Additionally, the Chiefs added former LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round of April’s draft, which should add even more punch to an offense that already ranked fifth in scoring last season.
Kansas City should once again be a top contender for the Lombardi Trophy. The question is, which other teams have a legitimate chance of taking home the prize this season—and which teams are better off chasing the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft?
Here are your early NFL power rankings for 2020.
2020 NFL Power Rankings
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs: Breeland Speaks
The Chiefs have a decision to make on Speaks. In addition to starters Frank Clark and Alex Okafor, they signed former first-round pick Taco Charlton (the Dolphins’ 2019 sack leader) and have 2017 second-rounder Tanoh Kpassagnon. The latter has outperformed Speaks to this point. The Chiefs drafted Speaks in the 2018 second round, but he missed all of last season due to injury. With a four-game Speaks suspension also looming, the Chiefs would not pry a high pick in such a trade. But the defending Super Bowl champs may not have room for Speaks, who was drafted during Bob Sutton’s run as D-coordinator.
Kpassgnon was a second-round pick who was initially moved to linebacker when the Chiefs ran a 3-4 scheme under former defensive coordinator Bob Sutton. He moved back to defensive end in the 4-3 system of Spagnuolo and began to show some promise. He wound up playing meaningful snaps as the Chiefs won their first title in 50 years.
‘’I’m always looking to grow,’’ Kpassgnon said, ‘’and especially making those key sacks or key plays. And being able to play in the Super Bowl, win the Super Bowl, it just boosted my confidence. Boosts the team’s confidence.’’
“Tyreek Hill is a rare athlete and is improving each year as a WR. They brought back WR Sammy Watkins, but look for dynamic playmaker WR Mecole Hardman to play a bigger role this season.”
“This passing attack flows through TE Travis Kelce, who is arguably the best TE in the NFL.”
The OL is sub-par, but the athletic ability of Mahomes disguised it.”
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, track star Allyson Felix and numerous other athletes have signed a letter with More Than A Vote to combat Black voter suppression in 2020.
The letter, which was shared with The Undefeated, is addressed to “our fans of every age, race and gender.”
“We saw you in the streets,” the letter reads. “We saw your social media posts. Your voices are breaking through, but it’s now time to do more. We know you have the ability to organize. So join us and take your protest to the election and fight to keep our community from being silenced.
“The most important thing you all need to know is Black voters matter more than ever.”
Around the NFL
For now, the Chargers are going to prepare Taylor to start, and Herbert would have to wrest the job from him. It’s not so unlike the situation Taylor was in two years ago in Cleveland, with Baker Mayfield behind him.
“I don’t think we need to tell the team who the quarterback’s gonna be,” Lynn said. “I think right now, Tyrod Taylor’s our quarterback. And if Justin goes through camp and does something to change our mind, that’s great. That means we’d have a really good quarterback competition. But without being here for the offseason, without having any of those practices, that sets a quarterback back.
Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr has spent the offseason oscillating between being his own Hype Man and talking himself into believing he is definitely Jon Gruden’s QB of the present and the future (He is THE MAN, no matter what you haters think), to alternately blocking from social media those who dare ponder a Raiders future beyond him. Kinda like he is serving as his own crisis PR guy — NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING TO SEE HERE!! Anyone else notice some of the early Vegas camp headlines, with Gruden gushing about super-athletic No. 2 QB Marcus Mariota, calling him a “dazzling playmaker”? This is the same guy who the Raiders raced out to sign in March while the rest of the NFL slow-played that market with so much supply and not nearly a corresponding amount of demand? Yeah that happened. Gruden has been frustrated by Carr not cutting it loose with his arm and his legs. He and GM Mike Mayock were massive Mariota fans in college and what QB guru type doesn’t believe he can be the one to fix a highly skilled reclamation project? Oh yeah, this one has legs (excuse the lame pun). Could Mariota pull a Tannehill on Carr?
As Fangio alluded to, the lack of quality press coverage receivers face in college is one reason for NFL coaches to temper their short-term expectations for first-year receivers. Another reason is the increased complexity of NFL offenses. At the combine this year, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock described watching film and seeing individual coaches at the college level motioning to receivers on the field, telling them which routes to run.
Broncos receiver Courtland Sutton, who had a good rookie year in 2018 before following the second-season breakout model with 1,112 receiving yards last year, said he’s been telling Jeudy and Hamler to keep things as simple as possible this year and not get overwhelmed.
“I put so much pressure on myself because I never wanted to disappoint Demaryius [Thomas] or Emmanuel [Sanders]. I put so much pressure on myself. I had fun, but there were times where I was so in my own head about not making a mistake,” Sutton said.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
The 5-foot-7 running back shares an alma mater in LSU with safety Tyrann Mathieu, and he revealed Monday that training camp wasn’t the first time they had ever met.
“It’s crazy because he’s actually a teammate now, but I remember Tyrann at LSU,” Edwards-Helaire said. “He was steady seeing all these things like, ‘Man you’re too small to play running back in the SEC,’ and I remember he came down to Baton Rouge and we talked, and his biggest thing was like, ‘Man, they said the same thing about me. I was up for the Heisman and everything else.”
Mathieu stands at 5 feet 9.
A tweet to make you think
BUCK = Backside linebacker in the Buffalo, or Big Nickel.— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) August 17, 2020
That would be the nickel WILL spot that we saw Damien Wilson play in 2019 after taking over for Lee.
Gay also stated that he's getting reps as the base SAM, which is where Wilson started 2019 and Ragland finished. https://t.co/xeaytta8xk
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