The Chiefs finished the final chapter of the 2022 NFL season, but we all know there's never a dull stretch on the NFL calendar. Before the NFL combine is the appropriate time to take in everything we witnessed during the NFL season and re-examine the 2022 NFL Draft.
Careers aren't made or broken after one season, but factoring in rookie years and projecting forward, let's piece together a redraft for the 2022 class.
Some redraft guidelines:
- All rookies from the 2022 class (including undrafted free agents) have been removed from their respective NFL rosters and are free to be selected.
- If a rookie is not included in the top 32 here, they would revert back to the round in which they were originally drafted and to the team that picked them. Original first-rounders not included in this first round would stay with their current teams too.
- All veteran transactions made during the 2022 season are intact.
- The below selections are what I would do as the GM of every team (while considering coaches' schemes, etc.), not what I think the GMs of each teams would do.
- The draft order is based on the real order on April 28, 2022, before the draft began.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Aidan Hutchinson EDGE
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'7" / 268 lbs
The Lions call in the same pick as in reality, with Hutchinson to anchor the defensive line in Detroit for a long time.
Round 1 - Pick 3
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'0" / 192 lbs
This isn't an easy decision for the Texans, but having a young No. 1 wide receiver is incredibly valuable in today's NFL.
Round 1 - Pick 4
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Missing on Gardner is a bummer for New York, but Stingley has big-time man-coverage ability too. Nice consolation prize.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Kayvon Thibodeaux EDGE
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'5" / 258 lbs
Thibodeaux took some time to acclimate to the professional game yet had high-caliber flashes as a run stopper and pass rusher, so the Giants make him their pick again.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Ikem Ekwonu OL
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'4" / 320 lbs
While not a perfect rookie campaign, Ekwonu showed plenty in 2022 to indicate he's tracking toward being a franchise left tackle in Carolina.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Drake London WR
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'4" / 213 lbs
London had a fine rookie campaign -- 72 catches for 866 yards -- with subpar quarterback play. Given his age, there's plenty of upside to this towering wideout.
Round 1 - Pick 11
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'5" / 310 lbs
Jones was a bright spot on the Bears offense as a rookie, and he has franchise-tackle traits. A youthful upgrade for the Commanders at a critical position.
Round 1 - Pick 12
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'2" / 305 lbs
With the Garrett Bradbury experiment being a failure, the Vikings have to address the center spot, and Linderbaum was a run-blocking stud in Year 1.
Round 1 - Pick 14
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'4" / 220 lbs
After the super-steady, at times dazzling rookie season Hamilton pieced together, the Ravens are thrilled to land him again at No. 14 overall.
Round 1 - Pick 17
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'4" / 325 lbs
So they don't lose him later in the first round of this redraft, the Chargers make their original fifth-round pick a first-rounder the second time around. Salyer was rock-solid at left tackle in 2022 and is almost assured to be the starting right tackle in Week 1 of 2023.
From New Orleans Saints
Round 1 - Pick 18
Tyler Smith OL
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'6" / 332 lbs
Smith mainly played on the edge in Year 1 with the Cowboys but probably projects best to guard in the NFL. With Isaac Seumalo set for free agency and Howie Roseman's long history of prioritizing the trenches, this is a relatively easy selection for the reigning NFC champs.
Round 1 - Pick 20
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'3" / 220 lbs
With Pickett still available and Pickens gone, Pittsburgh decides to pick their quarterback again. It was a shaky start for the young passer, but he improved down the stretch.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Jahan Dotson WR
NFL Draft • Soph • 5'11" / 182 lbs
Dotson is a Patriots type of wideout. Small, quick, refined routes. He scored seven touchdowns as a rookie in Washington.
Round 1 - Pick 23
NFL Draft • Soph • 5'11" / 193 lbs
Byron Murphy is set to hit free agency, so the Cardinals need to replace him with a steady youngster. That's precisely what McDuffie is. After getting injured early in his rookie season he was a consistent inside and outside corner for the Super Bowl champion Chiefs.
Round 1 - Pick 24
NFL Draft • Soph • 5'11" / 234 lbs
The Cowboys could use a true, three-down off-ball linebacker to man that position for the next five years plus. That's precisely what Rodriguez can be.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Zach Tom OL
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'4" / 304 lbs
The Bills value versatility in their blockers, and Tom played well as a left tackle, right tackle, and guard for the Packers in a part-time role in 2022.
Round 1 - Pick 26
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'2" / 225 lbs
The Titans are content with landing Burks in the late 20s after the strong showing he had later in the season with less than stellar quarterback play.
Round 1 - Pick 27
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'1" / 203 lbs
Another Lions defense, Joseph was a ball magnet as a rookie with four interceptions and eight pass breakups. With his length and athleticism, Joseph has massive potential, and the Buccaneers need to add more depth at the position.
Round 1 - Pick 28
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'1" / 200 lbs
The Packers need to add a steadying force to the safety spot, and they'd get that with Brisker, who was rock-solid in his debut season in Chicago.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Jack Jones CB
NFL Draft • Soph • 5'11" / 180 lbs
Three rookie corners played important roles on the Chiefs' Super Bowl title. Jones, of course, was not one of them, but is the chippy nickel type who could, theoretically, stand in for McDuffie on Kansas City's defense.
Round 1 - Pick 31
NFL Draft • Soph • 5'11" / 198 lbs
Pitre's missed tackles were a major issue in Year 1. Other than that, he was a fun, playmaking safety, and he's exactly what the Bengals need here.