Cap space: $18.2 million
Draft capital: Pick nos. 29, 30, 50, 62, 94
Hill is gone, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Valdes-Scantling are in. Coach Andy Reid is known for creating exciting, productive passing games, and arming Patrick Mahomes with Samuel would produce fireworks. Hill was used in a variety of roles within K.C.’s offense—he played 508 snaps in the slot and 520 out wide for the Chiefs last season, per Pro Football Focus—and Samuel could be positioned to similar usage. For all the league-altering moves that have happened in the AFC West, the Chiefs have yet to make a splash acquisition of their own yet. Perhaps Samuel could be the one. According to Josina Anderson, the Chiefs aren’t currently pursuing Samuel, though, with their sights set on the draft.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Christian Watson WR
Watson is the big, athletic specimen the Chiefs will love to add to fill the void from the loss of Tyreek Hill.
Mahomes added he has a prior engagement, so he won’t be watching the NFL Draft as it unfolds on April 28-30 in Las Vegas. “As far as where I will be for the draft, I actually have a bachelor party that weekend,” Mahomes said with a smile. “So one of my best friends from high school, his bachelor party is that weekend. I don’t want to say where, but I’ll be on that.
But I’ll be sure to stay in touch and be in tune with what’s going on on draft night.”
- The Chiefs have found a tremendous amount of success in the third round over the years, selecting All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce (2013), linebacker Justin Houston (2011), the franchise’s all-time leading rusher in Jamaal Charles (2008), two-time Pro Bowl punter Dustin Colquitt (2005), Hall of Fame offensive guard Will Shields (1993), two-time All-Pro defensive back Albert Lewis (1983) and linebacker Gary Spani (1978) - who has the second-most tackles in team history - to name a few.
- In all, Kansas City’s third-round picks have tallied 39 Pro Bowl selections. Shields is responsible for 12 of those nominations – the most of any third-round pick in the NFL since 1967.
Gray shared his journey and the process he went through mentally and physically to reach the NFL. He spoke about resilience, demanding work, pushing forward, positivity and how he worked with the resources around him to help him improve. His presentation made an impact on the LCU employees with some important lessons that can be incorporated into any work environment.
“We were thrilled to have Noah join us and share his insights, with our entire team, on his road to success,” said Leominster Credit Union President and CEO Barbara Mahoney. “His humble, sincere, and encouraging words were certainly an inspiration, in motivating all of us to continue to pursue our goals and build on further developing the value we provide to our members.”
Around the NFL
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said Lamonica died at his Fresno, California, home on Thursday morning. His death is considered to be from natural causes.
“The Raiders Family is deeply saddened to learn of Daryle Lamonica’s passing earlier today,” the Raiders announced in a statement. “The Raider Nation will forever miss his easy-going nature and warm smile. Our deepest condolences are with his wife Mary, son Brandon, the rest of the Lamonica family, teammates and friends.”
Lamonica, who played quarterback for the Raiders between a pair of Hall of Famers in Tom Flores and Ken Stabler, was initially drafted into the AFL by the Buffalo Bills out of Notre Dame in 1963. But after starting just four games in four years as Jack Kemp’s backup, he was traded to the Raiders, along with receiver Glenn Bass, for Flores and receiver Art Powell, with draft picks also involved.
It’s a projection, and the size (6-foot 1/2, 219 pounds) isn’t ideal, but Willis’ cannon arm, running ability and overall playmaking skills give him the nod here over Kenny Pickett. “There’s really one guy that’s got true NFL traits,” an AFC quarterbacks coach said. “[Willis] can run. He can throw it. It’s a once-every-couple-years type of arm — it’s not quite Josh Allen I don’t think, but it’s damn close. He can create plays. For a 6-foot-tall guy, he doesn’t look small, because [he has a thick build]. Good person. Smart. He’s an energy-giving type of guy.”
Said an AFC general manager: “To me, he’s the No. 1 guy in the class. And for whatever people want to talk about in terms of readiness or all this other stuff — it was the same thing with Josh Allen, it was the same thing with Patrick Mahomes. I think people are a little short-sighted with that kid.” A transfer from Auburn, Willis made the most of his two seasons starting for the Flames, putting up 6,929 total offensive yards (sixth in FBS) and accounting for 74 total touchdowns (47 passing, 27 rushing). “He’s the only one with the talent level that deserves [to go Round 1],” an NFC coordinator said. “Now, there’s some holes in his game. [But] to me, he’s a better prospect than Trey Lance was a year ago and a better prospect than Justin Fields was a year ago.” Other scouts and coaches echoed the comparisons to Lance and Fields, who went No. 3 overall to San Francisco and No. 11 to Chicago, respectively — they were the third and fourth QBs taken in that draft, both after trades up involving future first-round picks.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Thursday, May 12, 2022, at 7 p.m. Arrowhead Time
In addition, the league said it plans to roll out certain games leading into the full announcement. Here are the dates and times to know:
• First Thursday Night Football game on Prime Video (Week 2, Sept. 15) — Thursday, April 28 during First Round of 2022 NFL Draft (the Kansas City Chiefs have been rumored to be a candidate for this game, with the opponent being the Denver Broncos or Los Angeles Chargers)
• International Games — Wednesday, May 4
• Select, highlighted games — Week of May 9
• Clubs to announce their first home game opponent — Thursday, May 12, at 5 p.m. Arrowhead Time
As in last year’s inaugural 17-game schedule, the 17th opponent will feature teams from opposing conferences that finished in the same place within their division the previous season, with the NFC as the home conference for the 17th game in 2022.
As a reminder, here are the Chiefs’ opponents for 2022 — one of the toughest schedules in the league:
A tweet to make you think
The NFL is really going to drag out a schedule release over a week long extravaganza — knowing full well that we will lap it all up.— Tom Childs (@tomchilds56) April 21, 2022