Chiefs look to continue success in NFL draft in KC
Brett Veach took my advice and picked mostly defensive players (5 out of 7) in this year’s draft in Kansas City. It was a party and I was there for the mini Motley Crue concert, but that’s a story for a different day.
When people look at the Chiefs from around the world, they see a powerful offense and that is true, but slowly but surely the defense is on the rise and this year’s draft will definitely help that continue. Here are the Chiefs picks:
Round 1, 31 – Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Edge, Kansas State
Round 2, 55 – Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
Round 3, 92 – Wanya Morris, OT, Oklahoma
Round 4, 119 – Chamarri Conner, CB, Virginia Tech
Round 5, 166 – BJ Thompson, Edge, Stephen F. Austin State
Round 6, 194 – Keondre Coburn, DT, Texas
Round 7, 250 – Nic Jones, CB, Ball State
Talk about lightning striking with the first pick. Felix Anudike-Uzomah grew up in Kansas City and played high school football at Lee’s Summit High School, played football at Kansas State, then gets drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs when the draft was in Kansas City. Seems like a homer pick and something I’m always leery of, but I don’t think that had anything to do with the selection. We need defensive players and the best way to limit a team offensively is to find guys that can get to the quarterback and make plays. That’s exactly what Felix does. His sophomore season he tied the FBS lead for forced fumbles at six and he was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year his junior year. He didn’t play his senior year, which shows you how talented he is. This could be a guy that if he played his senior year and did well, might be a top five pick next year. Anudike-Uzomah can get after the quarterback. He had 20.5 sacks in college, but 19.5 of those were in the last two years with one during his freshman year. What’s interesting is Felix didn’t participate in the measurables at the NFL combine like 40 yard dash and 225 pound bench press due to an injury. This could be good for the Chiefs if Veach knows he would have performed really well and been picked higher. Look for Felix Anudike-Uzomah to play a lot early and put pressure on the quarterback. Everyone is excited to see what he can do.
In the second round, the Chiefs picked a player that everyone should and will become familiar with. Rashee Rice is an instant impact wide receiver out of SMU that put up big numbers in college. Rice was fifth in receptions last year in the FBS with 96 grabs and third in the FBS with 1,355 receiving yards. If you told me a month before the draft that we were going to be able to pick the wide receiver with the third most yards last year in college football in the second round at 55, I would have been elated. Mahomes has proven he can play well with any group of wide receivers. Having a guy like Rice that had 233 catches in college is going to add more fire power to the Chiefs offense. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: data doesn’t lie, people do. Look for Rice to produce early and often.
To protect what we just talked about, the Chiefs selected Wanya Morris, offensive tackle out of Oklahoma. Protecting Patrick Mahomes and getting the run game going is something the offensive line got a lot better at last year, and Morris will help continue that rise. When you look at how Creed Humphrey out of Oklahoma performed last year as a rookie, you can’t help but be excited to have Wanya Morrise become a Chief. Maybe Creed has some inside info and tipped off Andy and co. Also, Wanya is named after Wanya Morris from Boyz II Men. They aren’t related.
The Chief went back to the defensive side of the ball in the fourth round when they drafted Chamarri Conner out of Virginia Tech at pick number 55. This young man is a great athlete which is what you need at cornerback. He jumped a 40 and a half inch vertical at the combine, which tied for fourth among cornerbacks and he led the corners in 225 pound bench press with 20 reps with second place coming in at 18 reps. Conner will help the Chiefs continue to build a better coverage unit and defense.
In rounds 5-7 the Chiefs drafted all defensive players: BJ Thompson, Edge, Stephen F. Austin State, Keondre Coburn, DT, Texas, and Nic Jones, CB, Ball State. The Chiefs need help on defense and by using all those picks on that side of the ball, Brett Veach has stacked the odds for Kansas City to continue their improvement on defense. You have to keep taking shots to get impact players in areas of need and that’s what the Chiefs did here.
Time will tell if this draft was a success, but one thing we do know is the Chiefs have had a lot of success in the draft recently. ESPN did a piece on the top 50 draft steals of the last decade. Number 1 is Travis Kelce who was picked in the third round at 63, number 2 is Tyreek Hill who was picked in the fifth round at 165, and number 12 is Chris Jones who was picked in the second round at 37. No first rounders were included. Sports Illustrated did a piece on the best 20 draft picks over the last ten years and Patrick Mahomes picked 10th is number 1 on that list. Number 4 is Travis Kelce, number 8 is Tyreek Hill, and number 20 is Chris Jones. Let’s hope that trend continues.
Kansas City beats the Eagles to win second Super Bowl in the Mahomes era
After going to five AFC Championships in a row, the Chiefs won their second Super Bowl during that run against the Eagles. I bring that to you because I think it demonstrates how important winning that Super Bowl was after coming so close so often. We were talking dynasty five years ago when Patrick Mahomes burst on the scene throwing for fifty touchdowns his rookie year. Then Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, and Lamar Jackson arrived and the dynasty talk slowed down. Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert came along too. With that Super Bowl win, we can pick up the conversation again.
