The Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC West for the sixth consecutive season in 2021, going 12-5. They came within just a few plays of making the Super Bowl for the third straight year, but fell to the Cincinnati Bengals (at home) in the AFC Championship Game.
Going into the 2022 season, the AFC West appears to be by far the strongest division in the NFL. With Russell Wilson now in Denver and the Los Angeles Chargers loading up on defensive talent, it's going to be incredibly tough for the Chiefs to win this division again, especially with Tyreek Hill no longer on the roster.
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For Kansas City to win the division again, the franchise will need to nail the draft in April. Here is a look at where the Chiefs draft, their biggest needs entering the NFL Draft and a few players who would make sense:
Kansas City Chiefs 2022 NFL Draft Picks
- Round 1 (No. 29)
- Round 1 (No. 30)
- Round 1 (No. 50)
- Round 2 (No. 62)
- Round 3 (No. 94)
- Round 3 (No. 103)
- Round 1 (No. 121)
- Round 4 (No. 135)
- Round 6 (No. 191)
- Round 7 (No. 234)
- Round 7 (No. 244)
- Round 7 (No. 252)
- Round 7 (No. 260)
Kansas City Chiefs Biggest NFL Draft Needs
- Wide Receiver
- Right Tackle
The Chiefs had arguably the NFL’s best draft class in 2021 despite not having a single pick inside the top 50. They found three Day 1 starters, including one of the league’s best centers in Creed Humphrey.
They completely rebuilt their offensive line last offseason, selecting Humphrey and Trey Smith. They also traded for Orlando Brown and signed Joe Thuney to a big-money contract. Needless to say, this is one of the best front offices in the NFL.
So, where might the Chiefs go in Round 1? They have to address their wide receiver need after trading Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins. They do have four picks in the first two rounds and that should help them replace Hill. But which player makes sense?
Alabama’s Jameson Williams is the fastest receiver in the class, but he might not make it to pick No. 29. Instead, Ohio State’s Chris Olave could be the more likely option; he has great speed and is a diverse route runner. Another option is Penn State’s Jahan Dotson, who can play in the slot and on the outside. They did sign former Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling to a big deal, but expect the Chiefs to continue to build their wide receiver room early in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Another spot the Chiefs could target in the first round is right tackle. There aren’t many options available for the Chiefs after Round 1, but one name that would make sense is Bernhard Raimann from Central Michigan.
The Chiefs have had success before with Central Michigan offensive tackles (Eric Fisher) and Raimann is a similar athlete to Fisher. He would make a ton of sense at pick No. 30. But if they want to wait until Day 2 to address their offensive tackle need, Minnesota’s Daniel Faalele would make some sense as a plug-and-play option for the Chiefs.
The Chiefs could also use some cornerback help after losing Charvarius Ward in free agency to the 49ers. Cornerback is one of the deepest spots in this class and someone like Kyler Gordon (Washington) would make sense in the second round. Don’t be surprised if the Chiefs find a Day 1 starter at cornerback in the second or third round in this year’s class.
If the Chiefs wait to address their wide receiver need until Day 2, someone like Calvin Austin III (Memphis) would make sense as he can stretch the field from the slot or on the outside. Georgia’s George Pickens could be another option as he is a big, fast receiver who wins down the field with his size.
The Chiefs have one of the best rosters in the NFL, but they can't get complacent. They need to add multiple starters during the 2022 NFL Draft to stay ahead of the rest of the teams in the division.
Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl 57 Odds
The Chiefs have the third-best odds to win the Super Bowl (+1000) at DraftKings Sportsbook, tied with the Green Bay Packers and defending champion Los Angeles Rams and behind only the Buffalo Bills (+650) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+750).
Those odds are significantly lower than what we’ve seen in recent seasons and that has to do with the depth of the conference and their own division and the recent Hill trade. Kansas City is only a +160 favorite to win the AFC West on DraftKings, which is the lowest during the Patrick Mahomes era.
Last year, those odds sat at -200 before Week 1 and the Chiefs were the heaviest divisional favorite in the league. That is no longer the case with how much the Broncos and Chargers have improved this offseason. This is still Kansas City’s division, but for how much longer?