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First Offseason Chiefs Mailbag: Wild Predictions, DAT’s Future

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Well, with minicamp now behind us, we are officially in the “now what are we going to do?” time of the year with regards to football.

Naturally, I have a ton of film reviews to take care of (next on my list is Conley, to be followed by a few offensive linemen). But let’s be real... this time of the year is tough on all of us.

Last year, we got by with a series of mini-mailbags. It’s time I dust that off again. Also, I’m currently a counselor at a children’s camp for the week, so your questions have played a large role in me maintaining my sanity. So my hat is off to you good people. I received more than enough questions to spread into multiple mailbags. Let’d do part 1 today.

(side note... over the last year, a few more of you maniacs have started following me on Twitter. Enough, in fact, that I’ve gone from a few responses regarding the mailbag to dozens and dozens. So I won’t be able to use them all. So if your question doesn’t make it, pick yourself up off the dirt and dive once more into the fray)

I love this one, because it forces me to toe the line between optimism and reality. Well done, sir. Well done.

I would say it’s that Tyreek Hill becomes a top 3 wide receiver, with something like 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns (as well as an impact that goes well beyond the stats).

I’ve written about Hill’s 2016 film at length, and the simple fact of the matter is that he flashed the ability to consistently get open. He also showed highly impressive ball skills, incredible YAC ability, and solid hands. In short, he looked like he has the potential to be a wonderful wide receiver.

Of course, there’s a big difference between performing well in a limited role and being the “go-to” guy on a team when defenses are focusing on you week in and week out. Any prediction of Hill becoming absolutely elite has to go under the “wild” category. But it wouldn’t REALLY surprise me given the traits he has.

What’s important to remember about Hill is that there isn’t anyone else like him in the NFL. He is, quite literally, the fastest player in the league. And on top of that, he has impressive quickness and change of direction ability. He’s absolutely unique. When you look at his workout numbers, he’s at or near the top of almost every category when compared to any draft class. He is truly, truly unique. And that’s why, while it’s a wild prediction, it’s not out of the question that he’ll jump right into the upper echelon of the league this season.

I gave this a lot more thought than is healthy, but at the end of the day I have to go with the most obvious answer: it’s gotta be Allen Bailey. The man is the human hulk. He’s an absolute monster. Any feats of strength go to him.

On a side note, the sleeper in this is Tamba Hali. While he’s not as brutishly strong as Chris Jones, or Bailey, or even Justin Houston, he strikes me as the guy who, upon finding he was in a contest to throw Cairo Santos the farthest, who would study like crazy to figure out the exact technique to effectively throw a human being. Can’t you see him perfecting his technique? I totally can. I bet he comes in 2nd despite being outweighed and outgunned in this.

I respect Tamba Hali so much. Just saying.

Given how they handled the draft, it certainly appears that they’re comfortable moving forward with who they have. It’s not like they didn’t have the opportunity to draft some pretty solid ILB prospects.

Of course, any time a solid veteran is cut (like Harris from the Jets) at a position of apparent need, people are going to clamor for the guy to be signed. However, I haven’t heard even a whisper that the Chiefs are interested. I think they like their young guys and are confident in Derrick Johnson’s inhuman ability to age gracefully.

I think the Chiefs also view ILB (at least, SILB) as of minimal importance. You can tell that they value the third safety spot considerably above the “starting” SILB spot, even though technically that third safety is coming off the bench. How? Look at the contract Daniel Sorensen just signed. 4 million a year isn’t breaking the bank, but it’s hardly chump change and not money you generally pay a non-starter.

Given the way Bob Sutton utilizes his players (favoring a 3rd safety over a 2nd ILB on the majority of the snaps), I don’t think it’s that high a priority for the Chiefs brain trust.

I tend to be an optimist, so I lean towards there being not too much probability the Chiefs go 9-7 this season.

The reality is that the front 7 was literally the most injured in football last season. All signs point to Justin Houston (one of the best 5 defenders in the NFL) being completely healthy again, which is going to be an incredible boost to both the pass rush and the run defense. Derrick Johnson appears on track as well, and he’s kind of a big deal. Bennie Logan was significantly superior to Dontari Poe in 2016 and SHOULD be an upgrade, while Allen Bailey (a solid DL and good run defender) will be back as well).

In the meantime, literally everyone in the secondary that played extremely well against multiple good-to-great quarterbacks last year is back. That’s huge, as time together in the secondary should lead to an even stronger unit as guys become ever more familiar with their assignments and teammates’ tendencies.

In short, there’s every reason to believe the defense will have a very, very good season in 2017. As far as the offense goes, well... I’m not thrilled about Maclin being gone, as I think it will hurt. However, I don’t expect a step backward from what we saw last year, as a young offensive line will all be back (again, continuity is a big deal) and we’ve got all of the same cast back that had the biggest impact in 2016.

Look, it’s football. ANYTHING can happen. But I’d be more surprised if the Chiefs went 9-7 than I would be if they went 14-2. And it’s been a while since I’ve felt that way.

Sure, at a reasonable price that would be terrific. Decker can play, and he’s more than just a red zone guy.

That said, I’d be surprised if they were willing to pay him much considering what just happened with Maclin. They seem committed to the young group of receivers they have. I’d definitely support bringing in a proven player, though. It can only help the offense, which may need said help.

I don’t prosecute any more, but I would absolutely not take it easy on a Chiefs player or coach. I’m a pretty law and order kinda guy, and I’m someone who believes that the system really should treat people fairly equally.

No idea with regards to poison ivy, but yes we do have that in MN. Fortunately, it’s not that common. I assume our subzero winters are tough on it.

The biggest flaw in the legal system, from my perspective, is that it’s pretty much impossible to treat each individual situation as an individual situation. There are too many cases out there (both criminal and civil) to carefully address every single problem in every single case in a unique way. There also isn’t the funding to do so in the case of the criminal system. And it’s a shame.

You know, I like DAT’s chances to make the roster. I understand that he’s no Hill, but he’s a guy with some viable skills. He’s got decent speed and is remarkably quick, not to mention he possesses solid vision and open-field running skills. I think he’s a guy who can return kicks/punts and also catch a few passes. There’s a place for that on the team. Plus, with Hill’s role expanding, they may need someone to take on some of the more “gadget” plays, and I think that’s perfect for DAT.

I think that’s a good place to stop for now. Thanks for the distractions, and we’ll be back to it soon.