Kansas City Chiefs July Scouting Report
Training camp is open for business and already we have some interesting things to note.
Off the field, the Chiefs sent All Pro special teams ace/LB DJ Alexander to the Seahawks for ILB and special teamer Kevin Pierre-Louis. Pierre-Louis was Seattle’s 4th round pick in the 2014 draft. He performed well on the bomb-squads and in the very limited defensive snaps he was given. The 6-230 linebacker could be a nice addition given current ILB Derrick Johnson’s advancing age and increasing injury potential.
With Jeremy Maclin now a Raven, the pecking order at WR will be a fantasy watch; Maclin was essentially the Chiefs’ WR1 when healthy and right. So, with camp opening, Tyreek Hill and Chris Conley took 1st-team reps as expected. But unexpectedly, Demarcus Robinson earned starter looks as well. Robinson doesn’t "wow" in any specific aspect of WR play. But he is kinda’ a Coach Reid guy. My scouting report on Robinson coming out of college, as present on www.PASS2WIN.COM
Demarcus Robinson, Florida
6’1-203: 4.59x40, 1.60x10, 34.5 vertical, 10’3 broad, 9 ½ hand
Robinson comes to the field with a classic WR build and has the required measured talents to be a productive pass-catcher at the next level. However, he does have a rather patchy off-field history that includes 3 suspensions at Florida for pot use and a 4th for meeting with a marketing agent (an NCAA no-no). Robinson entered a rehab program for 45 days and has been the good soldier since. He has been humble and earnest in his interviews, but he’ll have to prove it all over again to NFL personnel types. On the field Robinson is an enticing but flawed wideout. He has good wind-up speed and would show better burst off line if not for an annoying head-dip-stutter-step he performs each and every snap. Robinson plays predominantly on the outside/right in formations. The Gator receiver runs with a smooth gait, sinks into his breaks and takes really nice angles back to his QB rather than flattening out of his stems. His biggest hurdle moving to the NFL is getting his hands out and snatching the ball; he is habitual body-catcher. In college his sharp, angular breaks allowed him to get away with short-arming receptions, but that will cost him in the NFL. HE sets up his routes well, but doesn’t explode past DBs. Good corners will be able to close in or chase him down after separation. The lack of confident hands extended leads to poor results on contested throws. Demarcus Robinson has some attractive WR traits, but his troubled history of admitted substance use and body-catching ways will make it tough for him to land a contributing role on a pro roster.
2016 starting LG Zach Fulton was NOT that as camp commenced. In his place is Bryan Witzmann. Witzmann looks like the planned starter, allowing Fulton to become a vital and quality swing interior lineman. If all fails, Fulton jumps back at LG.
OLB Tamba Hali is not practicing. Hali has expressed his discontent regarding his potential decreased usage, citing the stretch run in 2016. But his non-practice here is a preservation action by the coaching staff. After-all, Hali IS a senior member of the roster. He’s on the PUP for such purposes.
OLB Dadi Nicolas also carries PUP tag into camp with a knee.
OT Isaiah Battle sat out with a hammy.
RG Parker Ehinger goes PUP with his knee.
DE Chris Jones is in the PUP kennel also with a knee.
No practices for these PUPs.
On the field, QB Alex Smith hit the turf passing, razor sharp as expected. There is no doubt rookie Pat Mahomes is a hot coal under Smith’s QB butt, but Smith is a pro and is always prepped anyway.
Not sure how often WR Tyreek Hill and playmaking CB Marcus Peters will go H2H, but it is sure going to be fun. All I can say is Hill is unstoppable. His overall 2017 volume may very well mimic 2016’s 60-65 catches, but the yards and TDs will hit high-water marks as his route tree expands. And it is clearly expanding downfield. LOOK OUT NFL!
What is a terrific feature that Hill brings is his QBS don’t have to hold onto the ball for Hill to break clear deep. They can let it fly early and the fleet wideout will outrun the coverage to the ball, get under it and take it to the house.
It is already quite evident that the Chiefs’ RBs best be ready to route and haul ball. The backs are hitting pass patterns early and often in camp. Spencer Ware continues to show he is a viable receiving option for his QBs. Nice hands that keep improving through perseverance and hard work. Ware and Alex Smith connected several times in the early going. Rookie Kareem Hunt is not only displaying his nifty catching mitts, but his surprising route range as well. Not bad at all going downfield to snag ‘em.
New guy on defense, Kevin Pierre-Louis, got some 1st-team action in. Rookie DE Tonah Kpassagnon is monstrous in size and is already making noise, including the pass-rush. He is lining up on the right side of the D so far.
QB Pat Mahomes, another freshman, is as natural a passer as you’ll find in the NFL. He is fluid and instinctively adjusts his release points as needed, but has to learn to look defenders off. Even the D-linemen can read his eyes and anticipate the throw. Mahomes has had several attempts knocked down at the line, and on the way before getting the target.
OK. This late KC Report will be followed by an early August camp report.
And here we go!
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John Cooney is a Senior Staff Writer for Fantasy Football MastermindEnd.
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