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Kansas City Chiefs Roster Update

Trade of Star WR Hill Among Bevy of Offseason Moves

The Kansas City Chiefs have been impossible to defend at times in recent years, with quarterback Patrick Mahomes throwing to receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. Things will look much different in 2022 with Hill now with the Miami Dolphins after a huge offseason deal. Still, many who make NFL odds view the Chiefs as a potential Super Bowl-winning squad. We’ve plenty of NFL lines for you to consider.

The thought was that the Chiefs would address the receiver position with one of their two first-round picks. Instead, they waited until the second round to take Skyy Moore out of Western Michigan. He could have plenty of opportunities to contribute as a rookie.

Kansas City Chiefs Roster Update
Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Work has been done to improve the defense, and with good reason. The Chiefs ranked 27th in total defense during the 2021 season. Safety Justin Reid comes in and will replace Tyrann Mathieu while three of the top four picks in the 2022 NFL Draft were used on defensive players.

The Chiefs will play five teams that qualified for the playoffs in 2021 in the first seven games of the season before a bye in Week 8, so it should become clear early on how much the losses of Hill and Mathieu will hurt them.

The Kansas City Chiefs have won the last six AFC West titles. Kansas City (+150) is favored to make it seven division titles in a row, although key offseason acquisitions have resulted in the Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos being listed at +250 according to the Vegas NFL odds.

2021 record: 12-5 (first in AFC West)

Playoff results: Lost to Cincinnati 27-24 in overtime in the AFC Championship Game

Season opener: at Arizona, Sept. 11, 4:25 p.m. ET

Playoff teams on 2022 schedule: HOME – Buffalo, Las Vegas, Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee; AWAY – Arizona, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Tampa Bay

Key newcomers: S Justin Reid, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, RB Ronald Jones, S Deon Bush, CB Trent McDuffie (first-round pick); DE George Karlaftis (first-round pick), WR Skyy Moore (second-round pick), S Bryan Cook (second-round pick), Leo Chenal (third-round pick)..

Key losses: WR Tyreek Hill, S Tyrann Mathieu, S Daniel Sorensen, RB Darrel Williams, DL Jarran Reed, OL Austin Blythe, LB Anthony Hitchens, CB Mike Hughes, DE-LB Melvin Ingram, WR Byron Pringle.

Award candidates: Skyy Moore, +1100 in the NFL Offensive Player of the Year odds; Mahomes, +1600 in the NFL Offensive Player of the Year odds; Trent McDuffie, +1600 in the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year odds; George Karlaftis, +1800 in the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year odds; Kelce, +2800 in the NFL Offensive Player of the Year odds; Justyn Ross, +6000 in the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds; Chris Jones, +8000 in the NFL Defensive Player of the Year odds.

Offensive Breakdown

The ability of Hill to stretch the field and draw double coverage was a key part of the Kansas City offense. Now things will be run a little bit differently. Former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, running back Ronald Jones (Tampa Bay), receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Green Bay) and rookie receiver Skyy Moore, a second-round pick out of Western Michigan, have been added to the roster.

The Chiefs recently re-signed running back Jerick McKinnon. He’ll team with Jones and Clyde Edwards-Helaire to give them plenty of options at running back.

There is still ample talent on offense for the Chiefs. Mahomes and Kelce are arguably the best quarterback and tight end in the NFL.

The offensive line continues to be tinkered with. Rookies Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith made immediate impacts a season ago. The right tackle spot is still a concern. If that unit is even average, there should be plenty of points being scored by the Chiefs.

Undrafted rookie free agents usually don’t get much buzz heading into their first season. However, former Clemson receiver Justyn Ross looked like a future NFL star when he amassed 301 receiving yards and three touchdowns in two games during the College Football Playoffs following the 2018 season. An injury situation led to him going undrafted. Those who bet online will keep an eye on Ross, who has better odds than many of the receivers selected in the draft.

Defensive Breakdown

The Kansas City defense is a work in progress. The Chiefs went three drafts in a row without taking a defensive player in the first round and that has been evident with the inconsistent play on that side of the ball.

It won’t be easy to replace all the things that Mathieu brought to the defense. Reid is a much different type of player, but a highly touted safety. First-round picks Trent McDuffie and George Karlaftis should improve the pass defense and pass rush.

Second-year linebacker Nick Bolton has been viewed as a strong breakout candidate in 2022. He’ll have more chances to make plays with the departure of five of the eight players with more than 50 tackles a season ago.

2022 Outlook

Make no mistake, there is still plenty of talent for the Chiefs to make a run at their third Super Bowl appearance in four seasons. It won’t be easy with all three division rivals making big moves in the offseason.

The Los Angeles Chargers added pass-rushing linebacker Khalil Mack and ball-hawking cornerback J.C. Jackson, the Denver Broncos made a huge move to acquire perennial All-Pro quarterback Russell Wilson, and superstar receiver Davante Adams is now a member of the Las Vegas Raiders.

The season opens on the road against Arizona, with fellow Super Bowl contenders Tampa Bay and Buffalo are also among the first seven opponents for Kansas City, so there won’t be much time for the Chiefs to figure things out.

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