The Kansas City Chiefs started their portion of the 2022 NFL Draft with a trade. They sent the No. 29, 94, and 121 picks to the New England Patriots in exchange for the 21st overall pick, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. With the 21st pick, the Chiefs selected Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie.
With the top 5 wide receivers already gone, Kansas City moved up the draft board to address a clear need on defense. McDuffie will likely be inserted right away into the starting lineup, playing alongside L’Jarius Sneed in the secondary.
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The Chiefs’ desire to move up the draft board to acquire McDuffie likely had to do with the fact that the Washington cornerback was slipping in the first round. McDuffie was ranked as the 14-best prospect in NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s updated top 150 prospect rankings, which were released on April 25. So, Kansas City moved up, got a starting cornerback, and still had another selection in the first round (30), which they drafted Purdue edge rusher George Karlaftis with.
With McDuffie being drafted in the first round by the Chiefs and coming out of Washington, one NFL insider likened McDuffie to a former Chiefs first-rounder who had a very strong resume during his tenure in Kansas City.
McDuffie Likened to 3-Time All-Pro Marcus Peters
As pointed out by ESPN NFL insider Ed Werder on Day 1 of the NFL Draft, McDuffie becomes the first defensive back the Chiefs have selected in the first round since 2015. It was in that year that Kansas City selected cornerback Marcus Peters, who, like McDuffie, also went to Washington.
Peters was the 18th overall pick by the Chiefs in the 2015 NFL Draft. During his rookie season in Kansas City, Peters was named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year, an All-Pro, and got a Pro Bowl nod after accumulating 53 tackles, 26 passes defended, eight interceptions, and two pick-sixes, per Pro Football Reference.
During his six seasons in the NFL, which also included stints with the Los Angeles Rams and Baltimore Ravens, Peters was a three-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler. The last time he played an NFL snap was in 2020 when he was with the Ravens.
While no one is expecting McDuffie to perform during his rookie season as Peters did, it’s nevertheless an intriguing connection that Werder made during the first round.
Veach: We Were Surprised McDuffie Was Available
Speaking after the first round of the draft, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach detailed the thought process that led to Kansas City trading up to select McDuffie with the 21st overall pick.
“I think we were committed to being selectively aggressive, and if a player like a Trent McDuffie was there, ‘Hey, let’s go make a move and get him because he’s really good,’” Veach said. “Probably wouldn’t have been there at 29. We were surprised he was there when we selected him with New England’s pick, but I think that was our mindset going in, and we just followed the plan.”
Veach also noted that Kansas City knew it had to jump the Buffalo Bills, who ended up selecting cornerback Kaiir Elam with the 23rd pick after moving up from the 25th pick, to get McDuffie.
“We knew that was coming,” Veach said. “We had called teams — I believe the pick before and the pick after — of the New England trade, just to put ourselves in the position. The way the board was falling and knowing that we’re picking real late in this draft here, and the odds of a guy like McDuffie being at 21, let alone 29, were very low, so we just thought it was the right time to make that move.”
With the first round now in the rearview mirror, the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft will take place on Friday, April 29 at 7 p.m. ET. Rounds 4 through 7 will take place on Saturday beginning at noon ET. Kansas City has eight picks remaining in the draft, three of which will be on Day 2, which include two second-rounders and one third-rounder.