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Kansas City Chiefs March Scouting Report
John Cooney

The Free Agent market has been open and got off to a busy early run of signings and transactions. However. Post Combine the market has noticeably slowed as teams now re-evaluate prospects with new evidence from the Combine, travel around the country visiting Pro-Days on college campuses and meet with national and regional scouting gangs to work on setting the respective draft boards.


Here a review of who has left the tribe in KC and who new to the Chiefs’ camp.


Gone and a few not forgotten:

Jets signed WR Mecole Hardman

Cowboys signed RBRonald Jones

Bengals signed LT Orlando Brown

Browns signed S Juan Thornhill

Patriots signed WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

Saints signed DT Khalen Saunders

Commanders signed RT Andrew Wylie

Commanders signed WR Marcus Kemp

ReleasedDEFrank Clark

Chiefs tendered exclusive rights free agent TEJody Fortson

QB Chad Henne announced his retirement after 15 seasons.


Welcome back or just welcome:

signed OL Nick Allegretti

signed LT Jawaan Taylor

re-signed TE Blake Bell

re-signed DL Derrick Nnadi

re-signed DT Phil Hoskins

signed DT Byron Cowart

signedDECharles Omenihu,

re-signed DETershawn Wharton

signed LB Drue Tranquill

signed S Mike Edwards

re-signed P Tommy Townsend


Making sense (or nonsense) of the moves:

Coach Andy Reid may be smiling a weird kind of smile thinking how he just won a Super Bowl with THAT WR room he trotted out there last season. 2022 big signing WR JuJu Smith-Schuster did a some nice things last year but he hardly rose to the level of a ‘go-to’ wideout. AS the year wore on JuJu wore down it seemed. The lumbering slotter (please, no more talk about him being able to play outside!) chipped in with some key catches over the season, mostly in a move-the-stix possession manner. HE showed little to no YAC ability, especially later in the schedule. So who replaces JuJu? Well, Coach Reid appears to have a hankering for smaller, quicker and versatile smaller receivers. Now in Miami, Tyreek Hill was an elite big play threat in a variety of ways, yet he is lucky if he stretches the tape to 5’10". Coach Big Red appears focused on revising that role and prototype receiver this off-season, starting with the bye-bye wave to Smith-Schuster and then touting the potential of Cheetah-size wideouts Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore. Coach said both Toney and Moore "will probably have bigger roles" next season. Indeed, they will as currently the starting WR trio would be Toney, Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. And if you look way back in the WR room right now you’ll see 2 more interesting playmakers who fit the very same mold. There 2022 undrafted RB-turned-WR Jerrion Ealy and a one-time 1st-round pick of the Bengals (2017) who lit the Combine 40-track on fire with a 4.22 time, John Ross. The injury history of Ross is extensive and the sole reason he’s never made the impact expected. Ealy, going all of 5’9-187, can run and catch, and while not possessing blazing wheels, he plays at a fast ‘game’ speed. Now, I Coach and GM Brett Veachreally want to add a Tyreek Hill replica, there’s a perfect copy in this year’s draft… Zay Flowers of Boston College.


But that’s for the next KC Report.


So out goes bigger and slower JuJu Smith-Schuster and in that welcomed void slides the combination of Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore, darting and dashing playmakers. Oh, by the way, Mecole Hardman has flown off to join the Jets. Again, Toney and/or Moore happily fill that vacancy, and likely will be far more effective than Hardman ever was.


Signed and sealed at RB is 2022 surprise Isiah Pacheco, 2020 first round good-not-great Clyde Edwards-Helaire and an Edwards-Helaire clone, La’MicalPerine. Not in the 2023 mix for sure is Ronald Jones. Also, not in the clubhouse (and wondering why) is Jerick McKinnon. I can see letting Jones go on his merry free-agent way, but McKinnon played such a vital part of the 2022 title run for the Chiefs, you’d think bringing him back was a no-brainer. HE may be back once the draft smoke clears and rosters around the league fill up. We’ll see. The Chiefs did NOT pick up the 5th-year option on Edwards-Helaire (good move) and some teams have Clyde Edwards-Helaire on their trade radar, from what we hear.


LT Orlando Brown felt he deserved top-of-the-LT-world cash in his free market run this off-season. He played fairly well on the blindside of Patrick Mahomes, and Brown is a terrific young man to boot, but his play did not exactly conjure up vision of Jackie Slater or Anthony Munoz. So, Orlando Brown bolted for now-playoff rival Cincinnati and the Chiefs gladly raided the Jaguars, taking rapidly rising star OT Jawaan Taylor off the market with a 4-year, $80 million deal. I am pleased to report the O-line is sound and secure for 2023. One of the quiet reasons is the re-upping of swing O-lineman Nick Allegretti. The guy is good; what a pro! His return was key with the loss of Andrew Wylie to free agency (Commanders).


Chad Henne called it a career after 15 seasons. He was the perfect insurance policy behind Mahomes. That leaves Coach Reid with just Shane Buechele and raw (but interesting) ChrisOladokun. After the draft and cuts really get cooking around the NFL I expect the Chiefs to bring in another ‘Henne’ type. Heck, Chase Daniel is out there again. So is Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay caddy Blaine Gabbert. Hmmm… Carson Wentz? Wentz’s starting days may be past him for numerous reasons, but he’s the kind of veteran reclamation project Coach Reid relishes. And Wentz would not be too shabby of a back up for Mahomes. Hmmm.


ON the defensive front, Mr. Veach has been busy locking down the D-line. Thus far the work has produced re-signings of DL Derrick Nnadi, DT Phil Hoskins, DE Tershawn Wharton and additions of DE Charles Omenihu,DT Byron Cowart. DE Frank Clark was allowed to go and seek better opportunities elsewhere, no doubt because of $$$ and the accelerated good play of 2022 rookie DE George Karlaftis. Also not returning is DT Derrick Nnadi. The unit needs some minor repairs but is not in any way broken.


Out the of tribe is solid 2022 contributors, safety Juan Thornhill. He is as skilled as they come for a safety but never truly reached his potential. IN place comes ex-Buccaneer safety Mike Edwards, a tough tackling and fair covering DB. Also falling into that 2nd-level defender area is the inking of swift tackle-machine, Drue Tranquill, late of the Chargers. Tranquill is a top-shelf depth addition and give D-Coach Spaguolo another fine LB to slip in there along with star Nick Bolton and speedy Willie Gay. Oh, and it takes a chunk out of AFC West rival Chargers’ defense. Niiiice!


These pre-draft signing are terrific in that they help open draft day to the Chiefs to be able to take some risks and maybe trade up for a specific player (Zay Flowers???) or trade out of the first round all together while acquiring more picks, which doesn’t sound all that bad.


The Chiefs currently own the following picks:


Round 1, Pick #32

Round 2, Pick #64

Round 3, Pick #96

Round 4, Pick #123

Round 4, Pick #135

Round 5, Pick #169

Round 6, Pick #198

Round 6, Pick #218

Round 6, Pick #220

Round 7, Pick #228

Round 7, Pick #252

Round 7, Pick #258

2023 NFL Draft compensatory picks – 3rd round


That’s 12 picks plus the compensatory picks in the 3rd round.No doubt Mr. Veach and Coach

Andy Reid will be navigating the draft, trading for position and even adding picks later this draft of future ones.


Even the coaching staff will have a different look in 2023. Washington hired OC Eric Bieniemy as their offensive coordinator. Matt Nagy takes over the OC title (we all know Coach Andy’s calling the shots).


I’ll start digging into potential draft targets for Kansas City next Eye in the Sky Report.



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