The Chiefs did a proper assessment of their team last season and identified areas that needed improvements, especially after the shocking trade of their No. 29 overall pick in addition to the No. 94 and No. 121 selections to land Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie as the No 21 Overall pick. The Chiefs were so intentional with this move, which is why they went all-in for the trade.
McDuffie, a three-year starter, tested exceptionally well throughout the pre-draft process, despite being under 5-foot-11. Primarily considered a top-three cornerback in this draft class, his positional versatility fits the type of defensive backs the Chiefs covet. McDuffie allowed 3.1 yards per target in 2021, the best number in FBS.
Besides this, Athletically, McDuffie is great. He has a sturdy frame, is quick, agile, and has good top-end speed. His fluid hips allow him to mirror opposing receivers to near-perfection, and his high processing speed gives him an added advantage in both man and zone coverage. McDuffie is a trusted and proven performer who will instantly make any defense he joins better.
McDuffie is a player who could be pigeon-holed into a sub-package role because of his lack of size and strength. Still, a zone-heavy system will increase how much he’s tasked with, and he’s been a contributor at Washington since he was a freshman. He’s got terrific instincts and a natural feel for positioning in both coverages and taking on the run. However, while he’s a disciplined tackler, his more diminutive stature could also hinder his involvement on special teams. With added strength, he could evolve into a hybrid nickel back stationed near the line of scrimmage, where his instincts and disciplined approach can shine. That role could play the lion’s share of the defensive snaps. He has the skills to stay on the perimeter, but he must get stronger once again.
One crucial point is that McDuffie scored a 9.48 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 106 out of 2001 CB from 1987 to 2022. The Chiefs might have a generational talent at hand, and this is a statement move for them heading into the 2022 season.