Prospects for Chiefs to Avoid in 2022 NFL DraftApril 11, 2022
Prospects for Chiefs to Avoid in 2022 NFL Draft
Some NFL teams have the time to develop players who may need some seasoning before becoming starters. That shouldn't be the Kansas City Chiefs' approach during this year's draft, though, because they remain one of the top Super Bowl contenders.
The Chiefs should be looking to add players who can make an immediate impact and plug some of the biggest holes on their roster. Kansas City also has two first-round picks to help do that, as it owns the Nos. 29 and 30 overall selections.
So the Chiefs should be considering players with plenty of experience who project to be safe picks. They can't afford to take a boom-or-bust player who doesn't work out and fails to contribute in 2022.
With that in mind, here are some players Kansas City should avoid in this year's draft.
David Ojabo, DE, Michigan
At Michigan's pro day, David Ojabo suffered a torn Achilles tendon. So the 6'5" edge-rusher isn't going to play a full 17 games in 2022, and whichever team drafts him will have to wait to hand him his debut.
The Chiefs still need to bolster their pass rush this offseason. That means they could use one of their two first-round picks on a defensive end. But neither should be used on Ojabo, even though he has a lot of long-term potential in the NFL.
It's also unclear how Ojabo will perform once he gets back on the field. He was an explosive player throughout his college career, but he could take some time to get up to speed upon his return. It makes him a much riskier player for teams to pick in the draft.
Kansas City can't afford to wait for a player to get healthy and then potentially have him not make as big of an impact as the team had hoped. There are better fits for the Chiefs to consider drafting in order to address one of their biggest needs.
Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
Another one of Kansas City's top needs is cornerback. It lost Charvarius Ward, who signed with the San Francisco 49ers this offseason, so its secondary is without one of its top players. And it needs somebody who it can pair with L'Jarius Sneed for the long term.
The Chiefs require a cornerback who can step into a starting role as a rookie. Washington's Kyler Gordon may not be ready to do that in 2022, so it would be wise for Kansas City to steer clear of drafting him.
"He's a ridiculous tester and athlete, and he's going to go in the first [round], but I think he needs more seasoning before he's ready to start," an NFC area scout told NFL.com's Lance Zierlein.
Because of that, Gordon should go to a team that won't need an immediate contribution. He could go on to have a long, successful professional career—it just shouldn't start in Kansas City. Expect the Chiefs to take somebody who is more ready to take the field this year.
John Metchie III and Jameson Williams, WRs, Alabama
When the Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins in March, they acquired a ton of draft capital that could help them add a plethora of young talent who could turn into stars. But they also parted ways with a playmaker who ranks among the best wide receivers in the NFL.
It wouldn't be surprising to see Kansas City use one of its first-round picks on a receiver. It has signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling this offseason, but neither of them is a sure thing. The Chiefs still need to add to their receiving corps in order to ensure that quarterback Patrick Mahomes has a big year.
There are plenty of talented receivers in the 2022 draft class, including former Alabama teammates John Metchie III and Jameson Williams. But both of them will be risky picks, as each player is coming off a knee injury. Williams suffered a torn ACL in the College Football Playoff National Championship in January, while Metchie tore his ACL in the SEC Championship Game a month earlier.
Will Williams and Metchie still play at a high level when they are healthy? There's a good chance they will considering their talent. But it could take a while for them to reach that level in the NFL. And because of that, the Chiefs should look elsewhere to improve their receiving corps.