The latest significant step forward in the Tyreek Hill mess is here, and it may be the last before the NFL decides on a possible punishment so it’s worth taking some inventory.
Two months ago, KCTV-5 released selected clips of an 11-minute recording. On Tuesday, the full audio played on 610 Sports. As with virtually every twist in the story so far, nobody wins.
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
Let’s start with the obvious. Tyreek Hill should not be allowed to play in the NFL if the allegations of child abuse prove true.
Should Hill take the field come September, and I suspect he will (there’s no justice in the NFL), he’s one of the most electric weapons in the game.
After tallying 87 catches for 1,479 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, Hill could have an equally explosive 2019 with reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes tossing him the rock.
Hill is a special player who can impact the game with the ball in his hands and as a decoy, and the Chiefs utilize him to perfection.
Best Male Athlete
Mahomes also consistently made unbelievable plays, extending plays with his legs and utilizing ridiculous sidearm throws that frequently showed up on the highlight reels. All four of these men are deserving candidates, but this award will go to Mahomes.
Prediction: Patrick Mahomes
#42: YOU SAID REGRESSION. PLEASE TELL US PATRICK MAHOMES CAN AVOID IT?
Best guess: He’s going to regress. He has to regress. Before Mahomes, there had been 13 player-seasons all-time with 400-plus PPR points, and 10 of those 13 put up fewer points the next season, with an average dropoff for the list of 13 of 138.9 points. I’ll bet everything I have that Mahomes has a worse 2019 than his 2018. That said … he could still be QB1. He could still easily be QB1. The question isn’t whether he should be QB1 in drafts (he should), but where he should go overall. Per Fantasy Football Calculator ADP, Mahomes is going off the board 29th. But in our PFF Fantasy staff rankings, he’s a round later, at 41st. Wait on Mahomes, and don’t be devastated if you miss out.
Former NFL executive Mike Tannenbaum, who served as the New York Jets’ general manager and the Miami Dolphins’ executive vice president of football operations, recently explained on ESPN that he’s more impressed by Brady’s feats at 41 than Mahomes’ at 23.
“For me, it would be Tom Brady. Being in the AFC East for as long as I have, between the Jets and the Dolphins, every year we were like, ‘Wow, this is going to be it for Tom. He’s getting older. This has got to be the year. This has to be the year.’ And it’s remarkable. He’s gotten better,” Tannenbaum said. “He’s so smart. He knows where he’s going with the ball often before the ball’s ever snapped, so it’s hard to get to him because he gets rid of it so quickly. It’s really remarkable that he’s actually gotten better in the back half of his career from the first half.
1. Travis Kelce (100 percent): File him under the special receivers from the position that have defined this era.
2. Patrick Mahomes (60 percent): Yep. He is this high after just one monstrous season as a starter. If he is healthy, there should be full confidence that his elite, jaw-dropping play is here to stay as an all-timer.
3. Tyreek Hill (25 percent): He is a unique, speedy receiver and special return man, too. But we also know his future is cloudy at the moment.
4. Chris Jones (20 percent): He is coming off a breakout pass-rush season, and he’s only 25. He is an underrated candidate and a better one than new teammate Frank Clark.
Based on our latest pre-season projection, you can expect Travis Kelce will be an elite fantasy starter. His 180 projected fantasy points puts him ahead of Zach Ertz making him our #1 ranked tight end. At 100% ownership, he is also the #1 most highly owned tight end. Last season he was also the #1 ranked tight end.
17. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
The Chiefs are still the definition of a solid, if unspectacular, unit. Mitchell Schwartz remains as arguably the league’s best right tackle — he earned a career-high 83.6 overall grade last year — while left tackle Eric Fisher finally seemed to hit his stride down the back end of the 2018 season, grading out as the league’s best tackle from Week 11 to the Super Bowl. The return of guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif from injury is a big one for this unit too; he allowed fewer than 20 total quarterback pressures in both 2016 and 2017 despite blocking 400-plus pass-blocking snaps in each.
The loss of center Mitch Morse hurts. He graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 13th best center last season, and he’ll be spending the upcoming season in Buffalo. But the Chiefs will still trot out a solid group ahead of Patrick Mahomes. A year ago, they allowed only 26 sacks -- the fifth-fewest in football -- even though they tied for the ninth-most passing attempts. They also ranked fifth in pass protection and 16th in run blocking, per Football Outsiders. The key might be how right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif performs. He missed much of the 2018 season with a broken leg, but has been a good player when healthy.
A talented arsenal from the edge modeled after the Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs had a talented group of pass rushers last season and got great contributions from several different players. Kansas City employed a 3-4 defense so their defensive ends weren’t always rushing on the edge, but between them and their outside linebackers - they collapsed the pocket. The tandem of Chris Jones, Dee Ford, Justin Houston, and Allen Bailey collectively compiled 43.5 sacks, that’s 84% of the team’s total sacks.
Around the league
Mike Mayock’s first draft class in Oakland is officially under contract.
The Raiders inked first-round running back Josh Jacobs to his four-year rookie deal late Tuesday night. Oakland selected Jacobs with the 24th overall pick, the second of three first-round selections (No. 4 pick Clelin Ferrell, No. 27 pick Johnathan Abram).
Rob Gronkowski maintained he’s happy in retirement last week and would tell Tom Brady no if asked to come back to the New England Patriots. But the former tight end reportedly got in some reps with his ex-QB anyhow.
Gronk caught passes from Brady during a private workout Monday at UCLA, Andrew Callahan of Mass Live reported. The tight end was in Los Angeles for a charity basketball game Monday and has said he’d be at the ESPYs later in the week, so the timing lines up.
The 33-year-old had become a stalwart in the defensive backfield for Detroit since he signed there in free agency before the 2013 season, starting every game of his six seasons with the Lions and becoming a Pro Bowl player and second-team All-Pro in 2014. He also led the NFL in interceptions that season.
On Monday, the deadline for teams to reach long-term contract agreements with their franchise-tagged players will arrive and by the sound of it, it will come and go without Texans edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney signing a new contract to keep him in Houston for the long run.
The NFL’s biggest challenge ahead is this: to attract—and maintain—a younger audience. This is the challenge for every sports league, as younger consumers have grown up in an on-demand world, with dramatically more content choices than previous generations. Leagues, and businesses, which understand that and cater to it will prosper; those that do not will suffer.
The 2019 NFL Draft was known for its impressive assortment of defensive linemen, a couple of speedy Devins at linebacker and a group of defensive backs who were lacking in high-impact potential. After fitting players with teams, the list of Defensive Rookie of the Year candidates may stack up a little differently than how the prospects were drafted.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
On Tuesday, 610 Sports Radio released an uninterrupted 11-minute audio recording of a conversation (audio here) between Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill and his fiancé, Crystal Espinal — a recording Espinal reportedly made without Hill’s knowledge as the two walked through Dubai International Airport.
Relaxed, charming and affable as always, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes appeared to ABC-TV’s Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday night (watch the appearance in the player above or by clicking here).
Who is eligible for the supplemental draft?
College players who did not enter the NFL draft whose eligibility has changed (academics, discipline, etc.).
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