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Arrowheadlines: Chiefs need to add depth and variety at wide receiver

SB Nation logo SB Nation 2/27/2021 Tom Childs
a baseball player wearing a helmet © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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2021 NFL offseason: All 32 teams’ WR situations ahead of free agency, draft | NFL.com

Kansas City Chiefs

Top three WRs in 2020: Tyreek Hill (87-1,276-15), Demarcus Robinson (45-466-3 — UFA), Mecole Hardman (41-560-4).

This is a team and position I am always keen to track. Andy Reid and GM Brett Veach have been in lockstep about their targets and strategy at wide receiver, and with Reid’s ability to teach players and execute a plan, they usually successfully pull off an unexpected move or two. For example, I wasn’t as high on Sammy Watkins when they acquired him in 2018, but he’s filled their needs pretty much perfectly since. With Robinson set to join Watkins in free agency, the Chiefs will likely again show us something about how to add appropriate depth and variety at the position. Of course, this is an easier task for any team when Patrick Mahomes is the QB. Last season, Hill’s eight deep touchdown receptions led the NFL, and between him and tight end Travis Kelce, the bulk of pass catching impact on passing downs is accounted for.

Full 2021 First Round Mock 1.0 | Mile High Report (Denver Broncos SB Nation site)

1.31 Kansas City Chiefs - Terrace Marshall Jr. - WR - LSU

Brett Leach has to be among those who pray the NFL’s new TV deal can bail his team out of jail. If the cap lands around the OTC estimate, Kansas City is looking at a painful situation in which they need to shed $20 million. With Sammy Watkins set to depart and potentially tough decisions ahead for Tyrann Mathieu and Eric Fisher, the Chiefs could go a number of ways here. Andy Reid heads back to the LSU well and grabs a weapon for Patrick Mahomes.

NFL second-year players set to make a 2021 leap: J.K. Dobbins, D’Andre Swift among 2020 rookies ready to soar | CBS Sports

L’Jarius Sneed

Sneed made some plays for the Kansas City defense over the first three weeks of the season before the 24-year-old suffered an injury. He missed seven games before returning for the end of the regular season and the postseason. The Louisiana Tech product recorded a sack against the Bills and Browns in the playoffs after registering three interceptions in the regular season. The Chiefs do not have any cornerbacks with a secure long-term role, so Sneed should capitalize.

5 cap casualties for Chiefs to consider in free agency | Chiefs Wire

OT Rick Wagner

A few days ago, this might have been the player at the top of the list for Kansas City. Now that Mitchell Schwartz has updated fans, letting everyone know that he’s had surgery and expects to be healthy. All of that said, Wagner was a solid piece for the Packers in 2020. He didn’t have a single penalty called on him and he allowed just 16 pressures on the year. He helped turn the Green Bay offensive line into one of the best units in the league last season. If Wagner decides to continue his career and chase a ring, there’s no better place to do it than in Kansas City.

Identifying Every NFL Team’s Dream Draft Target in 2021 | Bleacher Report

Kansas City Chiefs: IOL Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma

General manager Brett Veach will likely use at least one of his early-round picks to rebuild the interior of the offensive line. The Chiefs need stability and immediate help in the trenches, which is why they should have their eyes on Creed Humphrey.

According to PFF, Humphrey only allowed 28 quarterback pressures without a sack through his three seasons at Oklahoma. He has the strength to hold up at the point of attack, and his years of experience should allow him to adjust quickly in the NFL.

The two-time Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year could start Week 1 for the Chiefs.

Patrick Mahomes takes exception to ESPN ranking | 247 Sports

On Friday, ESPN analytics expert Bill Connelly unveiled his top 60 college football quarterbacks in the new millennium. Coming in near the bottom was Mahomes, and he got a kick out of where he stood.

Connelly placed the former Texas Tech Red Raider — one spot ahead of former Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing and one place behind former Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph. It was noted that Mahomes was asked to do quite a bit in that offense, and even he was only able to keep the Red Raiders treading water.

“Even by the standards of the typical air-raid quarterback, Mahomes was asked to do a lot,” Connelly wrote. “He threw 44 passes per game as a sophomore in 2015, then 49 per game as a junior, and despite his being, you know, Patrick Dang Mahomes, Tech went only 12-13 in that span.”

NFL draft analyst Matt Miller tweeted out a screenshot of Mahomes and tagged him in the post. It didn’t take much longer for the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback to respond.

Every NFL team’s most likely future Hall of Famer: Tom Brady, Aaron Donald among 17 ‘locks’ | CBS Sports

Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes, QB

Current Hall of Fame “lock”? No, but he’s closer than you think

While he was unable to repeat as a Super Bowl champion, Mahomes went 16-2 as a starter in 2020 while leading the Chiefs back to the big game. Already considered the best player in football today, another MVP/Super Bowl season may be all Mahomes needs to earn early consideration as a future Hall of Fame player. Gale Sayers and Terrell Davis only needed four healthy seasons to earn their place in Canton. Mahomes, whose early career success rivals both legendary players, just finished his third season as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback.

Around the NFL

NFL’s minority hiring rate for open jobs nearly doubled | ESPN

According to the league’s demographics study obtained Friday by The Associated Press, the minority hirings included: three general managers, two head coaches, three offensive coordinators, six defensive coordinators, four special-teams coordinators, three quarterbacks coaches.

The minority hiring rate was 18.8% in 2020. Interview requests for minority candidates increased to 47% from 22% in 2020.

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

Market Movers: our first offseason look at Chiefs’ trends

Byron Pringle: The Chiefs need help at receiver; that much is clear. But we also think that Pringle is part of the solution. He’s a monster on special teams, as we saw in the Super Bowl with a big return and a shoestring tackle, which is of huge importance for receivers down the depth chart. He’s got strong hands, he can run after the catch and he can block. Assuming Mecole Hardman remains a gadget player, there are some openings on the depth chart. With Tyreek Hill as the elite No. 1 receive, we expect a new No. 2 WR, and Pringle could return and be a solid No. 3 or No. 4 receiver.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire: Some of the most successful offensive plays in the Super Bowl were when Edwards-Helaire got the ball against the Tampa Bay defense that focused on taking away the deep pass. The Chiefs should expect more of the two and three-deep safety looks next season and should do a better job countering with an effective run and pass game through their young running back.

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