Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to start in a Super Bowl and be selected the game’s MVP, couldn’t be more impressed with the young quarterbacks, especially Mahomes.
“Let me tell you something … that [Mahomes’ involvement] was huge,” Williams said on the phone Saturday. “We’re not talking about a 15-year veteran. We’re talking about a young man who’s not even 25. He has been the MVP of this league. He has won a Super Bowl. Just right there, he’s already made an incredible impact in this league.
“Then he goes and does this [participates in the video] at this time. With all these young people out here marching in the streets and demanding change, it’s a different time right now. You see that there are so many young people leading. It says a lot that he wanted to be involved in pushing for that change. It was very powerful.”
Drafted by Adam Teicher, Chiefs reporter
Round 1 (32): Stephon Gilmore, CB
Round 2 (33): Dalvin Cook, RB
Round 3 (96): Nick Chubb, RB
Round 4 (97): Tyrod Taylor, QB
I was guided by the “best player available” philosophy throughout and was pleasantly surprised at the availability of the NFL’s top cornerback in Gilmore and a couple of versatile backs in Cook and Chubb. But having seen how the draft unfolded, I made a mistake in waiting until my second wave of back-to-back picks to get my quarterback.
1) Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs
Drafted: Round 1, No. 32 overall
Between Edwards-Helaire’s knack for earning yards after contact last season (SEE: an SEC-best 782 yards, per Pro Football Focus) and his top-level ability to break tackles in both the running (71, most in the SEC) and passing games (14, third-most of draft-eligible backs), he displays key attributes that project for success at the next level. Based on his past play-calling tendencies, Andy Reid’s game plan likely includes plenty of touches for both Damien Williams and Edwards-Helaire, who has a lot of upside as a pass catcher. The Chiefs’ personnel continuity from last season could also help pave a shorter path to Edwards-Helaire being a very productive contributor — the more experience the other offensive pieces have, the more focus and time can be spent on the rookie back’s role. My PPR model currently rates CEH as the No. 16 overall running back in fantasy football.
Kansas City Chiefs
WR · Year 2
It felt like Hardman caught more than 26 passes because so many of them went for big plays. A second-team All-Pro kick returner as a rookie, Hardman might not be Tyreek Hill 2.0, but he could enjoy a similar second-year leap. Andy Reid always has a plan, and Hardman’s role is set to expand after he played 471 offensive snaps as a 21-year-old rookie. There are only so many yards to go around, with Hill, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins gobbling up attention, but Hardman doesn’t need a lot of touches to make a big impact. His speed generated seven catches over 30 yards, often on short or intermediate throws in which he’d run through the opposition’s zone defense, which was seemingly surprised the Chiefs found another player so fast.
As for Fisher, the former No. 1 overall pick will have that draft position held over his head until retirement, but the Chiefs actually did very well to take Fisher over the other candidates atop the 2013 draft. He’s been an ironman in his own right over the years and when he went down with injury last season (for his first games missed since 2013), the effects were clearly seen as Cam Erving and company attempted to take over. From PFF:
His 2019 season was shortened by injury, but Fisher still produced a 74.2 pass-blocking grade during the regular season, a figure that doesn’t include strong performances against the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans in the postseason.
Kansas City Chiefs, Win total: 11.5
Over (+107): 69% handle, 88% bets
Under (-130): 31% handle, 12% bets
Notable additions: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire*, LB Willie Gay Jr.*
Notable departures: DE Emmanuel Ogbah, LB Reggie Ragland, OG Stefen Wisniewski, CB Kendall Fuller
Kansas City has the highest win total going into the 2020 season with 11.5 while the Ravens come in second at 11 wins. Over their last seven seasons the Chiefs have won 12, 12, 10, 12, 11, 9 and 11 games, all under Andy Reid. Last season, Patrick Mahomes missed some games and played through injury and they still won 12 games. Bettors are on the over in a big way, with over 2⁄3 the money and nearly 90 percent of all bets. Even though it’s the highest the highest over/under in the league, people love the Chiefs.
