“I felt like it was the best quarterback I had ever seen on tape in a workout,” Payton said. “I had done a lot of them to that point. You name it. I just thought he had that rare ability, and there was going to be a ton of upside. Man, he was real good in the meeting room. He processed the information extremely (well) — all those things you can’t see on video. That was just my instincts. I didn’t know for sure.
“But when the draft comes, you begin to think, ‘Well, there’s gotta be someone else that sees what I see.’”
And he had a slight inkling who else it might be. In fact, when the Chiefs made the trade for the 10th pick, even as Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson remained on the board, Payton just knew.
“When they made that move, my gut told me,” Payton said. “Look, I’ve always respected Andy. It was one of those where I don’t know how many people had the grade on Patrick that we had. But I thought Andy clearly would have with his background at the quarterback position. He would’ve seen, I think, the same things.”
Quinn thought the rival Raiders would make sense considering how well Vegas has matched up with Kansas City this year, but he doesn’t foresee the Raiders even making the playoffs at this point. His alternatives: The Bills and Steelers.
“I think (Buffalo) could maybe go blow for blow with them,” he explained. “I’d like to say Pittsburgh, but I don’t know that that’s necessarily fair, either ... They can’t run the football, (and) I don’t think (Ben Roethlisberger) wants to get hit.”
Brinson had a third suggestion for a potential Chiefs challenger: The Colts.
Quinn, however, wasn’t buying it, attributing Brinson’s pick to an absurd allegiance to Philip Rivers: “This is past being a homer. It’s like a long-lost lover. You’re just like this little kid with your Colts flag waving, saying, ‘Let’s go, Philip!’”
1 - Patrick Mahomes
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QB
Not the best week for the best QB in the NFL, but you’re still riding him into the playoffs with no hesitation. Give him one minute or give him 15 seconds, and you’re guaranteed a shot at victory.
Last week: 1
After Sunday’s game between the Chiefs and Dolphins, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes praised Tagovailoa for not trying to do to much when his team landed in a deep hole.
“It’s special, the mindset and the demeanor that he has on that football field,” Mahomes said. “When we kinda got up there I think it was 30-10, he didn’t try to start forcing it. When I was a young quarterback, I might’ve tried to force some throws, try to score 20 points at once. And he really just focused in on taking what was there, moving the ball down the field, trying to cut into the lead. For him to be in his rookie year and be able to have that mindset, it’s gonna pay off a lot in the future.”
Clyde Edwards-Helaire at Saints (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX): Edwards-Helaire saw a 44 percent touch share and put up a respectable 14.1 fantasy points last week in a win over the Dolphins. So while he’s still in the RB2/FLEX conversation, a game in New Orleans isn’t attractive. Their defense has allowed one running back to score a touchdown against them at home, and just two have scored more than 14 points. In all, visiting backs have averaged 14.4 points against the Saints.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Terrace Marshall Jr. WR
It would be so Chiefs to pick another offensive weapon early. Marshall is a big body who can fly.
Around the NFL
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, trauma to the lynx, in general, can disrupt respiration, swallowing and phonation (process of vocalization).
Per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Ragnow’s airway is fine, meaning he can breathe and eat. The center, however, is not supposed to talk right now. The team is consulting specialists and trying to determine how much time he might miss.
Needless to say, not being able to talk is a big deal for a center, who often help quarterbacks identify rushers and set line protections.
Atkins, 32, has been battling a shoulder injury he suffered during training camp.
The 11th-year player out of Georgia was limited in his usage throughout the entire season because of the injury. The Bengals primarily used him as a pass-rusher on third downs. He hasn’t played more than 30% of the team’s defensive snaps in any game this season.
Atkins will finish the season without a sack for the first time in his career. He accumulated 75.5 sacks in his previous 10 years, good for the second most in franchise history.
Perhaps the best thing about Riddick’s analysis is his potential to detail. Rather than talking in vast platitudes about scrambling or “danger with their feet,” he’s able to pinpoint the small things that lets players succeed. A few days ago he noted that teams keep flushing Josh Allen out of the pocket to his right, where he scrambles far better than to his left, for instance. It’s this kind of adjustment that could make him an excellent talent evaluator at the next level with an entire organization under him.
Riddick would be the next in a long line of former players making the jump into front office roles. John Elway has been the general manager and president of the Denver Broncos since 2011, while John Lynch recently made the same jump Riddick is trying to, leaving the broadcasting booth in 2017 to become the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, and had so much success in the role he was named executive of the year in 2020.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
It’s been another up and down year for Ward, featuring some poor performances — and a few quality games, too. As the sample size has grown, his lack of growth has been evident. At the end of 2018, he was a great story — and early in 2019, he showed promise before teams picked on him in the playoffs; he had a less than stellar showing through January and February.
At this point, I think we have a good idea who Ward is — and what his ceiling is. On most teams, he would profile more as third cornerback — or a low-end second. The Chiefs have done a fantastic job protecting him within their scheme, which has made their lack of significant investment in the position manageable.
"'You've got 43.'"— GMFB (@gmfb) December 16, 2020
Just when you think you've seen (*and heard) everything from the @Chiefs offense, they do something we've never seen before. @PSchrags on the latest KC offensive wrinkle.
"Everyone else is in college. This offense is getting its doctorate." @ArrowheadPride pic.twitter.com/f0IPwGlS9j