NFL Draft 2022: Chiefs first defend in Mel Kiper’s new two-round mock on ESPN

On Wednesday, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper produced a mock draft in two rounds. The 64 picks include four quarterbacks and a dozen wide receivers – along with four edge rushers taken with the first seven picks. There is also a trade – even if it does not involve the Kansas City Chiefs. Instead, Kiper believes the Chiefs will stand a part with the 29th and 30th picks.

29. Kansas City Chiefs: CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson

The loss of free space for cornerback Charvarius Ward should not go unnoticed. He had developed into a really solid player. The Kansas City defense improved as the 2021 season went on, but it needs to get deeper in the secondary. Booth is a smooth 6-foot corner with good ball skills that played both outside and inside the castle in college.

30. Kansas City Chiefs: DE George Karlaftis, Purdue

No wide receiver? Let me explain. First, the Chiefs also have two second and two third-round picks. They could take one (or two) wide recipients with these choices. This is a deep class and they could find better value there. And secondly, defensive end is also a need. If Karlaftis is on the board, he would be an ideal finish next to Chris Jones, who does his best work from the inside. Karlaftis did not always come home to quarterbacks last season (only 4.5 sacks), but he created pressure.

True to his word, Kiper then gets the Chiefs to take two receivers in the second round.

50. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Skyy Moore, Western Michigan

Happy now, Chiefs fans? Here’s a quick 5-foot-10 wide receiver that will see just one little similar to Tyreek Hill. I have called Moore the most underrated player in this class. I love what he does after the catch – he forced 30 missed tackles last season, which became number two in FBS among receivers – and he does not miss passes. He has big hands. He’s not going to be a direct replacement for Hill, but he will contribute as a rookie.

62. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama

How about another wideout for the Chiefs? Tolbert had 2,559 receiving yards over the last two seasons. At 6-foot-1 and 194 pounds, he has the ability to run each route, and coach Andy Reid can plan him to open up around the formation. This leaves Kansas City trying to replace Tyreek Hill with two wideouts (I also gave it Skyy Moore earlier in the round), both of whom will spend some time adjusting to the NFL.

Take away

The last we heard from Kiper on March 22 – in a mockery announced before the news of the Tyreek Hill deal came out – he also got the Chiefs to take Karlaftis with the 30th choice. His mock draft from three weeks before had sent Minnesota edge rusher Boye Mafe to Kansas City – and back in January, he got the Chiefs to choose the San Diego State defensive over Cameron Thomas as a 30-year-old.

So unlike many other analysts, Kiper has long been on board with the apparent majority of Chiefs fans wanting a pass rusher taken in the first round. So here he stays in that corner – and uses the second choice in the first round for a defensive back. So in the second round, he dives into the deep wideout class – not once, but twice.

It’s certainly possible to argue with the particular players Kiper chose – but given the Chiefs’ needs (and the relative depth of those positions in this draft), it’s a pretty smart list of choices.

National Mock Draft Elections

Pos Name School Pct
S Daxton Hill Michigan 14%
EDGE Boye Mafe Minnesota 10%
EDGE George Karlaftis Purdue 10%
WR Jahan Dotson Penn State 8%
CB Kaiir Elam Florida 7%
WR Jameson Williams Alabama 7%
DT Devonte Wyatt Georgia 5%
CB Kyler Gordon Washington 4%
CB Andrew Booth Jr. Clemson 4%
EDGE Arnold Ebiketie Penn State 4%
S Jalen Pitre Baylor 2%
WR Treylon Burks Arkansas 2%
WR George Pickens Georgia 2%
WR Christian Watson N. Dakota State 2%
WR Chris Olave Ohio State 2%
CB Roger McCreary Auburn 1%
WR Drake London USC 1%
WR Garrett Wilson Ohio State 1%
WR Skyy Moore W. Michigan 1%
FROM Cameron Thomas San Diego stat 1%
EDGE Jermaine Johnson II Florida State 1%
FROM DeMarvin Leal Texas A&M 1%
EDGE David Ojabo Michigan 1%
DT Jordan Davis Georgia 1%
DT Logan Hall Houston 1%
DT Travis Jones Connecticut 1%
BEER Bernhard Raimann Central Michigan 1%
LB Devin Lloyd Utah 1%

National Mock Draft posts

Position Pct
Defensive back 33%
Wide receiver 29%
Edge rusher 28%
Defensive tackle 8%
Offensive line 1%
Linebacker 1%
Close end 0%
Runs back 0%

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How would you feel about these four choices?

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