11. Kansas City Chiefs
Chris Jones has been an impact defensive tackle pretty much since arriving in 2016. The NFL record holder for most consecutive games with a sack, Jones is now on the franchise tag. While the Chiefs may not be able to afford giving Jones a $20 million-per-year deal — with Frank Clark already attached to one — they have him at a reasonable rate now. Clark bookend Tanoh Kpassagnon registered two sacks in the AFC title game, and the team returns Alex Okafor and signed ex-first-rounder Taco Charlton. This trio may be enough to supplement Clark and Jones on a team that has noteworthy offensive capabilities.
Around the NFL
QB Mitchell Trubisky, Bears
It’s no mystery as to why. The jump that many had hoped Trubisky would make last season just never came: In his third year, he saw his completion percentage (63.2), touchdown pass total (17), and passer rating (83.0) all drop from his 2018 marks, and his 6.1 yards per attempt wasn’t just well below the 7.4 yards per attempt average he’d notched the year prior, but also ranked worst among all qualifying passers. Trubisky still possesses the athletic gifts that helped make him Chicago’s choice over Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes in 2017, but his lack of development could force him into a backup job in year four. Trubisky is slow to read the defense from the pocket, isn’t aggressive enough attempting tight-window or downfield throws, and isn’t consistently accurate. He hasn’t used his legs enough to keep defenses guessing, either (he notched a career-low 193 yards on the ground in 2019).
“I think the NFL can start by signing Kap back,” Hyde said in his first comments to reporters since signing a one-year, $2.75 million deal with Seattle last month. “I think if they sign Kap back, that’ll show that they’re really trying to move in a different direction. Because Kap was making a statement four years ago about what’s going on in today’s world and the NFL didn’t bother to listen to him then, so I think they should start by doing that. After that, I’m not really sure what the NFL can do.”
“We stand ready to provide inspiration to fans eager to celebrate excellence,” said David Baker, president & CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, said in a press release. “And we will do so in a responsible manner that puts the safety of the visiting public and our dedicated staff at the forefront of each decision we have made in reaching this point and that we will continue to make moving forward.”
Packers acquire Kenny Stills
Packers get: WR Kenny Stills, 2021 seventh-round pick
Texans get: 2021 fourth-round pick
Green Bay went above and beyond to prepare for the future by dedicating its top two 2020 draft picks to potential successors at quarterback and running back, but with Brian Gutekunst forecasting plenty more years of Aaron Rodgers, there’s no reason the Packers shouldn’t be calling about any available wide receivers. Devin Funchess is an underrated red-zone breakout candidate, but there’s no way Matt LaFleur shouldn’t welcome an upgrade opposite Davante Adams. Stills would be the perfect fit as a downfield threat, and while Houston could certainly use him, Bill O’Brien loves himself a trade. He’s also reconfigured the WR room enough that Stills and his $7 million cap hit have been deemed expendable.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Surprise in a good way: Sammy Watkins
The contract year is undefeated — and Watkins’ confidence seems as high as it’s ever been. He believes he is primed for a great season — and if that’s the case, we could be seeing Playoff Sammy during the regular season more frequently than usual. We all know about the up-and-down nature of Watkins’ production over the last couple of seasons. He started last season with a brilliant 198-yard, three-touchdown game that showed rare explosion, along with the long speed to run away from the Jacksonville defense. Watkins was much quieter through the rest of the regular season — but that changed once the postseason rolled around. The January and February version of Watkins in the regular season would be a scary proposition for the rest of the NFL — and would be a welcome surprise.
As been noted by both Breer and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, here are the key details:
Locker rooms must be reconfigured so that player and personnel are six feet apart
Team meetings must be conducted virtually when at all possible
Equipment such as shoulder pads and helmets must be disinfected after each game
Masks will be required — except when interfering with “athletic activities”
Teams will have to classify staff in three tiers to limit unnecessary contact between individuals
A tweet to make you think
Ive recently teamed up with @bleacherreport to surprise some families impacted by Covid-19 in my hometown of New Orleans with two months rent. Check it out, episodes start dropping tomorrow!! @brgridiron pic.twitter.com/UKgMSLCk2H— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) June 8, 2020
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