Spagnuolo’s defense requires corners who understand route combinations and can quickly decipher how to handle and cover what opposing offense throw at them.
General manager Brett Veach needs to add more competition at the position, if not an impact corner who could contribute immediately.
Coverage will be even more important in 2019 to give the pass rush the time it needs to get to the quarterback.
I’ve been the most proud of my ability to identify a handful of players that the team I covered prior to joining Yahoo Sports — the Kansas City Chiefs — ended up drafting. In 2015, Kansas City took All-Juice member Steven Nelson, and in 2016, they took another in Eric Murray. In 2017, they took Mahomes and Tanoh Kpassagnon, and in 2018 they took Armani Watts and Tremon Smith. The focus may be the whole league now, but yeah, it’d be awesome to keep that streak going, though I’m sure I just jinxed myself.
The NFL Draft is Thursday, and a number of people have made mock drafts ahead of the three-day event. Some of those mock drafts are likely to have changes over the coming days, but for now, here are who 10 national NFL experts believe the Chiefs will select (or not select) with the 29th pick.
“Pass rush and coverage are correlated, but the direction arrow points more towards coverage helping pass rush more than the other way around.” He [Eric Eager, a data scientist for PFF] points out that the smartest team in the league, the New England Patriots, has spent big on two cornerbacks this decade, Stephon Gilmore and Darrelle Revis, and not on pass rushers. This also helps explain why the Chiefs, another smart franchise, have put more emphasis on building the back end of their defense than their pass rush. Teams have more information than ever, but information hasn’t stopped them from making mistakes in the past. The beauty of the draft is that it tells you which teams are paying attention.
The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas lists the Chiefs as 4.5-point road favorites against the Jaguars. Kansas City, which posted a 12-4 record before losing to New England in the AFC Championship Game last season, should clearly be favored against Jacksonville (5-11 record in 2018).
THE RELATIVE NEWBIES
Brett Veach, Chiefs
It’s hard to know where to divvy up the credit between previous general manager John Dorsey, head coach Andy Reid and Veach, who was hired after the 2017 NFL Draft. Veach’s defensive overhaul this offseason was partly a recognition that last year’s Chiefs secondary wasn’t going to cut it.
Bye weeks: Kansas City, Minnesota, Arizona, LA Chargers
The Chiefs having a bye makes this a tough week all by itself, but it doesn’t stop there. We’ll be without Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins, and Philip Rivers; Damien Williams, Dalvin Cook, David Johnson, and Melvin Gordon; Tyreek Hill, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Larry Fitzgerald, Keenan Allen, and Mike Williams; and Travis Kelce, Kyle Rudolph, and Hunter Henry. It’s a tough week.
The Chiefs quarterback and reigning NFL MVP will be honored as Kansas City’s Sportsman of the Year by the Kansas City Sports Commission at a June banquet presented by Populous.
Around the league
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport said on Up To The Minute Live that his understanding is what that the “Raiders are looking at is some sort of surprise pick at No. 4 that would necessitate absolute secrecy.”
If the two sides don’t agree to a long-term deal, the fifth-year lineman will play the upcoming season on a one-year deal for $15,209,000 million. The Falcons still have until July 15 to sign Jarrett to a multi-year contract.
The NFL Draft starts Thursday and there are a lot of teams that will have numerous players selected. Here are eight schools that are making noise heading into the event.
The Utah State one-year wonder could be an NFL Draft steal thanks to his strength and explosiveness.
On Monday, Michael McCarthy of Sporting News cited sources who said Manning elected to host a five-part, 30-episode series called Peyton’s Places on ESPN+ instead of joining Joe Tessitore, Booger McFarland and Lisa Salters on the Monday Night Football team.
The decision “ends years of back and forth between Manning ... and ESPN management led by president Jimmy Pitaro,” McCarthy wrote.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
The idea that the Chiefs may acquire Frank Clark gained new steam on Monday morning when NBC Sports’ Peter King suggested it in his one and only mock draft of the offseason.
The Chiefs would send their first-round pick (No. 29) and one of their second-round picks (No. 63) to the Seahawks in exchange for the services of Clark, who is currently franchise-tagged. Using pick No. 29, the Seahawks would go on to select Washington cornerback Byron Murphy.
Background: State champion long jumper and 4x100 relay runner during high school in Gary, Indiana. Spent his first two years of eligibility at Garden City Community College. Second-team All-Kansas Jayhawk CC Conference as a freshman with five interceptions. Sat out his sophomore year to concentrate on academics.
The sixth-year veteran took up the slack in 2018, and there’s a solid argument he can do the same this season
Bert Bell is credited with inventing the NFL Draft, but his core concept — that parity between teams would ensure the league’s success — today permeates nearly all professional sports.
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