With the NFL out for summer break, ESPN’s NFL Nation compiled a list of surprise offseason standouts for each team. For the Kansas City Chiefs, it’s second-year wide receiver Byron Pringle.
WR Byron Pringle
He was on the verge of making the team last year as an undrafted rookie before an injury in the final preseason game ended his season. Pringle continued to make plays after returning this offseason. The fact that he played well at camp and in the preseason last year is an indication Pringle isn’t just an offseason phenomenon but indeed has staying power. -- Adam Teicher
We discussed the Kansas State product’s chances at making the Chiefs’ 53-man roster here at Arrowhead Pride back in early June.
As it stands, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman are certain to make the Chiefs’ 53-man roster. We don’t know this yet, but Hill probably won’t start the season with the club, meaning the team—which usually keep six wide receivers—would keep seven.
That scenario would mean three open spots for Pringle, who would be competing with Gehrig Dieter, Marcus Kemp, Jamal Custis and Cody Thompson.
I think the Chiefs like Gehrig Dieter’s ability on offense, but perhaps not so much on special teams. The opposite can be said for Marcus Kemp, who finished third in special teams snaps for the Chiefs last year, but I wonder about the Chiefs’ confidence in him on offense.
I mention K-State's WR situation...a former Wildcat wideout is back to impressing the #Chiefs. Byron Pringle standing out in OTA's. Patrick Mahomes: "You can really see that he’s playing with more confidence because he understands the playbook more with a year under his belt.” pic.twitter.com/hs6hdtQa0q— Tyler Greever (@WIBWTyler) June 7, 2019
Pringle has shown an ability to “pluck the ball out of the air,” as Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and wide receivers coach Greg Lewis have said, as well as an upside on special teams—the key to making those last few spots on a 53-man roster.
“[Last] preseason, he was having an outstanding game,” special teams coordinator Dave Toub explained during OTAs. “We were really high on him last year, and he’s really taking it. He did a great job with his rehab, number one, and those guys getting him back because he’s really looking good right now. He’s like taken it to another level, so we’re really excited, the way he looks right now.”
Other “surprise offseason standouts” of note
- Broncos: TE Troy Fumagalli
- Chargers: CB Trevor Williams
- Raiders: TE Darren Waller
- Jaguars: WR Chris Conley