2022 Chiefs NFL draft prospects: Group 1

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Week 1 of the 2021 college football season is here and so is a brand new season of our 2022 NFL draft prospects series. We’ve identified over 200 college prospects to keep an eye on ahead of the 2022 draft, all of whom might be potential fits with the Kansas City Chiefs. I’ll be releasing my thoughts on many of the prospects in random groups of four on Saturdays throughout the college football season.

The first group of prospects includes a defensive back that plays like a heat-seeking missile, a linebacker who excels as a blitzer, one of the top FCS prospects in the draft and a versatile offensive weapon.

Check them out down below:

Penn State DB Jaquan Brisker

Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

A former high school cornerback converted to safety, Brisker transferred to Penn State after two seasons at Lackawanna Community College. Over the past two seasons with the Nittany Lions, the 6-foot-1 and 200-pound defensive back has played 22 games, making nine starts in the process. During that time, Brisker has amassed 88 total tackles, four tackles for loss, three interceptions and nine passes defended. He's also developed a reputation as a big-hitter and a ball-hawk. 3-of-4 safeties on the Chiefs' 53-man roster become free agents in 2022. They'll almost certainly be unable to keep all of them, which means they'll likely look for some help at the position in the 2022 NFL draft. WATCH: Penn State at Wisconsin, Saturday, Sept. 4 at 9:00 a.m. CT - Live stream fuboTV (free 7-day trial).

Alabama LB Christian Harris

Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.

A four-star recruit out of Louisiana, Harris became a Freshman All-American in his first season at Alabama. Over his freshman and sophomore seasons, amidst a stacked linebacker group, Harris saw time in 26 total games. During that span he accumulated 140 total tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, two passes defended, one fumble recovery and one interception. Listed at 6-2 and 232 pounds, Harris is physical, explosive and has a real savvy for making plays in the backfield. The Chiefs have added linebackers in the second round in each of the last two drafts. They do have an out-year in middle linebacker Anthony Hitchens' contract next season. Should the team choose to move on from Hitchens, they could be looking to continue to reinforce the position group.

WATCH: Alabama at Miami (FL), Saturday, Sept. 4 at 2:30 p.m. CT - Live stream fuboTV (free 7-day trial).

Northern Iowa OT Trevor Penning

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Spencer Brown was a highly-touted tackle prospect out of Northern Iowa last season, ending up as a third-round pick by the Buffalo Bills. His counterpart in Penning might turn out the better prospect. Penning is listed at 6-foot-7 and 320 pounds, boasting plenty of length and strength from both the tackle and guard positions. In both the running game and the passing game he plays with a finisher mentality and he's an easy mover in space. He'll need some refinement at the next level to best take advantage of his length. The Chiefs completely rebuilt their offensive line during the 2021 offseason. The one area that still seems to be lacking depth is the tackle position, with Mike Remmers and Andrew Wylie as the backup tackles. Expect the Chiefs to look for mid-round prospects to develop as a swing tackle. WATCH: Northern Iowa at Iowa State, Saturday, Sept. 4 at 3:30 p.m. CT - Live stream fuboTV (free 7-day trial).

Texas A&M RB/WR Ainias Smith

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

An all-around athlete, Smith was a three-star recruit out of Missouri City, Texas. As a rookie at Texas A&M, he played the majority of his snaps at wide receiver, but as a sophomore, he made a switch to a more versatile role. According to Pro Football Focus, Smith took 143 snaps from the backfield, 323 from the slot and 60 aligned wide during the 2020 college football season. He managed to be the Aggies' leading receiver while also making significant contributions at running back. There is little question that the Chiefs need an upgrade at the WR2 spot. Smith reminds me a bit of Tyreek Hill coming out, in the sense that a full-time switch to the receiver spot would make him the better player. He could provide the Chiefs with the tertiary weapon they've been missing opposite Hill and Travis Kelce. WATCH: Kent State at Texas A&M, Saturday, Sept. 4 at 7:00 p.m. CT - Live stream fuboTV (free 7-day trial). [listicle id=98374]

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