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Arrowheadlines: Chiefs roster is the NFL’s third most complete

Chiefs headlines for Friday, June 25

NFL: Super Bowl LV-Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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Most complete NFL teams heading into 2021 season? Browns, Buccaneers lead the pack | NFL.com

3 - Kansas City Chiefs

There’s no question that the strength of this roster is Patrick Mahomes and his pass-catching weapons (Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Demarcus Robinson, Mecole Hardman, Clyde Edwards-Helaire) — even though he may be working with less talent in 2021 than he has in the past. But you know what they say: The better the quarterback, the more weaknesses (in this case depth at the skill positions) he can cover up. One soft spot he couldn’t overcome on the biggest stage back in February was the offensive line, and the moves Brett Veach made this offseason convey he’s not about to let his MVP quarterback run for his life with a Lombardi on the line again. The Chiefs went out and signed high-priced free agent guard Joe Thuney, traded for left tackle Orlando Brown and also inked center Austin Blythe and guard Kyle Long, who came out of retirement but has since injured his lower leg and could miss training camp. Oh, and K.C. drafted center Creed Humphrey in the second round. They also return guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who is up for the ESPN 2021 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award after opting out of the 2020 season to serve on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic. You have to applaud Veach’s aggressive approach to fixing the O-line.

The best NFL Draft classes of all time | YardBarker

1963

Weeks before a new Dallas Texans iteration became the Chiefs, their future Hall of Famer-fueled defenses received two early pieces. Then-Dallas took Buck Buchanan first overall in the third AFL draft and added superstar linebacker Bobby Bell in Round 7. The NFL’s event also included Bell and Buchanan, but the likes of John Mackey — who joined Bell on the All-Century team — and Packer linebacker Dave Robinson accepted NFL offers. Two linebacking Lee Roys — Jordan and Caffey, “Ice Bowl” adversaries — were part of this two-draft class, as was Bills 24th-round QB-turned-Raiders Super Bowl starter Daryle Lamonica.

How NFL world was almost robbed of $660m superstar QB Patrick Mahomes | Fox Sports

Mahomes Sr. had a talk with his son while they were riding back home from Austin.

“I looked at him and said, ‘Hey, why are you messing around with this football stuff? You’re either gonna be a baseball player or you’re gonna be a basketball player. Football’s your worst sport. Why are we even spending time doing this?’

“He looked at me and said, ‘Dad, you know, I just want to play with my friends. I can’t see myself on Friday nights being up in the stands and watching them play and not being a part of it.’ So that was kinda it for that conversation.”

Top 10 edge rushers and interior linemen for 2021: Aaron Donald reigns, plus a pair of AFC North stars | CBS Sports

3. Chris Jones, Chiefs

2. DeForest Buckner, Colts

If you want to put Jones ahead of Buckner, I’m not going to argue that hard against it. He’s really good. These guys are absurdly close, which makes sense given their similarity as players and the way they make their respective impacts both on their own defenses and the opposing offense. Both are huge (Buckner is 6-7, 300 pounds and Jones is 6-6, 310 pounds), unfairly quick, and capable of single-handedly wrecking the middle of the opposing offensive line due to their fast get-off and ability to knife through blockers on their way to the quarterback or running back. Buckner is just on the field more often, as a percentage of snaps, which allows him to make a slightly greater impact.

NBC commentators: Britt Reid crash was ‘huge factor’ in Chiefs’ loss in Super Bowl LV | Kansas City Star

Reid, son of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, was the team’s linebackers coach but his contract expired after the season.

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“One thing about Super Bowl LV that doesn’t get discussed nearly as much as it should, that Britt Reid incident from Thursday night, that awful accident, and all the distractions that causes,” said Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “It’s the son of the head coach of the team 72 hours before kickoff, that had to have been a huge factor in just what seemed to be a Chiefs team that wasn’t ready to answer the bell.”

Around the NFL

Pittsburgh Steelers release guard David DeCastro, agree to terms with Trai Turner | ESPN

DeCastro was released with a non-football injury designation.

The Steelers later agreed to terms with former Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner on a one-year deal, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

DeCastro told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday that he needs ankle surgery.

“I have to get surgery on my ankle a third time,” DeCastro told the newspaper. “I tried to fix it last year but the bone spurs kept coming back. It nagged me pretty bad all last year.”DeCastro was released with a non-football injury designation.

The Steelers later agreed to terms with former Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner on a one-year deal, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

DeCastro told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday that he needs ankle surgery.

“I have to get surgery on my ankle a third time,” DeCastro told the newspaper. “I tried to fix it last year but the bone spurs kept coming back. It nagged me pretty bad all last year.”

San Francisco 49ers’ George Kittle says tight ends ‘do everything,’ deserve respect | ESPN

The program, which Kittle is conducting along with the Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce and former tight end Greg Olsen, began Wednesday and will continue through Friday in Nashville.

“100% it does,” Kittle told ESPN when asked if the way his position is being undervalued bothers him. “I think TE is the most unique and diverse position. It’s the most fun position because it’s the only one on the field where you get to do everything that a football player does. You run block, you pass pro, you get to run routes and catch the football. We do everything!”

2021 NFL season: Nine players who are guaranteed to play better | NFL.com

6 - Yannick Ngakoue

Las Vegas Raiders · DE

2020 stats: 15 games | 8.0 sacks | 23 tackles | 7 tackles for loss | 11 QB hits | 4 fumbles forced

The Vikings acquired Ngakoue in a trade with Jacksonville last year as a final-piece-of-the-puzzle type player, only to wind up trading him again to Baltimore after it became obvious injuries were going to dash any hopes Minnesota had of chasing a championship. Ngakoue finished with a quiet 8.0 sacks for the season. But setting aside his disappointing time with the Vikings, there are hints Ngakoue can make noise after signing with the Raiders. After all, in his nine games with Baltimore, Ngakoue tied for the third-best get-off time (0.73 seconds) and a top-20 pressure rate (12.4%, tied for 15th) among those with 200-plus pass-rush snaps last season, per Next Gen Stats. Ngakoue also made the conscious decision to add weight and muscle mass as part of an effort to be a “better player,” according to The Athletic. I expect him to turn heads in Las Vegas opposite Maxx Crosby, finishing with 10-plus sacks for the first time since his Pro Bowl season of 2017.

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

Kareem Hunt ready to ‘rush off the edge and sack Patrick Mahomes’ in Week 1

Despite the absence of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes during most of the second half of the 2020 Divisional Round game between the two teams, Hunt and his teammates were unable to defeat his former team and advance to the AFC Championship. Still, Hunt remains confident in this Browns team.

“I don’t guarantee a Super Bowl or anything, but we all got one goal,” he said. “Every NFL team, all 32 of us, got a goal, and that’s to win the Super Bowl. I know I want to win a Super Bowl, and I’m going to be working every day to win a Super Bowl.”

For the Browns, reaching that goal could largely depend on the first game of their 2021 schedule: a rematch with the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Like Kansas City tight end (and Cleveland native) Travis Kelce — who said that the two teams would be “neck and neck” in the coming season, Hunt acknowledged that it would be a tough game.

“That’s a very good test,” he admitted. “That’s a great team, a great program, and I can’t wait to play some of my old teammates and brothers. We’re excited. It’s a game we believe we should have won last year, and now we’ve got another chance to get back out there Week 1.”

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