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Predicting 2022’s most-improved Chiefs players

On the AP Editors Show podcast, Pete and John predicted which Kansas City players will take the biggest steps.

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

On the latest episode of the Arrowhead Pride Editors Show podcast, we discussed the latest Kansas City Chiefs news — including that Pro Football Focus has named Kansas City cornerback Charvarius Ward as the team’s most improved player in 2021.

(Listen to the podcast above or by clicking here. It is also available on Spotify.)

Pete Sweeney and John Dixon discussed Ward’s selection — and then speculated on who the Chiefs’ most-improved player of 2022 might be.

Pete: Wide receiver Mecole Hardman

Early on during the 2021 season, I figured wide receiver Mecole Hardman was ripe for an offseason trade. But he really impressed me as the seasoned winded down, with 257 of his 693 receiving yards on the season coming in the Chiefs’ final five regular-season games. Hardman followed that effort with 14 playoff touches for 176 all-purpose yards, including touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. I like the late-season surge heading into a contract year, which always guarantees a natural boost in motivation. I’ll be honest: I considered running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire here — and if you could assure that the running back would play 17 regular-season games, he’d likely be my pick. But that’s not a bet I’m willing to take after he missed three regular-season games in 2020 and seven regular-season games in 2021.

John: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes

Mahomes is coming off what was — for him — a down season. It would have been a good season for just about any other quarterback — but in 2021, Mahomes played six of his 10 worst games. If he gets back to something close to the standard we expect, it will be a big improvement.

Don’t get me wrong: even with the just-concluded season, I’d still take Mahomes over any other NFL quarterback, but he didn’t have his sophomore slump until his fifth NFL season. He’ll come back from that — and when he does, we’ll likely see it as the biggest individual improvement from 2021.


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