The Chiefs go into 2022 as the reigning runners-up in the AFC after their crushing defeat to the Bengals to end last season. Kansas City made big moves this offseason, losing Tyreek Hill, but adding a plethora of young talent.
Below, we break down Kansas City’s roster:
QB: Patrick Mahomes, Chad Henne, Shane Buechele, Dustin Crum
Explanation: Like the QB position for the Bills, this one is self-explanatory, as Patrick Mahomes is arguably the best QB on the planet. Despite the serious changes made on the offense, Kansas City should be just fine with number 5 as their signal-caller.
RB: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Ronald Jones, Jerick McKinnon, Derrick Gore, Isiah Pacheco, Tayon Fleet-Davis, Jerrion Ealy
Explanation: Clyde Edwards-Helaire likely has not been exactly what the Chiefs have wanted out of their former first-round pick, but Edwards-Helaire is finally healthy and could be ready for a big jump. Behind Edwards-Helaire, the Chiefs have speed with Ronald Jones and Jerrick McKinnon, as they will likely operate in somewhat of a platoon style. This backfield is a bit unproven, as they do not have a consistent workhorse back, but this group should have success in 2022.
WR: Juju Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman, Marquez Valdis-Scantling, Josh Gordon, Skyy Moore, Daurice Fountain, Justin Watson, Omar Bayless, Cornell Powell, Gary Jennings, Justyn Ross, Corey Coleman, Matthew Sexton,
Explanation: This group took the biggest toll this offseason for obvious reasons, as All-Pro wideout Tyreek Hill was traded. There is no replacing a player like that with his speed, but the Chiefs did a good job of putting a group of receivers together to still make plays. With Mecole Hardman and Josh Gordon on the field, Kansas City added Juju Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Skyy Moore. They have a good group of talent but lack a true number 1 which hurts this group, although they could certainly outplay their grade.
TE: Travis Kelce, Blake Bell, Noah Gray
Explanation: Like the QB position, this one is not too controversial, as Travis Kelce, still playing at the top of his game, is and has been the best TE in all of football. He is Patrick Mahomes’ best weapon and will have another big year in 2022. That said, Kelce is getting older, and relying on backups of Blake Bell and Noah Gray may be a bit unsafe in case Kelce gets hurt.
OL: Orlando Brown, Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, Andrew Wylie, Lucas Niang, Austin Reiter, Nick Allegretti, Geron Christian, Darian Kinnard, Prince Tega Wanogho, Chris Glaser
Explanation: The Chiefs completely remade their OL after their Super Bowl loss to the Bucs and had a lot of success doing so for such a quick turnaround. Left to right, they have one of the best starting groups in the league, especially with the emergence of late-round rookies last season, Creed Humphrey, and Trey Smith.
DL: George Karlaftis, Frank Clark, Chris Jones, Derrick Nnadi, Mike Danna, Joshua Kaindoh, Tershawn Wharton, Taylor Stallworth, Malik Herring, Austin Edwards, Cortez Broughton, Khalen Saunders, Kehinde Hassan-Oginni
Explanation: This group has the potential to be very good, as Chris Jones is one of the best DL in the whole league, while Clark has had success in the past when healthy, and George Karlaftis is joining the roster as their 2022 first-round pick. However, there is still a bit of a question mark, as this unit lacks sufficient depth and Frank Clark has not played up to par with his old self, despite being selected to the Pro-Bowl last season. If Clark improves and Karlaftis bursts onto the scene, this group can be much better than given credit for.
LB: Nick Bolton, Willie Gay, Jermaine Carter, Leo Chenal, Shilique Calhoun, Darius Harris, Mike Rose, Elijah Lee, Jack Cochrane,
Explanation: If there were question marks for any group on this team, it would certainly be at LB. Nick Bolton performed well last season, while Willie Gay and Jermaine Carter are both young and have improved. That said, between Gay, Carter, and rookie Leo Chenal, there is youth but also a lot of unproven success. As a result, the grade remains low and is contingent on the emergence of the young LBs.
CB: L’Jarius Sneed, Trent McDuffie, Rashad Fenton, Lonnie Johnson, Dicaprio Bootle, DeAndre Baker, Brandin Danbridge, Jaylen Watson, Joshua Williams, Luq Barcoo
Explanation: The CB position was a priority for the offseason, as the position was improved through the selection of Trent McDuffie in the first round. In addition, the Chiefs bring back the versatile and talented L’Jarius Sneed. After those two, Rashad Fenton must prove he can be a full-time starter, while the rest of the depth is questionable. This group is relying on the starters to stay healthy as well as great performances from a rookie and a former 6th-round pick in 2019, which is why their grade is a bit low, but it can be improved.
S: Justin Reid, Juan Thornhill, Bryan Cook, Deon Bush, Nazeeh Johnson, Zayne Anderson, Nasir Greer, Devon Key
Explanation: After dealing with some problems at this position during 2021, Kansas City made the smart decision to move on and sign Justin Reid, in what was a free agency steal. Pairing Reid with Juan Thornhill makes for a solid duo, as long as both can stay healthy.