First round: Patrick Mahomes, QB, 2017
The Kansas City Chiefs saw their quarterback of the future and traded up to No. 10 to snag him. The rest, as they say, it history. In his first season as a starter in 2018, Mahomes took home the NFL MVP Award and led the Chiefs to a 12-4 record, before losing in the AFC Championship Game. Although he wasn’t able to replicate his 5,097-yard, 50-touchdown season the next year, he still managed to top himself with a come-from-behind Super Bowl victory against the 49ers.
At just 24 years old, Mahomes became the youngest player in NFL history to win both the league and Super Bowl MVP awards. Mahomes being this good when he’s still so young is what makes him worthy of getting the top spot.
Kansas City Chiefs
Player: TE Tony Gonzalez
Pick: 13th overall (first round)
Much like Manning in Indianapolis, Gonzalez is a no-brainer by virtue of him being one of, if not the, best to ever play his position. A model of consistency, he went to 10 Pro Bowls in 12 seasons with the Chiefs, setting all major K.C. receiving records — and paving the way for all major TE records across the NFL — with four separate 1,000-yard seasons and nine different years of at least 70 catches. Gonzalez kept up his all-star pace with the Atlanta Falcons will always be remembered as a Chief, making a legendary name for himself in K.C.
From Jeremias Sørensen (@Lactoo): A lot of so-called draft experts have the Chiefs taking a RB in Round 1. Most Chiefs fans don’t understand this as Damien Williams is perfect for KC. There are players of greater need and similar value at 32, so why is the RB pick so common? Is it sources or guesswork?
Fun fact, Jeremias—This will Andy Reid’s 22nd draft as a head coach and, over that time, he’s never spent a first-round pick on a running back, and has only once spent a second-rounder on one (that player, of course, wound up being LeSean McCoy in 2009). That’s no accident, and it doesn’t mean either that he doesn’t know how to use a great one (both McCoy and Brian Westbrook accomplished a lot in his offense).
The Chiefs selected defensive end Jared Allen in the fourth round of the 2004 Draft, who blossomed into one of the league’s top pass-rushers almost right away. In his four years with Kansas City from 2004-07, Allen led the NFL in tackles for loss (56), ranked second in sacks (43.0), fifth in quarterback hits (39) and sixth in forced fumbles (13). Allen was traded to the Minnesota Vikings ahead of the 2008 season, providing Kansas City with the selection that was used on tailback Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs’ all-time leading rusher.
The defending Super Bowl champions are favored in all but two games, both road contests. One is at Baltimore, which had the best record in the AFC last season. The other is at New Orleans, which was in the playoffs.
32. Cesar Ruiz - C
School: Michigan | Year: Junior
The Chiefs are returning 20 of 22 starters next season. In other words ... watch out! If they opt to go best player available, Ruiz may very well be that guy. Capable of playing either center or guard, he’s an intelligent player who can both help protect Patrick Mahomes and be a mauler in the run game. Kansas City can go anywhere with this pick, but offensive line is never a bad choice.
Round 1 - Pick 32
D’Andre Swift RB
Swift would give the Chiefs an absolutely terrifying offense because of his receiving chops.
10. New York Giants
Tyreek Hill - WR
School: West Alabama | Original pick: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State.
Hill was actually drafted: by the Chiefs in Round 5 (No. 165).
Jeff: Hill’s rapid evolution from return specialist to No. 1 receiver in four years has been nothing short of amazing. The 41 total touchdowns he’s scored thus far is even more jaw-dropping. I understand the red flags. I also know Hill would not still be on the board at the end of Round 1 were this draft really to be held again. Imagine him and Odell Beckham Jr. sharing the field before the Giants tired of OBJ. Eli Manning might still be playing.
The Chiefs are going to need many good, young players on relatively inexpensive contracts to surround their quarterback when he becomes, as is widely expected, the highest paid player in football. Consider: The NFL player with the richest contract based on average pay per year is Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who is making $35 million annually. Wilson will count $31 million against the Seahawks’ salary cap this year, or about 16%. Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff has the league’s highest 2020 cap number at about $36 million, accounting for 20.8% of his team’s cap.
Around the NFL
The 24-year-old is the first active player in the NFL to publicly acknowledge that he tested positive for the virus.
Allen, who is preparing for his third season in the league, was spending his offseason at the Rams’ training facility to undergo rehabilitation treatment on a knee injury when he began to feel symptoms three weeks ago.
All proceeds from jersey sales go to benefit the Browns “Hats off to our Heroes” fund, which will aid health care professionals, first responders, educational professionals and other groups who are pivotal in the community year round are serving as role models in the face of significant adversity due to COVID-19.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Looking back at what could have been, there are so many if onlys, including the aforementioned sequence before halftime. But there was also linebacker Mike Maslowski, who had 162 tackles in 2002, having a catastrophic, career-ending knee injury in the Chiefs’ first loss (Week 11 at Cincinnati). The defense never really recovered.
Prior to Week 11, the defense had 29 takeaways and allowed 16.7 points per game. After losing Maslowski, they only managed eight takeaways and allowed 26 points per game. Maslowski might have made the difference between 9-0 and 4-3... the difference between the team that had a chance to make a run and the one that lost in the “No Punt Game.”
A tweet to make you think
They need to show the coaches film on this throw! Best throw I think I have ever seen! https://t.co/dYkck61Jj7— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) April 15, 2020
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