7 - Darian Kinnard
Kentucky · G
Drafted: Round 5, 145th overall
The Chiefs’ right tackle situation is fluid, to say the least. Veteran Andrew Wylie could take over there, as could Lucas Niang if healthy. Kinnard’s power on the edge, however, and Wylie’s value as a sixth man if there is an injury at another spot on the line, might force the rookie into the starting lineup sooner than later. The team plugged in first-year players Trey Smith and Creed Humphrey last year, so it’s not a huge leap to think they’ll do the same if Kinnard’s length and strong grip impress this summer.
Kansas City Chiefs
2019 Grade: C+
The Skinny: The Chiefs traded their first-round pick to land pass-rusher Frank Clark, who played well in his first two seasons but tailed off last season. They had six picks after the first and five are still with the team, while three will be starters this coming season. They are receiver Mecole Hardman and safety Juan Thornhill, both second-round picks, and fifth-round corner Rashad Fenton. That’s great value.
How I did: I liked the pick of Thornhill in the second round, but said there were better options on the board when they picked Hardman in the second. I said third-round defensive tackle Khalen Saunders can be a steal, but he’s been mostly a backup with five starts in his career.
New Grade: B
Kansas City Chiefs
Top priority: Adjust to life after Tyreek Hill
Narratives. We might have one in Kansas City. There’s this notion that Tyreek Hill can be replaced by a committee of lesser players who — when added up like four quarters — equal a dollar. Hill’s physical gifts represent a rare cauldron of athletic DNA, which danced in perfect harmony with the titanic arm of Patrick Mahomes. That chemistry won’t easily be mimicked in Hill’s new home of Miami (more on that below) — or back at Arrowhead. Mecole Hardman, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, JuJu Smith-Schuster and second-round rookie Skyy Moore offer a workable assortment of skill sets. I trust the Chiefs will succeed less because of the foursome and more because Andy Reid has managed deep-cutting transition on offense roughly 777 times in his career. I trust Mahomes to maximize his weapons. The Chiefs, though, can’t be afraid to look different.
1. Skyy Moore, WR, Chiefs
I’ve been a Moore admirer for months. Fell in love with the traits he showcased on film, and my grading system spit out a mid first-round grade on him. Now, he lands in Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes throwing him the football in Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy’s offense. How in the world could I back away from advocating for Moore now?
The Chiefs have 360 “available” targets from a season ago, and yes, they added Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency. But I’m a firm believer that it’s inevitable the target share after Travis Kelce in Kansas City’s vaunted attack offense will sway toward Moore as the season progresses. He’s that dynamic and complete of a receiver. I legitimately think the league messed up by letting Moore fall into the Chiefs’ lap — they traded back and were still able to pick him in Round 2! The talent and situation combo is dynamite here. Moore is my pre-training camp OROY selection. Easy peasy.
Nantz also noted that, like the Dalai Lama in “Caddyshack,” Mahomes is a “big hitter.” “When I played with Patrick, he was still kind of new to the game,” said Nantz.
“We played 36 holes and he never hit a driver. But he hit a 3-wood so far I would put it up there with anybody else’s driver. … I think he has learned now to hit that club, but his 3-wood was going 330 yards.”
3. Kansas City Chiefs
This is our best of the best group, and it should come as no surprise that they are all between above-average and elite pretty much across the board. There are no weaknesses under center, along the offensive line, or among the play-callers who are in charge of putting the offense in position to succeed.
The Packers and Chiefs have lower pass-catcher ratings than in previous seasons after trading away Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill, respectively, which is how several teams were able to pass them in the overall rankings. The Chargers have been steadily climbing each year we’ve done these rankings, and this time around they have crashed the top five. If Justin Herbert continues to ascend, they could eventually make it to the top spot.
So they needed a big performance if they were to give themselves the best chance, and as the Kansas City Chiefs reminded us all of on social media, a big performance out of Charles is exactly what they got as he managed to bag 5 touchdowns on the day, including an NFL record for most receiving touchdowns by a running back in a game with 4:
The result ultimately ended up helping them get over the line as they finished 2nd in the AFC West and bagged the 5th seed for the playoffs, where they ultimately lost to the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card round.
Around the NFL
“Yeah, look, we want to make sure we protect the ball,” Daboll said before the Giants’ third on-field OTA practice on Thursday afternoon. “But again, you can’t go out there and play afraid. Be smart, not reckless, if you will. If he’s got a shot on the right read, let it go.
“There’s going to be things that happen in every game. The defense is going to make a good play, there might be a tipped ball. We’re going to have to do a good job of taking care of the football, but I want him to turn it loose.”
Burrow sees both sides of this unique situation. He also knows from experience Mayfield is capable of leading a team to victory, but also understands why Cleveland moved on to Watson.
“I think when you have a guy like Deshaun [Watson], you gotta take a chance at that because he’s such a great player,” Burrow said. “But Baker will land on his feet. He’s a really good player.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Veach explained that the package the Miami Dolphins were willing to send the Chiefs (which wound up being five draft picks over the next two years) would allow them — in 2022 — to take as many defensive players as they did, all the while opening up the salary cap for years to come. The general manager added that he expects the Chiefs to be more prominent players in next offseason’s free agency period.
Veach specifically mentioned the Jacksonville Jaguars’ contract for wide receiver Christian Kirk and the Las Vegas Raiders’ contract for wide receiver Davante Adams as the pivot point of the offseason.
“I felt like if we do [a contract for Tyreek Hill] here, we might be out of free agency the next two to three years,” explained Veach. “This game — gosh, it’s so hard to be good year in and year out. More than anything, you have to have a roster that can handle the physicality of this game and the injuries. Year in and year out, teams are just holding on to get to the bye week so they can take a breath. It’s hard, and so, like I said, when we thought about this opportunity long and hard and [considered] not just the pick but the cap space over the next few years, it made a lot of sense to us.
“I think it worked out for both parties. I know that’s kind of a cliché there, and it sounds good. Everybody says it, but I really do. I think Miami has a chance to some things with Tyreek, and he lives there, and his family’s there. It was important for him to be there, and that was a place where he wanted to be, so he deserved that. And he has certainly helped us reach heights that many thought were impossible over the years. So I think he was deserving of that contract, and I was happy for him.”
A tweet to make you think
Training Camp field prep has begun. Getting a fraze mow in to start things off. pic.twitter.com/OaEPxH2vc6— Travis Hogan (@Twillhog75) May 16, 2022