The Kansas City Chiefs are playing without many of their starters in Sunday’s regular season finale against the Denver Broncos because they have clinched the AFC West already.
I asked the Arrowhead Pride staff which young player not named Patrick Mahomes they were most looking forward to seeing on Sunday. Here’s what we have:
RB Akeem Hunt
Joel Thorman: I almost picked LB Ukeme Eligwe but offense is more fun so I’ll go with the other Hunt, Akeem. The Chiefs need to develop depth behind Kareem Hunt, who has 271 carries so far this season. Charcandrick West has 18 carries and Akeem Hunt has just four. Let’s see what the other Hunt can do with a full load.
G Parker Ehinger
Kent Swanson: This is quietly a big opportunity for him. Maybe it was just us fans but there was a lot of hype around the 2016 game one starter at left guard coming into the year. Whether it was offensive line continuity or he's not the same guy as he was pre-injury, this will be our first look at him in a while. What he does in a game may determine what the Chiefs do next year via draft or free agency along the interior of the offensive line.
LB Tanoh Kpassagnon
Seth Keysor: Patrick Mah ... oh, besides him. Dangit, Joel. For me, I'd really like to see a lot more of Kpassagnon. We've gotten to see him in bursts, now I'd like to see him play a full game to see if that makes it better or worse for him. That will go a long ways towards showing whether he's a guy who can learn how to handle an opponent or a guy who is still stuck on one note and can be adjusted to over the course of a game. He looks the part, but how he develops is going to be huge for the Chiefs moving forward.
WR Demarcus Robinson
Matt Stagner: Ever since Mahomes was drafted, we’ve speculated about what the offense would look like with him at the helm. How will his more aggressive, downfield style affect the play (and stats) of the other offensive skill players?
Robinson figures to be one of the key beneficiaries of the Mahomes-led offense. Watching him in college, he gained a LOT of yards after the catch. Watching in preseason, he seemed to have a good connection with Pat on the 9-routes and go-routes. So far this season, we’ve seen Robinson bust his ass as a blocker, special teams gunner and as a route runner. He hasn’t seen nearly enough targets to fill up the box score. It’s safe to speculate that he will this week.
How productive can Robinson be as the featured WR while Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce (presumably) watch from the sidelines? He’ll get open, and I expect Mahomes to get him the football. Something like six catches for 110 yards and a TD is entirely possible this week.
WR Jehu Chesson
Pete Sweeney: The Michigan product had to have a lot of upside for John Dorsey to select him in the fourth round, and though he’s been all over special teams this year, he’s had just 17 snaps on offense. Chesson was one of Mahomes’ favorite targets throughout training camp, and I’d like to know if that rapport still exists now months later. I think we’ll get that opportunity with Tyreek Hill and Albert Wilson likely getting the veteran nod to take the week off.
WR Jehu Chesson
Gary McKenzie: He has done a solid job on special teams this year, and I also liked some of the things he did during the preseason. If you watch a lot of the guys who emerge as contributors for the Chiefs in the Andy Reid era they kind of make their mark on special teams initially. Albert Wilson did it, Tyreek Hill did it, Chris Conley did it, and Chesson has been that guy in 2017. I really like Chesson's athleticism and I think he could be a solid player in the NFL if his development continues.