I think this post season showed everyone in the NFL that while there are other great quarterbacks in the league, Patrick Mahomes is the best. Playing hurt and continuing to be productive and make plays was impressive. The defense definitely stepped up too, but ultimately it’s the firepower the Chiefs have on offense that teams can’t handle.
I said Isiah Pacheco could be the steal of the draft and I was right in a big way. I’ll admit, my main focus for the seventh rounder was the fact that he ran a 4.37 40 at the combine last year. That tied for the fastest time for running backs. When you pair that with the size and strength Pacheco has, I sensed he was going to be a problem for teams. Every running back should watch how he plays the game from start to finish. We all loved seeing him make big plays and run hard, but it was a joy to see him get fired up.
Back to dynasty talk. When you give Mahomes a run game and a decent defense it’s going to be real hard to beat the Chiefs. The Chiefs have the run game now with Pacheco and the defense is continuing to build with young talent that has done a nice job. Mahomes + defense + run game = dynasty. It’s pretty simple.
I think it’s more important to celebrate winning the Lombardi Trophy this year because you never know what is going to happen in the future. A lot of people probably thought the Packers and Aaron Rodgers would win more than one Super Bowl. I know I brought up dynasty, but you can’t not talk about that when it’s the second Super Bowl in the Mahomes era.
I hope the Chiefs soak it up and have fun celebrating. It’s an accomplishment Kansas Citians will never forget and will always appreciate.
By the way, the Chiefs are favored to win the Super Bowl at +600 next year.
Chiefs go heavy on defense in draft
Here are the Chiefs 2022 draft picks:
Round 1, 21 – Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
Round 1, 30 – George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue
Round 2, 54 – Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
Round 2, 62 – Bryan Cook, S, Cincinatti
Round 3, 103 – Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin
Round 4, 135 – Joshua Williams, CB, Fayetteville State
Round 5, 145 – Darian Kinard, OT, Kentucky
Round 7, 243 – Jaylen Watson, CB, Washington State
Round 7, 251 – Isiah Pacheco, RB, Rutgers
Round 7, 259 – Nazeeh Johnson, S Marshall
I really like how 5 of the first 6 picks are defensive players and 7 out of 10 overall are. I always hear GMs and coaches talk about how they are going to draft the best player available. It’s never made sense to me. If you have the best quarterback in the league, are you going to take a quarterback in the first round if that player is considered the best player available? Don’t think so. Whether you like it or not, you have to draft for need and the Chiefs need defensive players. The Chiefs were third to last in yards given up last year and fourth to last in points given up. Heavy on defense is the right call and if the defense sucks this year they should do the same thing next year. Eventually you’re going to hit on some guys.
What better way to start off the draft than by moving up and taking a really talented cornerback. McDuffie is exactly what the Chiefs need to improve the defense and secondary. He has a lot of ability and aggression and should be able to match up, compete, and hold his own with any receiver. Washington allowed the fewest passing yards in the county in 2021 and McDuffie was a big reason that happened. McDuffie started all three years he was there. The fact that we traded the Patriots picks 21, 94, and 121 to move up to 21 and draft him shows me Veach is really high on him. I trust Veach and expect a lot from McDuffie. He’ll play and contribute immediately with Charvarius Ward and Tyrann Mathieu gone. This guy is so good that he probably would have played a lot if those two were still in KC. I don’t know if the Chiefs could have gotten any better with another pick here. We all know with a decent secondary and defense the Chiefs are looking at a Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year. This has been talked about a lot, but it’s worth noting the last corner we drafted in the first round was Marcus Peters also out of Washington who turned out to be a great player with a few issues. McDuffie and L’Jarius Sneed could be the yin and yang that push the Chiefs over the top.
George Karlaftis at 30 was a big pick for the Chiefs. He left after his junior year like McDuffie and was first team All-Big Ten and third team All-American. Guys that can put pressure on the edge is exactly what Kansas City needs and Karlaftis should be able to provide some heat. Karlaftis moved here in eighth grade from Athens, Greece. He’ll play right away and help. First team in the talented Big Ten is an impressive accomplishment. Chiefs defense immediately improves with this pick. Karlaftis was on the Greece water polo under sixteen national team, which probably explains the energy and effort he plays with that people talk about.
With pick 54, the Chiefs took Sky Moore, a big time receiver out of Western Michigan. This is another three year guy that contributed every year and had a breakout year last year with 95 catches. That was good for ninth in the FBS and he was named first team All-MAC. Moore can fly at 4.41 40 speed and has really good hands. He could see a lot of production in the Chiefs high powered offense. Tyreek Hill left for Miami, but the Chiefs signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantlon in the offseason. Josh Gordon could step up this year and be valuable and Mecole Hardman is there, so the Chiefs have receivers, but it’s always good to have options. Moore is listed as a backup on the depth chart, but that could change if he’s making catches.
