Calvin Austin III is one of the few triple-threat skills players in the 2022 NFL Draft. He beats opponents for big plays as a receiver, return specialist, or running reverses. Austin posted a career-best 74 receptions for 1,149 receiving yards last season and added 8 TD receptions along the way. Austin was spectacular during three days of Senior Bowl practices and was arguably the top route runner on the field.
Austin’s numbers from the Combine were out of sight and included a vertical jump of 39 inches, a broad jump of 11-feet, 3-inches, a 4.32 40, and an insanely fast three-cone time of 6.65 seconds. The issue for Austin? At 5’7 3/4″, he’s vertically challenged. But don’t let that fool you, as Austin plays big football.
At face value, Austin seems like the perfect replacement in Kansas City for the recently traded Tyreek Hill. But the Chiefs have been quiet about Austin — no official 30 visits, no private workouts. Then again, that could be the giveaway. Historically, Andy Reid chooses to remain on the outside looking in when it comes to prospects he’s interested in — until draft day, of course, when Reid pulls the trigger. Kansas City has a pair of picks in the bottom half of Round 2 (Nos. 50 and 62). I could absolutely see them using one of those selections to draft Austin.
Former Chiefs linebacker Damien Wilson, who was part of Kansas City’s Super Bowl LIV-winning team, was arrested last week on an assault charge after threatening to kill his former girlfriend with a tire iron, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Wilson, who played for the Chiefs in 2019-20, faces a charge of assault with bodily injury of a family member, Frisco police told the Morning News.
Wilson’s ex-girlfriend told the Morning News that he was inebriated when he came to her apartment after she had ended their relationship. She alleged that Wilson damaged her patio and destroyed a laptop, and as she and a female friend were leaving the apartment, Wilson came out of the bushes with a tire iron and threatened to kill her.
The ex-girlfriend alleged Wilson tried to run her over and also choked her friend.
Wilson’s attorney, Toby Shook, told the Morning News the assault allegation was false.
Kansas City Chiefs: Edge Breeland Speaks
Draft Position: No. 46 in 2018
Breeland Speaks came into the league with a basic pass-rushing move set. Head coach Andy Reid wanted to see him expand his capabilities on the edge (h/t ESPN’s Adam Teicher).
“I’ve got about one or two (pass-rush moves),” Speaks said. “Like coach said, there’s definitely going to be some stuff I’m going to be working on.”
Without much polish as a pass-rusher, Speaks played 16 games, starting in four, through his rookie campaign. He recorded 24 tackles, three for loss, 1.5 sacks and 13 pressures.
Before the 2019 campaign, the Chiefs placed Speaks on injured reserve with a knee injury. Late in the term, while sidelined, he served a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on substances of abuse. The team reinstated him, and he returned to injured reserve.
Kansas City waived Speaks with its final roster cuts in 2020. He bounced around practice squads across the league in Las Vegas, New York (Giants), Dallas (twice) and Buffalo, but he hasn’t appeared in a regular-season game since his rookie year.
30. Kansas City Chiefs: Andrew Booth, DB, Clemson
The best part about Booth may be that so many of his highlights involve him whacking someone or making some kind of unfathomable contested tackle. This will bode well for a corner who will be taking on some rugged offenses in the AFC West, as well as some really good quarterbacks who feast on any kind of hesitancy or discomfort. What is the adult term for swagger? Because Booth provides this as a defensive back immediately—and the Chiefs have no choice but to upgrade there.
Skyy Moore WR
A bit of a reach, but the Chiefs use their second first-round pick to replenish their receiving corps.
- The Chiefs selected defensive end Jared Allen in the fourth round of the 2004 Draft, acquiring a player who soon blossomed into one of the league’s top pass-rushers almost right away. In his four years with Kansas City from 2004-07, Allen led the NFL in tackles for loss (56), ranked second in sacks (43.0), fifth in quarterback hits (39) and sixth in forced fumbles (13). Allen was traded to the Minnesota Vikings ahead of the 2008 season, providing Kansas City with the selection that was used on tailback Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs’ all-time leading rusher.
