• Biggest loss (PFF WAR): S Juan Thornhill, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
• Biggest gain (PFF WAR): ED Charles Omenihu
The Chiefs released Frank Clark and lost both starting offensive tackles in Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie. However, their signings of tackle Jawaan Taylor and ED Charles Omenihu mitigate those losses.
Taylor has become one of the better pass protectors on the right side across the NFL, ranking top-15 in pass-blocking grade (76.7) and pressure rate allowed (5.2%) among tackles on true pass sets in 2022.
Kansas City Chiefs
Top Needs: DL, WR, Edge
For the defending Super Bowl champions, the draft will be all about reloading.
The Kansas City Chiefs lost a few key contributors this offseason, namely wideouts JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman, safety Juan Thornhill, defensive tackle Khalen Saunders and edge-rusher Frank Clark, who was released and remains unsigned.
Saunders, who tallied 48 tackles, 3.5 sacks and nine quarterback pressures last season, is a bigger loss than many fans realize. He came up huge in Super Bowl LVII with two tackles and a sack.
Kansas City should be eager to replace Saunders and improve a run defense that ranked a good-not-great 15th in yards per carry allowed (4.4).
Safety could be a position to address with Thornhill gone, but Kansas City has 2022 second-round pick Bryan Cook and signed Mike Edwards in free agency. Pass-rusher is probably a bigger need with both Clark and Carlos Dunlap (nine combined sacks) still unsigned and only Charles Omenihu coming in to reload.
Offensively, the Chiefs must find a way to replace Smith-Schuster and Hardman, who combined for 1,230 receiving yards and seven touchdowns last season.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Chiefs ”are at least looking” at a DeAndre Hopkins trade. If Kansas City doesn’t add a quality veteran between now and the draft, though, receiver will be a significant need.
Tommy Townsend, P, Kansas City Chiefs
It’s become somewhat of a Wilt Chamberlain–like tradition for punters to pose with a sheet that reads “0” after zero punts in a game. Probably no one does that more than Patrick Mahomes’s punter.
31: Kansas City Chiefs — Will McDonald IV, Edge, Iowa
Only 236 pounds, but he’s got enough speed and power off the edge to be an impact player early for the Chiefs. Pass-rushing depth is hugely importantly to the Chiefs in January and February, when they face an annual gauntlet of elite quarterbacks.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Dawand Jones OT
OHIO STATE • SR • 6’8” / 374 LBS
After signing Jawaan Taylor in free agency, and allegedly moving him to left tackle, Kansas City takes a massive right tackle at the end of the first round to fill out the offensive line.
Around the NFL
The Steelers have agreed to terms with veteran safety Keanu Neal on a two-year deal, Neal’s agent, David Canter, announced via Twitter Thursday.
Neal entered the league as a top selection of the Atlanta Falcons in 2016, filling a key role in the Falcons’ run to Super Bowl LI as a rookie. In his second season, he earned a trip to the Pro Bowl, quickly establishing himself as a playmaking safety in Dan Quinn’s defense.
That was the high mark for Neal, who dealt with multiple injuries in the following two seasons, returning to play 14 games in 2020 before his time with the Falcons came to a close. Neal reunited with Quinn in Dallas in 2021, but lasted just one season before moving to Tampa, where he joined the Buccaneers and appeared in 17 games (eight starts) last season.
Brian Daboll was the toast of the town in his first season with the Giants, leading New York to an unexpected postseason appearance and winning multiple coaching awards.
Daboll’s rock star status in the Big Apple has not gone unnoticed by team owner John Mara, who said during a recent interview that he jokingly offered a lighthearted warning to his head coach.
“We kid him,” Mara told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I mean, right now he’s Bono walking around New York City.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Pass protection against elite competition
Measuring 6’5” and 333 lbs. at the combine, Wright has the size and power that a prototypical right tackle in the NFL needs. With size, elite quickness out of his stance and tremendous core strength, he dominated elite pass rushers.
Wright explodes from his stance, keeping his weight on his inside foot and gliding into his drive-and-catch pass set.
Projected overall top-five pick Will Anderson mixes his hands off the snap, not showing his intent. He fires his hands into Wright and attempts to bullrush him. Anderson extends, but Wright has his hands positioned correctly to land his punch on Anderson’s chest. He then sits back and anchors into the ground, stopping the pass rush.
Facing speed and flexibility requires a much different set of skills than taking on power rushers. One of Wright’s more intriguing matchups during 2022 was going against potential first-round draft pick BJ Ojulari from LSU.
A tweet to make you think
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