1. Chiefs (9.40)
Mahomes is the best quarterback and player in the league. It’s that simple. He can make every throw that exists, and some that don’t until he conceptualizes and then executes them. He has elite arm strength, elite escapability, elite timing, elite ball placement, elite understanding of defenses, and an elite coaching staff putting him in position to make the kind of easy throws he doesn’t actually need to be schemed into, but benefits from nonetheless.
The wisdom of using a first-round pick on a running back should rightly be question, especially when the team that did it has the league’s best quarterback and would only be more likely to take the ball out of that player’s hands by using such a premium back on a running back. But Edwards-Helaire is a fantastic pass-catcher and perfect fit for this offense. He should be a spectacular fit on the field, and that’s what we’re evaluating here. Hill is the most explosive receiver in the NFL, a threat to score no matter where on the field the Chiefs have the ball and in what kind of jam he catches it when Mahomes lets fly. The two are as perfect a fit as exists in the league.
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians and Colts coach Frank Reich have +1400 odds. Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury’s odds are at +1800. Four coaches are at +2000: Bills coach Sean McDermott, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, and Titans coach Mike Vrabel.
Offensive skill players
Quarterback: Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs)
Again, this man is the best quarterback in the NFL. He can make all the throws, including some that only exist inside his mind. He is capable under pressure and unstoppable from a clean pocket. He has a cannon arm, a quick release, and the necessary mobility to make things happen when the play breaks down. He strikes a fear into the defense that is unmatched around the league right now, and he has enough talent to go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game. In two seasons as a starter, he has an MVP and a Super Bowl, and he’s not close to done. The guys on the list below are great players, but they are not Mahomes. They were never going to get this spot.
Also (briefly) considered: Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson
Kansas City Chiefs
Analysis: This is a strange class to evaluate. The Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV without any of these players, but the top four became starters and all but one draftee was in the NFL in 2019. The Chiefs’ subsequent draft success induced them to let Morse, Conley and Nelson depart in free agency last year; each started for his new team. Morse started four years with the Chiefs, while Conley was a rotational player. Nelson saw his role change and has elevated his game as a Steeler, but he saw extensive action with the Chiefs. Even Alexander made a Pro Bowl as a special-teamer in 2016.
It can be argued the 2018 Chiefs win Super Bowl LIII had they not traded Peters, who became a distraction but was the most talented corner on a loaded team lacking at that spot. Peters fetched second- and fourth-round picks, with the former used to add safety starter Juan Thornhill in 2019. Peters is now a three-time Pro Bowler signed long-term with the Ravens, the Chiefs’ top AFC challenger.
Five-year judgment: Although the Chiefs did not give extensions to any of these players, that says more about the talent on their roster. Dorsey and Reid did good work in 2015.
Who can usurp the New England Patriots?
1) Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes leads a formidable C~hiefs lineup and the 24-year old even bagged league MVP and Super Bowl MVP. In short, he is one of the best in the business and heralding a new era. Aside from Mahomes, the Chief boast of Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman in defense. They also have Travis Kelce and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, in offense. The Chiefs also possess playmakers like Chris Jones, Frank Clark, Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill.entia
For years, Kelce has been active in the greater Kansas City area, partnering with important organizations like The Boys & Girls Club or Operation Breakthrough to use his platform as a high-profile athlete to benefit those often marginalized or forgotten. Even during this period where the coronavirus has brought so many things to a halt, Kelce made sure his impact continued.
“Right when all of this started, people who could were hopping in to help and do what they could. I’m sure you saw Travis on social media with Tyreek [Hill]. He’d been challenged to provide 6,000 meals [for Harvesters and Operation Breakthrough] and, Travis being Travis, was like, ‘I’ll double that. No problem!’
“Then of course his relationship with Operation Breakthrough has just been huge for him. It wasn’t like he just wanted to do the easy thing and provide some meals. He wanted to make sure those kids were taken care of, so he also made a donation to them to make sure they could keep things running—basically, business as usual for the coming months through this time. So that was instrumental.”
Round 1 - Pick 32
Eric Stokes DB
Georgia • Soph • 6’1” / 185 lbs
The Chiefs still have massive question marks at the cornerback position long-term. Stokes is coming off a big 2019 season; another could place him in the top half of Round 1.
Albert Lewis – Oakland Raiders One of the best corners in franchise history left the team and joined the Raiders for… One of the best corners in franchise history left the team and joined the Raiders for the remainder of his career
Around the NFL
Diving deeper thanks to NFL Research, 21.2 percent of onside kicks from 1992 (when onside kick data became available) to 2017 were recovered. Starting in 2018, the kicking team was no longer able to get a running start and in the two years since, only a dozen attempts have been recovered in 115 tries – just 10.4 percent. In that same time span, five of 14 (36 percent) fourth-and-15 attempts were converted. Those stats obviously don’t reveal the game situation and there are variables to consider.
But when an onside kick – which has always been a gamble – has such a slim chance of success, putting the ball in the hands of your quarterback might well be the preferred method.
“We cannot fail this year,” Vincent told NBC Sports. “We saw, a year ago, when [the pass interference rule] played out, starting with myself, what we put in place last year ... Those outcomes were not good for professional football. Because we didn’t do the proper due diligence, it played out publicly. The last thing people should be talking about is the way the game is officiated. They [officials] should be faceless objects, managing and facilitating game flow.
“We failed. I’m first in line. I shared that [with league officials]. I failed as the leader of that department. I failed. We cannot allow that to happen again. What did we learn from that? We’ve got to do our due diligence. You can’t rush and just shove something in there without knowing all the consequences. And we found that out last year, live and in action, publicly.”
“We didn’t do [our due diligence] last year, and we failed, and we failed miserably,” he added.
He’d stopped at a gas station off the interstate in Mobile, Ala., and was in line at the Subway inside with his car sitting at the pump. A couple football fans were there too and, in a weird, only-in-2020 twist, they were being sure to keep their distance.
“And I could tell the customers in front of me, they saw that I was the head coach. But then I could also tell there was this elephant in the room,” Payton said, laughing at the memory of it. “And I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m clear. I’m clean, I’m probably the safest person in here. But I do appreciate the concern.’”
Payton was fine then, weeks removed from having contracted the virus, and he’s fine now, as he and his staff work through what’s been a very different spring.
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O’Daniel and Watts have established themselves as special teams players, but have been unable to gain footing in any capacity on defense. Special teams coordinator Dave Toub’s influence over the roster gives them the best chance to stick. There are cheaper options, and perhaps players with more value on the defensive side of the ball that could push them. Their roles seem confined to the “hidden third” and only that.
Speaks is facing an uphill battle after missing his second season in the league and incurring a four-game suspension while rehabbing. He struggled his rookie year, had to switch defenses in year two, got hurt and now enters a fierce competition with players like Taco Charlton, Demone Harris, Tim Ward and rookie draft pick Mike Danna. He’ll have to make a big jump with limited on-field experience and coming off an injury.
A tweet to make you think
Patrick Mahomes’ best play from every game in 2019? Yes. pic.twitter.com/7T90K2pB7A— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) May 25, 2020
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