Chiefs Lose 30-Game Starter to Raiders in 2019 Re-Draft

Getty Kansas City Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill

Summer break in the NFL means hypotheticals are at the forefront of conversations for those who still need to talk football even when football isn’t being played. That’s why we are circling back to the 2019 NFL Draft for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs had to make do with no first-round pick in that draft, and the jury is still out on several of the team’s draft picks from that year. Kansas City selected wide receiver Mecole Hardman and safety Juan Thornhill in the second round, defensive tackle Khalen Saunders in the third round, cornerback Rashad Fenton and running back Darwin Thompson in the sixth round, and offensive guard Nick Allegretti in the seventh round.

But what if we went back and re-drafted that 2019 class based on what we know now? PFF did just that and had a few interesting moves involving the Chiefs and their AFC West rivals.

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Chiefs Take Chargers Safety, Raiders Take Thornhill

PFF’s Trevor Sikkema re-drafted the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. In their version of the re-draft, they had each NFL team make a selection in the first round, which meant Kansas City kept the 29th overall pick instead of trading it to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for defensive end Frank Clark.

With the 29th overall pick, the Chiefs selected safety Nasir Adderley, who was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers.

“The Chiefs picked up Juan Thornhill in the second round of this draft, so with the chance to grab a safety earlier (and with Thornhill already off the board), Adderley makes a ton of sense,” Sikkema wrote on June 20. “His career has been hampered by injury a bit three years in, but he had his best coverage season yet this past year.”

You might be asking yourself: “Juan Thornhill was already off the board?”

Yes, yes he was. That’s because the Las Vegas Raiders selected him with the 27th overall pick.

“I once again think the Raiders were on the right track with the position they targeted, they just drafted the wrong player,” Sikkema wrote. “[Jonathan] Abrams was an athletic thumper, but time proved what Las Vegas really needed: an athlete on the back end with good range to play free safety. That is what Thornhill, who has earned two 70.0-plus grades across three seasons, could have brought them.”

Other noteworthy moves in the first round re-draft were Las Vegas selecting now-Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver 24th overall (originally selected 9th overall), and the Chargers selecting now-Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow with the 28th overall pick (originally selected in the fifth round).

Juan Thornhill Sets Bold Expectations for 2022

2022 is a unique year for Thornhill. Why? Because it marks the first year since he entered the NFL that he has undergone the entire offseason fully healthy.

Thornhill had a strong rookie campaign before he was placed on injured reserve following Kansas City’s Week 17 game against the Chargers due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He then spent the entire 2020 offseason rehabbing back from that injury. So, the 2022 offseason was the first in which Thornhill was able to participate in the Chiefs’ offseason program with no physical ailments.

Being healthy for the entirety of the offseason has Thornhill confident about what’s to come in Year 3. So much so that he has made a bold prediction regarding his expectations for the 2022 season.

Speaking to the media after Day 1 of mandatory minicamp in Kansas City, Thornhill was asked how it feels to be fully healthy and what he expects from himself moving forward.

“I’m having an All-Pro season. I’m putting that out there,” he said on June 14.

Chiefs Players Speak After Day One of Mandatory Minicamp | Kansas City ChiefsChiefs players speak with the media following Day One of Mandatory Minicamp. Mecole Hardman: 0:00 JuJu Smith-Schuster: 1:50 George Karlaftis: 7:14 Juan Thornhill: 11:34 Subscribe for more videos! More Chiefs NFL action! #KansasCityChiefs #Chiefs #NFL Follow Our Social Media! Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

This prediction made by Thornhill falls in line with a series of tweets he posted in May, which expressed how good he feels this offseason.

With Tyrann Mathieu and Dan Sorensen no longer with the Chiefs, Thornhill is projected to be a starter alongside Justin Reid in Kansas City’s secondary next season. If Thornhill is able to capitalize on the starting opportunity by producing at a high level, then earning All-Pro status isn’t out of the realm of possibility, although it is a rather tall feat for the third-year defender.


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