Around the NFL
In the AFC West, the second-greatest sin after whiffing on upgrades to your passing game (see Elway, John) is not upgrading how you attack Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Derek Carr.
You’re stuck in the most pass-happy division in what’s turned into the NFL’s most pass-happy conference. The longer you ignore reality (see also Elway, John), the more likely it is that said reality comes back around and bites you squarely on the back side.
“I don’t think you can have enough of those guys,” Reed said of Gregory. “I think competition brings the best out of everybody. I’m just excited to get going with all the guys (we’ve picked up).”
The Broncos are 2-15 (.118) since 2019 in the tilts in which they record one or zero sacks. Over the past six seasons, Denver’s posted 31 one-or-zero-sack games, an average of 5.2 per season. They’ve put up a record of 8-23 (.258) in those contests.
Kupp, 28, said he’s excited to see the contracts signed by other wide receivers this offseason because the market at the receiver position had been “stale.” But, when asked if he wants to top those deals, Kupp said that’s not important to him.
“I don’t think that’s really kind of the approach that I take,” he said. “I definitely think there’s a place you want to be. There’s a place that you feel like is fair. A place for me and for this organization. ... I’m not trying to beat anybody. I’m not trying to compare myself to anyone else. It’s more about being in a place that’s just right for both sides.”
Rams coach Sean McVay said Tuesday that there has been “good dialogue” with both Kupp and star defensive tackle Aaron Donald regarding new contracts and said getting deals done with both “are still at the forefront of our thoughts.
NBC Sports revealed its new “Sunday Night Football” announcing team with analyst Cris Collinsworth returning and being joined by Mike Tirico in the booth and Melissa Stark on the sidelines.
Tirico, who has been with NBC since 2016, is replacing Al Michaels calling the play by play. Michaels was hired by Amazon to handle its Thursday night games.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
In the past couple of weeks, quarterback Patrick Mahomes has frequently shared social media updates showing him working in Texas with many of the offensive skill players. Bolton was asked if the defense has done anything similar.
Bolton confirmed, discussing working out with the team’s fellow linebackers, including two new faces.
“There’s been a couple of times,” Bolton explained, “I work out at the facility. There’s been a couple of guys there. I’ve worked out with Willie (Gay). I know Jermaine (Carter) got in today, also Elijah Lee got in today. I’m looking forward to working out with those guys.”
Bolton also has spent some time this offseason with the team’s biggest defensive addition, safety Justin Reid.
“In the offseason, I was actually in Arizona,” Bolton recalled, “Justin Reid was down there; we had a couple of guys. So we all get work in. We don’t really post on social media, but we’re all getting work in together. Trying to improve and trying to reach the goal at the end of the year and hoist up the trophy.”
One player Bolton will not be preparing for the season with is fellow linebacker Anthony Hitchens, whom the Chiefs released in February after four seasons with the team. Bolton said that the two remain close as Hitchens continues to search for a new team.
“Me and Hitch — we’re still in constant communication,” Bolton confirmed. “That’s my guy. He’s one of those guys that when I came in, open arms. He helped me learn. Kind of taught me the ins and outs of the industry. Probably at least once a month I check in on him. We’ve been talking throughout the offseason. I was sad to see him go, but I know he’s cheering me on. I’m cheering him on. The best of luck to him — if he comes back here or finds another team.”
A tweet to make you think
“I’m thrilled to use my platform to promote a cause so near and dear to my heart.”— NFL Legends (@NFLLegends) April 16, 2022
Former @NFL LB Derrick Johnson is donating thousands of dollars to upgrade school libraries across Austin, TX through his Defend the Dream Foundation: https://t.co/MbDwc4hzqJ pic.twitter.com/nrskoBgeHG