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Kansas City Chiefs 2022 Training Camp Preview

Chiefs offseason needs

After another dominant season, Patrick Mahomes will be looking for more talent around him this Chiefs offseason. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA Today)

Kansas City Chiefs 2022 Training Camp Preview
(Jay Biggerstaff/USA Today)

Kansas City Chiefs 2022 Training Camp Preview

The Chiefs continued their recent dominance in 2021. They barely missed out on the Super Bowl by losing to the Bengals in OT in the AFC Championship. Most of the talk this offseason has centered around the departure of Tyreek Hill. While his production will certainly be missed, the Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid duo is talented enough to make any group of receivers look good. Kansas City has some question marks at cornerback, but their front seven should make life easier for this team’s defensive backs. The offensive line is mostly solid, but there is room for competition at right tackle. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some position battles and players to watch in this Kansas City Chiefs 2022 Training Camp Preview.

3 Position Battles To Watch:

Wide Receiver: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Mecole Hardman, Juju Smith-Schuster, Skyy Moore

Tyreek Hill’s absence creates room at the top of the depth chart. The Chiefs brought in Scantling and Schuster to replace him. They also drafted Moore in the second round, and he could see some significant playing time. Hardman represents the team’s top returning receiver. All of these guys will be given opportunities to show they have what it takes to be WR1. I don’t think any one of them individually could fill in the gap left by Hill, but maybe the Chiefs brought in enough collective talent to get the job done. This could wind up being more of a top receiver by committee situation where the guy with the most targets changes every game. Out of all of these options, I think Mecole Hardman might have the best chance at a breakout year. He already knows the offense and is comfortable with Patrick Mahomes.

Cornerback: Trent McDuffie, Rashad Fenton, DeAndre Baker, Joshua Williams

This position might be the most glaring weakness on the Chiefs’ roster. They currently have McDuffie penciled in as a starting defensive back after taking him in the first round of this year’s draft. With the pass-first state of the NFL, it’s asking a lot of a rookie to start week 1 on a team with title aspirations. The team tried to bolster their secondary through the draft instead of free agency, as they drafted five defensive backs this year. Joshua Williams was a fourth round pick who could push either McDuffie or Fenton if either of them struggle.

Right Tackle: Andrew Wylie, Darian Kinnard, Lucas Niang

The Chiefs have a pretty solid offensive line outside of this spot. Wylie is the front-runner at this point, but he doesn’t have that much experience at tackle. Niang is next on the depth chart and PFF projects him to start the season as their right tackle. I think 2022 fifth-rounder Darian Kinnard has a great chance to earn the starting spot. He’s someone who isn’t afraid to share his opinions and was seen as underrated by some going into the draft.

Ready To Breakout: Mecole Hardman

This is Hardman’s first year not playing behind a surefire WR1 like Tyreek Hill. He finished last season with just under 60 receptions and nearly 700 yards. I expect that to increase substantially in 2022. The dude has blazing speed and had a catch rate of over 70 percent in 2021. His knowledge of the offense will surely be an advantage over the incoming wideouts. 2022 will be the year we finally get to see what Hardman is truly capable of.

Rookie To Watch: George Karlaftis

The 6’4, 275-pound Karlaftis might have been one of the steals of the draft. The Chiefs got him with the 30th overall pick, and he should form a scary duo with Frank Clark. Add in Chris Jones and Kansas City might have one of the best defensive fronts in football. Playing with studs like Jones and Clark should free up space for Karlaftis to wreak havoc. He could be the solution to Kansas City’s defensive woes from last season. put him on their 2022 all-rookie team. Karlaftis has the talent, and he’s been put in a perfect situation, expect him to have a huge rookie year.

Fantasy Sleeper: Ronald Jones

I’ve never been a big Clyde Edwards-Helaire fan. He only played ten games last season and averaged 4.3 ypc. I don’t think he’ll ever live up to the hype he got as a first-round running back. Jones didn’t exactly light the league on fire last season either, but he was playing behind human-wrecking ball Leonard Fournette. If Helaire doesn’t produce up to expectations or misses time with injury, both huge possibilities, then expect Jones to step up. In 2020, he produced over 1,000 total yards and 8 touchdowns. I’m not saying he’s going to do that in 2022, but he should perform better than his 428 rushing yard season in 2021.

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