Kansas City Chiefs March Scouting Report
Well, what can I say?
Tyreek Hill is a Dolphin. Wow! Thanks for the great performances and exciting play over the last 4 years, Cheetah. Hill was dealt to Miami for a 2022 1st round pick, a 2022 2nd round pick, a 2022 4th round pick, a 2023 4th round pick and a 2023 6th round pick. Why did this happen and how did it happen so fast? The â€˜whyâ€™ is not hard to figure out. With the sudden salary explosion for top-grade wideouts (he Dolphins are giving Hill a four-year, $120 million extension that includes $72 million in guarantees) and the rather outrageous contract the Jaguars gave not-yet-arrived ex-Cardinal Christian Kirk (four-year deal worth up to" $84 million), GM Brett Veach prudently held a hard line on how much he was willing to shell out for a 28-year-old 5â€™10-185 receiver whose game is all about blazing speed but has been managing chronic arthritic knees. Answering the â€˜howâ€™ question regarding the suddenness of Hillâ€™s departure, well, maybe it wasnâ€™t so sudden. Apparently, Mr. Veach and Hillâ€™s people were in talks about new paper and now is looks as if things were not progressing satisfactorily for both parties. Back on March 18 the Chiefs signed JuJu Smith-Schusterto a one-year, $10.75 million contract. On the 22nd KC inked former 1st-round wideout (2016, Cleveland) Corey Coleman and on the same day but before the Chiefs and Dolphins consummated the Tyreek Hill trade, free agent playmaker (Packers) Marquez Valdes-Scantling was in for a serious sit-down with Brett Veach. So, it does appear this blockbuster Hill move was in the making back on March 18. Coach Andy Reid and GM Veach are clearly reshaping the make-up of the WR room for 2022. Looking back at 2021 and how defenses were scheming against the Patrick Mahomes, Hill and the Chiefs passing attack, it became frustratingly obvious that Hillâ€™s opportunities for the â€˜big flyâ€™ were going to be capped as opposing coordinators deployed a deep-cover blanket over Tyreek. The Chiefs adjusted by shifting Hillâ€™s routes shorter and horizontal, using his blazing speed to out-race coverage crossing the field and going into YAC attack mode. That worked quite well at times, but it takes a toll on any smaller receiver constantly thrashing through â€˜trashâ€™ in the middle of the field and open to big hits. Taking into consideration Hillâ€™s age, knee conditions, enemy changes in defensive tactics and the huge money involved, GM Brett Veach and Coach Andy boldly set out to blow up and rebuild the WR room.
The focus now is clearly attacking the short-to-medium ranges passing zones, outside and between the hashmarks. Those are the areas where JuJu Smith-Schuster thrives. TE Travis Kelce owns those same areas and he remains a centerpiece of the passing game. Still, the offense needs to present a downfield threat and that is exactly what the Chiefs did when they inked ex-Packer speedster Marquez Valdes-Scantling MVS). Valdes-Scantling is a stretched out 6â€™4-206 wideout who brings turf-burning wheels to the Chiefs offense. At the 2018 Combine, MVS blazed his 40-dash in 4.37 seconds. Those racy wheels have translated into NFL big plays. MVS led the NFL in 2020 with a scorching 20.9 yards per receptions rate (YPR) and a sparkling 17.5 YPR over his 4-year pro career. MVS has had some drops issues at Green Bay, but he also had full confidence of MVP QB Aaron Rodgers, who has been quite picky about who he trusts with his passes.
As currently constituted, the Chiefs WR group looks like this:
Gone are reliable Demarcus Robinson (Raiders) and Byron Pringle (Bears).
Not exactly a unit that is going to strike fear in the opposition but bet the house Mr. Veach and Coach Reid and not done. There are reports KC is working on acquiring a true WR1 type. Heck, GM Veach has enough ammo to be aggressive to make another impact trade. He now owns ample draft capital from the Tyreek Hill move, Though the Seahawks are â€˜talkingâ€™ about wanting to extend lethal weapon wideout DK Metcalf, the Chiefs could make an offer that would be hard for head coach Pete Carroll to refuse. Ah, but that would put the Chiefs right back in the Tyreek Hill situation and needing to write a huge-dollar contract for Metcalf; at least Metcalf is bigger, stronger and younger than Cheetah. The draft is another solid option as the 2022 WR pool is deep, talented and varied in physical traits.
The current RB group looks like this:
Ronald Jones (just signed away from the Buccaneers)
Darrel Williams and Jerick McKinnon have yet to be re-signed and are currently testing the market as unrestricted free agents (UFA).
The offensive line is strong and well-fortified. No worries there. TE is obviously in capable hands with Travis Kelce.
WR is not the only position GM Brett Veach has been busy working on. Other moves heâ€™s made are:
RB Ronald Jones signed to a one-year contract,
signed LB Jermaine Carter, formerly of the Panthers,
re-signed TE Blake Bell to a one-year contract,
signed LB Elijah Lee, formerly of the Browns,
brought backC Austin Reiter after a year away with the Dolphins,
signed S Deon Bush, formerly of the Bears, to a one-year contract,
restructured G Joe Thuney's contract,
re-signed NT Derrick Nnadi,
signed T Geron Christian, formerly of the Texans,
re-signed RT Andrew Wylie to a one-year contract,
re-signed QB Chad Henne to a one-year,
re-signed RB Derrick Gore to a one-year,
signed TE Jody Fortson to a one-year contract,
signed S Justin Reid, formerly of the Texans (LOVE THIS ADDITION!),
re-signed FB Mike Burton to a one-year contract,
used the franchise tag on LT Orlando Brown,
DE Frank Clark has agreed to a restructured contract to remain with the team.
KC also named ex-Bears head coach Matt Nagy as QBcoach, andretainedEric Bieniemy as offensive coordinator for the 2022 campaign.
The Chiefsâ€™ defense is surely going to have a different look in 2022, most notably in the secondary. Gone for sure are S Daniel Sorensen(signedSaints), CB Mike Hughes(Lions) and CB Charvarius Ward (49ers), The Chiefs released LB Anthony Hitchens and the Packers signed DT Jarran Reed.
Tyrann Mathieu is still testing his open market value and has not signed on with any team yet.
The biggest team need at this point is at WR, and on defense, edge rushers. Both of those positions are plentiful in this yearâ€™s draft. Iâ€™ll dig into the Chiefs potential draft targets in my next Eye in the Sky Report.
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