18. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
The Chiefs struck gold when they drafted L’Jarius Sneed in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He ended the season with the highest coverage grade of any rookie cornerback (71.2) despite splitting time between the slot and outside alignments. He’ll be the favorite to start in Bashaud Breeland’s old spot entering the 2021 season and is a key component of a relatively young and inexperienced group overall.
Outside of Charvarius Ward, the Chiefs’ top options at the position either consist of players who have played more snaps in the slot than out wide (Sneed and Rashad Fenton) or reclamation projects (DeAndre Baker and Mike Hughes). Playing alongside safety Tyrann Mathieu should make life easier on whichever cornerbacks make their way onto the field next season.
The secondary will miss Bashaud Breeland, but Charvarius Ward has played extremely well since arriving in Kansas City. L’Jarius Sneed was an absolute steal of a draft pick, and Rashad Fenton has filled in quite well when called upon the past couple years. The Chiefs also picked up Deandre Baker, late of the Giants, after his legal issues went by the wayside. So there’s some decent depth there. They’re also giving former Vikings first-round pick Mike Hughes a shot at reclamation.
“We’re young, but we can’t let that be an excuse. Everybody has suited up on game day, been out there, and had their reps, so we’re young, but we’re not going to let that be an excuse to not do what we need to do. If we got to be the youngest team to go out there and go get it, then that’s what we’re going to be. We have the leaders to go out there and do what we need to do. So, yeah, we’re overlooked. You got Patty Mahomes over there. Herbert went and had the season he had. Like you said, the Raiders, they got that dope stadium. So it’s easy for us to go overlooked. That just is what it is. We’re in a tough division. Our division has got a lot going on at this point in time. But (if) we go out there and win games, a lot of things can change quickly.”
Recently, CBS held auditions with Smith, ESPNers Sanchez and Joey Galloway, and former Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee, according to sources.
Smith, who retired earlier this offseason after 16 seasons as a quarterback, also had an audition with Fox and meetings with the NFL Network and ESPN. One person who saw Smith’s audition thought he had “No. 2 or 3 game analyst” potential if he is into it. Sanchez is looked at as someone with a little more personality, who one executive thought could excel in the booth. Galloway has been very solid for ESPN. Lee recently retired from playing.
CBS created an opening when it did not bring back longtime analyst Rich Gannon after the 2020 season. However, the network does not feel as if it has to add someone. CBS already has seven game analysts with Tony Romo, Charles Davis, Trent Green, James Lofton, Adam Archuleta, Tiki Barber and Jay Feely. Gannon was fourth on CBS’ depth chart last year.
Last but not least is Jamaal Charles, who can now get up to 99 OVR with higher attributes. The former Chiefs, Broncos, and Jaguars running back can achieve 98s for his Speed, Acceleration, Change of Direction, and Break Tackle. In addition, he can get a 97 Agility and Carrying when fully powered up.
Around the NFL
The NFL has staged 28 regular-season games in London since 2007 and will play two more in October at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. German fans often travel to London to attend games, the league said.
“We are very excited about the development of our German fan base, and the time is right to identify a partner who can execute a game at NFL standards as part of our international growth strategy,” Brett Gosper, the NFL’s head of UK and Europe, said in a statement.
5 - Chase Young
Young was the Defensive Rookie of the Year, and I still don’t think he got enough love. This dude is an absolute force of nature off the edge. This coming season, he’s going to be one of the top five defensive players in the league. Young sacked the quarterback 7.5 times last year. He will double that — at least — in 2021.
With Young headlining a ferocious front, Washington has a true identity. Opposing teams — and especially opposing quarterbacks — are not going to enjoy games against this group.
Chandler Jones, DE, Arizona Cardinals: Jones was a top-three pass-rusher in the NFL before missing much of last season with a biceps injury that required surgery.
But Jones just watched Arizona pay DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt while he sits on the last year of his deal at a $12.425 million salary. He missed part of OTAs.
Maybe all is good, as this pose suggests. Jones is known as leader and good locker room guy. But the team needs to address his future eventually, and plenty of teams that believe they are one good pass-rusher away might pick up the phone and dial Arizona GM Steve Keim.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
There are four significant changes to note:
Assistant general manager Mike Borgonzi: Once referred to as the Chiefs’ “secret weapon” by NFL Network analyst and AP lobbyist Peter Schrager, Borgonzi was promoted to assistant general manager after spending three years as the director of football operations. He began his Chiefs career in 2009 as a college scouting administrator and has risen his way up through the ranks over the last 12 years in Kansas City. Borgonzi was named a general manager candidate to watch by CBS Sports back in 2020.
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