It’s hard to see Ruggs play and not think of Tyreek Hill. Both are impossibly fast, but Ruggs is a little bit bigger and has larger hands. He’s also more polished than Hill was coming out of school. There’s zero doubt that NFL teams will envision Ruggs as a gamebreaker and put him in position to compromise defenses starting in Week 1. Hill had 860 yards and nine total touchdowns as a rookie before exploding for bigger numbers in 2017, and career-best stats (so far) in 2018. But that’s with Andy Reid as a playcaller and, beginning in 2018, Patrick Mahomes as his quarterback. Ruggs will need a great coach and quarterback to realize anything close to what Hill put up, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see him as a high-ceiling flex starter in 2020.
”These first few weeks, I’ve really kind of been building the injury prevention stuff,” he told SiriusXM NFL Radio over the weekend. “The stuff I dealt with this year, with the ankle and with the knee, I’ve really been getting after that and trying to make sure that I can be 100 percent going into this next season, 120 percent, and ready to take on the impact of another entire football season. Every year is different, you’ve got to find ways to go out there and win football games. As of right now, (the offseason) has been about my body and getting myself in the best shape possible.”
Tagging Chris Jones is a no-brainer, but to me that makes it even more imperative they try to get something for Sammy Watkins via trade. Don’t see how a team in this sort of cap bind, especially carrying Jones into the league year with a $16M figure, can afford to pay Watkins another $14M. Too much tied up in the passing game already with Patrick Mahomes set to be a $40M man soon enough.
2020 AFC West odds: Kansas City Chiefs (-500)
Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated Monday, March 2 at 1:20 p.m. ET.
The Chiefs are the runaway favorite at -500. While teams can have up-and-down levels of success from one year to the next, most consistent successful franchises have a star quarterback who develops an entire offense. Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes has done that in his two full seasons as a starter. The same can’t be said for the rest of the division.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Kristian Fulton CB
The Chiefs defense improved steadily this season, right through the Super Bowl win. And while the secondary was pleasantly surprising at times, Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland will be free agents in the spring. Fulton had an up-and-down 2019 campaign but is undoubtedly a first-round talent — which was also the case a year ago when he considered leaving school early.
Ross Blacklock - DT
School: TCU | Year: Junior (RS)
Blacklock would wreak havoc next to the franchise-tagged Chris Jones.
Around the NFL
“I would definitely go for (Jadeveon) Clowney. Pass rusher, that’s what I’m looking forward to,” Adams said. “That’s a safety’s best friend. Definitely Clowney, Big 9-1 down in Jacksonville (Yannick Ngakoue), he’s a beast. Dante Fowler. I mean, there are so many guys coming out right now in free agency that we could sure use coming off that end.”
There are other teams that could show interest in Ngakoue, specifically the Philadelphia Eagles since Ngakoue fits the bill of the franchise’s philosophy of signing players heading into their second contract. If the price lowers for Ngakoue, Philadelphia may emerge as a front-runner for his services. The Eagles have one pick in each of the first four rounds in 2020 and one pick in each of the first three rounds in 2021. Jacksonville may want to move Ngakoue to the NFC and out of the conference, which would help the Eagles.
“Minimum salaries would go up significantly, with bumped-up benefits for current players and retired players. We’d increase the practice squad [from 10 to 14 by 2022]. Work rules would improve. I don’t think it’s perfect, but we’re making incremental gains on player health and safety. Some players have fallen victim to the thought if we turn this down, we’ll get something better. We might, but we might not. You have a couple of guys on Twitter who have millions of followers criticizing the deal. Other guys who support it might have 5,000 followers. Their voices aren’t loud. In some ways, I’m trying to be a voice for the voiceless,” he said.
As for the Patriots, it remains unclear how things will play put with Brady after 20 years together. Rapoport reported last week that New England would like to know the new CBA before committing to a deal with Brady but that he remains in its plans for 2020.
If Brady were to sign elsewhere, Rapoport said one of their backup plans might be Dalton.
”It doesn’t sound like there’s been any hardcore negotiations between teams and the Bengals, but they’re certainly looking at it,” Rapoport said.
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22. My best guess at the early slate. The NFL’s five-year streak of the Super Bowl champ opening the season with a Thursday night home game got broken last year when, as an homage to pro football’s 100th season, ancient rivals Green Bay and Chicago opened the year; Super Bowl champ New England played on Sunday night. This year, there’s a bit of an issue with the Chiefs opening the season at home at 7:20 p.m. CT on Thursday, Sept. 10: The cross-parking-lot Royals are slated to play that afternoon at 12:35. Maybe the game could be moved up 90 minutes, or maybe it could be part of a doubleheader on any of the three previous days of the series, and then the Chiefs could host the opener against, say, the Raiders or Texans.
A tweet to make you think
2020 Combine Medal Count recap— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) March 2, 2020
Medals were awarded to the first, second, and third place finishers in each drill within each position group@NDFootball had the most total medals (7)@UMichFootball @MizzouFootball & @HawkeyeFootball tied for the most Gold medals (3) pic.twitter.com/LSWrsPg5w7
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