure.

Trade for DK Metcalf

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    John McCoy/Associated Press

    Seahawks Receive: No. 29 overall pick, No. 62 overall pick, 2023 second-round pick

    Chiefs Receive: WR DK Metcalf

    ESPN's Jeremy Fowler shared during an appearance on SportsCenter on Sunday that DK Metcalf's name has been "buzzing in league circles" of late. Even though the Seahawks already traded quarterback Russell Wilson this offseason, they may not part with Metcalf unless it's for a sizable package of draft picks.

    It's possible that the Chiefs have enough top selections to land Metcalf, though. And if they are successful in doing so, they would have a clear No. 1 wide receiver for quarterback Patrick Mahomes to throw the ball to.

    Metcalf, a three-year NFL veteran, had 967 yards in 17 games last season, as his production dipped a bit. But he also had a career-high 12 touchdowns, and the 24-year-old may only get better if he's playing in an offense as strong as Kansas City's.

    This would be a huge move that could help the Chiefs offense remain one of the best in the NFL. If this hypothetical package of picks wouldn't be enough for them to acquire Metcalf, then they should even consider adding another one or two to the offer to make this happen.

Trade for Brandin Cooks

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    Gary McCullough/Associated Press

    Texans Receive: No. 94 overall pick, 2023 third-round pick

    Chiefs Receive: WR Brandin Cooks

    Brandin Cooks is another proven wide receiver who would provide a boost to Kansas City's offense. But it seems likely that the Chiefs wouldn't have to trade away as many draft picks to land the 28-year-old as they would to acquire Metcalf.

    Fowler reported on SportsCenter on Sunday that the Houston Texans have "received multiple calls" on Cooks. It wouldn't be surprising if the Chiefs were among that group. If that's the case, Kansas City could be a strong potential trade partner because of its surplus of draft capital.

    Even though the Texans struggled in 2021, Cooks still had another strong year. He had a career-high 90 catches for 1,037 yards and six touchdowns, marking the sixth time in eight seasons that he's exceeded the 1,000-yard mark.

    After playing for four teams in eight years, Cooks may be on the move again soon. And the Chiefs should consider trading for him, especially if they can't work out a deal for Metcalf.

Trade Up to Take Top WR Prospect

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Jets Receive: No. 29 overall pick, No. 50 overall pick, 2023 second-round pick

    Chiefs Receive: No. 10 overall pick

    Considering the Chiefs should be a Super Bowl contender, their best move would likely to be to trade for a proven receiver such as Metcalf or Cooks. But what happens if Kansas City isn't going to work out a deal for one of them and still needs to add to its receiving corps?

    At that point, the Chiefs should move up in the first round so they can draft one of the top wide receivers in this year's class. It's possible there could still be solid options at Nos. 29 and 30, when they are first set to be on the clock, but they shouldn't take the risk of waiting.

    The Jets also have multiple first-round draft picks, and with the number of holes still on their roster, they should be interested in using one of those selections to acquire more picks. That's why Kansas City and New York could be strong trade partners on draft night.

    By moving up to No. 10, the Chiefs should have a chance to land a receiver such as USC's Drake London or one of the two former Ohio State standouts (Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson) depending on how the first nine picks unfold. And while none of them are proven players, they all have more star potential than some of the other receivers in this year's class.