Breaking down the prime 5 Rookie of the year candidates for the Kansas City Chiefs
Derrik Larsh @dlarsh15 Chiefs Focus @Chiefsfocus
When you think of a rookie of the year winner you think of guys like Ja’marr Chase, Micah Parsons, Cam Newton, or Aaron Donald. Players who came in and made an immediate impact on not only their teams but the league as a whole. The last time someone from Kansas City brought home this award was Kareem Hunt for the offense and Marcus Peters for the defense. During the 2022 NFL, Draft Kansas City brought in 10 rookies and sign a few undrafted free agents, I’m going to break down my top 5 players who have the best chance to bring this award back to Kansas City!
- Skyy Moore
The majority of the 10 players in the Chiefs 2022 Draft class came from the defensive side of the ball, but the chiefs knew they need to address the wide receiver room with the departure of Tyreek Hill, Demarcus Robinson, and Bryan Pringle, so they took with 54th pick out of Western Michigan Skyy Moore. Moore was a key contributor to the Broncos during his time with 171 catches 2482 yards and 16 touchdowns and a catch rate of 67% during his three years in Kalamazoo.
The reason I have him as my number one choice is he will have the ability to be on the field and make plays as the WR 4 role that was filled by Pringle last season and be a solid option for Mahomes as his biggest attribute is his consistency and being a reliable target pairing with the fact that a lot of attention from the defenses will go to Kelce, Juju, MVS, and Hardman, this will lead to many opportunities to make big plays in important games, one of the keys to winning this award. The biggest question mark I have will he be able to create separation from the defender to be an option in this offense.
2. George Karlaftis
The biggest question mark for the 2022 defense will be the defensive line and the pass rush especially during the AFC championship game only racked 1 sack on a vulnerable Cincinnati Line. The chiefs knew this needed to be addressed and with one of the 2 picks the chiefs had in the first round they made a big splash in rebuilding the line in the form of George Karlaftis out of Purdue. The high-motor defensive end always seemed to be in the middle of every play raking up 97 total tackles including 29 for a loss and 16 sacks during his time with the Boilermakers.
Karlaftis has a high motor and is quick off the ball which will be a huge asset to Kansas City and help both Jones and Clark as he was used as both defensive end and tackles in college but will be primarily used as a defensive end for the chiefs, my biggest question for Kalaftis is how quickly will he be able to understand spags’ more complicated defensive scheme.
3. Trent Mcduffie
After the defensive line, the next area of concern was the secondary with the departure of Charvarious Ward and Tyrann Mathieu. The secondary took a big hit, so With their first pick in the first round, the chiefs had in the first round they used it to take Trent Mcduffie Corner Back out of the University of Washington like Karlaftis, Mcduffie has a high motor and flies around the field to make a play. During his tenure with the Huskies, Mcduffie had 94 tackles 2 interceptions, and 3 forced fumbles.
While Mcduffie will be a day 1 player in Kansas City, we don’t know where in the secondary he will play as his skill set allows him to play both inside and can play one-on-one with the big receivers on the outside, Mcduffie is the then type of corner that will get you double-digit interceptions but will be a solid foundation to allow others to make the impact plays. The biggest question mark I have will be will he has enough big splash plays that will catch the eye of the voters.
- Joshua Williams
Before the draft, I was saying how the chiefs need a big tall corner that can be used against receivers such as Ja’marr Chase, Mike Williams, and now Devonte Adams who all have had their number against the secondary over the past couple of seasons, the 6’2 193lb corner with a 78` wing span out Fayetteville State could be the answer this defense has been looking for for quite some time. During his time with the Broncos Williams had 79 tackles and 5 interceptions and has the quick feet to recognize any play and get into the best position to make a play.
He is an ideal corner for any defense with his size and speed and with spags’ defense that likes having the corners play on an island. Williams will be in a prime position to be a possible day 1 starter, but his biggest question will be can he leap quickly and adjust to the NFL size and speed.
- Justyn Ross
This is my dark horse not only for the chiefs but the entire league for Rookie of the year, the big-body receiver that rocked the college football world as a freshman at Clemson, Ross who was obtained as an undrafted free agent. At 6’4 200lbs Ross exploded during his freshman year at Clemson having 1000 yards of receiving on 46 catches and helping the Tigers win the national championship. Plagued by injuries during his remaining time at Clemson made teams cautious about drafting him, but was a prime candidate in the undrafted free-agent market as numerous other teams were in pursuit of his services.
If Ross is fully recovered from his injuries and ready to go he will be a big part of this team for years to come, but the biggest question mark is what are the chief’s plans for ross? Is it to have him out in week one or to groom him for a year before unleashing him only time will tell.
I have a feeling that this draft class has the potential to be special and will be talked about in Kansas City for years to come and I cannot wait to see them all on the field.