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Arrowheadlines: Marquez Valdes-Scantling recorded fastest time of 2021

Chiefs headlines for Saturday, July 2nd

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NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

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Chiefs WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling was NFL’s fastest receiver in 2021 | Chiefs Wire

If you’re worried about how the Kansas City Chiefs offense will stretch the field in 2021 without Tyreek Hill, look no further than WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Valdes-Scantling was the 2nd-fastest ball-carrier in the NFL last season with a top speed of 22.09 mph on a 75-yard touchdown reception against the Minnesota Vikings. Valdes-Scantling, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, aligned in a 3×1 formation in the slot on the play. He torched Vikings S Xavier Woods and tied the game at 31, though the Packers would go on to lose the contest.

Only Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor recorded a faster top speed all season (22.13 mph) according to NFL Next Gen Stats. Valdes-Scantling’s 22.09 mph was also the fastest speed recorded by a receiver dating back to 2019 when Mecole Hardman’s 21.87 mph led all receivers. Valdes-Scantling’s top speed in 2021 was also faster than any speed recorded by Tyreek Hill that season. Hill only reached a top speed of 21.42 mph in 2021 per NFL Next Gen Stats.

There’s actually a lot of evidence that Valdes-Scantling can be the perfect replacement for the role Hill played in the Chiefs’ offense. Since his rookie campaign in 2018, Valdes-Scantling was clocked at 20-plus miles per hour 14 separate times as a ball carrier per Next Gen Stats. Hill is the only player in the NFL who was clocked at 20-plus mph with more frequency (45 times) during that span. The biggest difference is that Hill had more opportunity in the K.C. offense compared to Valdes-Scantling in Green Bay. Hill played over 750 more offensive snaps in that span to Valdes-Scantling, not including the snaps played in the playoffs.

The Past, Present and Future of Juan Thornhill Will Collide This Season | Arrowhead Report

It’s simple to apply the logic that if a player can play on the field after recovering from a major injury, that player should be the same as he was pre-injury. With that said, this level of recovery is not as common as many believe. The reason fans do not hear all of the cases of players looking different after a major injury is that if a player is playing worse, they get less media attention. The only players that get major media attention by playing worse are those who were great before said injury.

When Thornhill says he is “all the way back” or expects to be an All-Pro this year, it’s very possible that he hasn’t felt healthy until this offseason. A healthy Thornhill was one of the best athletes at safety in the NFL and had a great first year. If he returns to that form, Veach will have an interesting decision to make.

On the Hall of Fame case for Otis Taylor, vital not just to KC Chiefs but pro football | KC Star

Amid a groundswell of civil rights activism, for instance, his signing reflected a socially significant movement by the Chiefs and owner Lamar Hunt to recruit African-American players, including from Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

That pioneering mindset led to the 1969 team becoming the first in the history of pro football to have more than 50% of its starters be Black. That emphasis even accounted for some meaningful progress in race relations and social change in Kansas City, albeit haphazardly, as Bobby Bell’s endless house-hunting testified.

(As late as 1971, Taylor told The Star, “I’m a Black man. I can’t talk. I can’t express myself. I can’t do anything.” Noting his lack of endorsement opportunities, he added, “I haven’t even done a dog food commercial, and that’s pretty sorry for a guy who’d be so happy to do one he’d eat the dog food.”)

Most visibly, Taylor became instrumental in the Chiefs’ surge to two of the first four Super Bowls as the AFL compelled a merger with the NFL, punctuated by the team’s Super Bowl IV victory over Minnesota.

Ranking NFL’s top 5 rookie edge rushers of 2022 by expected production: Cowboys Round 2 pick will flourish | CBS Sports

Kansas City Chiefs rookie receiver Skyy Moore first pops up, getting comfortable in his beret and smock. He’s seen adjusting his hat and says, “Let’s tip it to the side or something.”

His rendition of the Chiefs’ Arrowhead logo looked more like a goldfish cracker with the letters “K.C.” tattooed on it. He even says, “This is the Kansas City Fish.”

Pre-Camp Breakdown: Tight End Jody Fortson Aims to Pick Up Where He Left Off | The Mothership

Jody Fortson

Perhaps the most intriguing storyline of this group heading into camp, Fortson seemed on the verge of a strong season in 2021 before an Achilles injury ended his campaign prior to Week 7. Fortson, who made last year’s initial 53-man roster following a strong offseason, recorded touchdown receptions in back-to-back games before getting hurt during a 27-yard catch against Washington. It was simply a case of bad luck for Fortson, who paid his dues as a member of the practice squad for two years before earning a spot on the active roster in 2021. He’s healthy now, however, and looks poised to pick up where he left off last season.

Fortson is a unique weapon as a 6-foot-6, 240-pound playmaker with the athleticism of a wide receiver. In fact, Fortson was listed as a wide receiver until he made the switch to tight end ahead of the 2021 season. That combination of size and athleticism makes Fortson a unique problem in terms of coverage, and at only 26 years old, he still has plenty of room to build on the immense potential that he flashed last season.

Around the NFL

NFL hires David Highhill as first executive dedicated to sports betting business | ESPN

The NFL on Tuesday announced David Highhill as vice president, general manager of sports betting, the league’s first position solely focused on overseeing its business in the legal sports betting industry.

Highhill, who has been with the NFL for 10 years, moves over from the corporate strategy group, where he led the league’s go-to-market sports betting initiatives. In his new role, he’ll be tasked with leading efforts to protect the integrity of the game from gambling-related harm, advance the league’s brand and reputation, grow the value of the NFL’s data and intellectual property and drive fan engagement globally.

“It’s a growing market, it’s grown a lot in the last three or four seasons,” Highhill said. “What’s ahead is the exciting part of the opportunity.”

NFL 2022 MVP odds: Josh Allen’s the favorite, but who can beat him out? | The Athletic

Bills quarterback Josh Allen is the favorite to win the NFL MVP award this season, according to BetMGM. That’s for good reason, says Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs quarterback and 2018 MVP who BetMGM has slotted as the No. 2 favorite.

“He gets those rushing yards, man,” Mahomes said before The Match golf competition in Las Vegas in early June in which he teamed up with Allen but lost the 12-hole event to the duo of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.

“That dude is over there jumping over and hurdling people, getting those highlights,” Mahomes said, adding that he thinks Allen will earn the hardware “if Aaron gives it up at some point and not just keep winning it.”

Flores lawsuit demands Roger Goodell’s NFL compensation info, deposition | The Athletic

The Flores argument is that Goodell is not a neutral arbitrator, nor is anyone he might appoint, because he is paid handsomely by the teams Flores is suing. As a result, any arbitration provisions in the contracts of Flores and his two fellow plaintiffs — former NFL coaches Steve Wilks and Ray Horton — are void.

“Mr. Goodell cannot possibly be an impartial arbiter of any aspect of this proceeding when a decision against the NFL and/or its teams would harm the league both financially and reputationally,” Flores’ counsel, Douglas Wigdor, wrote Friday to federal Judge Valerie Caproni. “Moreover, the NFL and its teams reportedly paid Mr. Goodell approximately $127.8 million in compensation over the last two years.”

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Chiefs select K-State EDGE in way-too-early look ahead

32. Kansas City Chiefs - EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah - Kansas State

Anudike-Uzomah broke out in his true sophomore seasons after committing to Kansas State from Lee’s Summit High School in Missouri. His 11 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss, and six forced fumbles in 2021 earned him third-team All-American honors from Phil Steele; he was also named first-team All-Big 12. His 2021 season included a six-sack performance against TCU.

He is listed at 6 feet 4 and 255 pounds, and looks the part. His long arms allow him to swallow up rushers coming to his direction, but they also allow him to control blocks against offensive tackles.

Anudike-Uzomah also looks to have a plan as a rusher, using the push-and-pull move on a Kansas Jayhawks’ offensive lineman above to earn a sack and forced fumble. I’ve also seen him use a long arm effectively to pressure the quarterback from the front rather than around the edge.

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