After the draft, the Chiefs were able to sign Justyn Ross, another wide receiver. Ross played for Clemson and had 46 receptions for 1000 yards and 9 touchowns in 2018 during his freshman year. In the championship game against Alabama he had 6 receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown. He had a solid sophomore season too and it looked like Ross was going to be a first round draft pick. He then found out he a congenital spine condition and had surgery, which is why he wasn’t drafted. If he can play at 100%, this could be the steal of the draft and we didn’t even draft him. I really like the move by Veach. Reminds me of drafting Trey Smtih in the 6th round, which was a steal and Smith played well his rookie season and started. He went late because of a medical condition, so Ross has a similar story. Will be interesting to see how things turn out.
Another guy that I’m really excited about and so is everyone else including the Chiefs is seventh round pick, Isiah Pacheco, running back from Rutgers. Get to know that name. The young man has power and tied for the fastest 40 time the draft for running backs at 4.37 seconds. That’s flying. Again, he could be the steal of the draft. Right now, the Chiefs have him fourth on the depth chart behind, Edwards-Helaire, McKinnon, and Ronald Jones. There’s going to be a lot of competition at running back, but everyone is liking what they are seeing from Pacheco in training camp. Expect him to move up if he keeps playing well and get significant touches.
Chiefs get dethroned as king of the AFC jungle by Bengals
We all agree that was a tough loss to take after being up 21-3. Did we let the foot off the gas and get too tentative? Probably but the Bengals did a nice job on defense and we all know what Joe Burrow can do and if you didn’t know, now you know. Their offensive line is sloppy and Burrow has still been able to produce at a high clip. When he played for LSU in the National Championship and threw dime after dime, I knew he was going to be special in the NFL. Guys like that have to be dealt with to be beat and the Chiefs didn’t do that when we had the opportunity.
Yes, this isn’t some new narrative you’re getting so apologies if I’m wasting your time, but I want to use this as a learning moment for the Chiefs. I hate doing this, but Patrick Mahomes is 26 years old and this team is going to be good for a while. This is a learning lesson for Mahomes and Reid and the whole organization from the top down. When you get in those situations, you have to go balls to the wall 100% of the time. I can’t emphasize that enough. Most teams aren’t going to come back from that being down 21-3, but you’re in the AFC Championship. You’re playing a team that grinded their way to the final four. You have to be all in every play in those games where you’re playing a team like that and it’s kill or be killed. Easy for me to say, but when you get complacent for just a little bit the game can change quickly. Aggressiveness and intensity isn’t some stat I can sit here and say we were at 100 to start the game and fell to 70 after we got up, but performance and sometimes play calling can show you something.
It wasn't all about staying aggressive. The Chiefs should have thrown the ball into the endzone and kicked a field goal at the end of the first half. Need to come away with points there. Also, I would have liked to see them run the ball and the end of the game in regulation when it was 1st and goal at the five. McKinnon averaged 5.4 yards per rush that game.
Whether or not what I’m saying is actually true, it’s time to move on. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. You’re still alive and now it’s time to watch the tape, find out where we can get better, and do that in the offseason. I’m adamant about this because no matter what anyone says the reality is the Chiefs have the opportunity to be a dynasty and this can make us better. Let’s go on a run and win one next year and keep rolling. Andy Reid tried to take blame in the press conference. He can handle the points I made and hopefully win more of those big games because of lessons learned. He’s a big boy and will take all the critique like a champ, no pun intended.
Time to pick ourselves up and focus on next year. What are we doing in the draft? How can we keep getting better on defense and in other areas? This is what the Chiefs and everyone else needs to focus on. We don’t need to be rehashing that game for the next several months and several years. If we go win a few Super Bowls, people will forget about that game or look it as a catalyst when the Chiefs went from being a great team to a dynasty. The story is still being written and we get to write our own script. Don’t listen to the noise and move forward and focus on winning the next game. We’re gonna be back, that’s for damn sure. This season might be over, but our Super Bowl runs aren’t.
A+ draft grade for Chiefs before draft starts
I gave the Chiefs an A+ for the draft before it started. Most of you know what I’m getting at. I think giving up our picks in the first, third, and fourth rounds for Orlando Brown Jr. and a fifth round pick next year is great move. Also, we received the Ravens second round pick this year and their sixth round pick next year. Why did we lose the Super Bowl? Because we didn’t have an offensive line. Brown is a two-time pro bowl left tackle and he’s only 25. You could take the picks we traded to Baltimore and try to draft a guy like that or someone that can contribute just as much to a team and the odds are you won’t pick that guy. At the end of the day, the draft is a risk. I’m all for taking a young proven pro bowl player by trading picks. With an improved offensive line, the Chiefs might be unbeatable and it’s clear Clark Hunt and Brett Veach realized this with the addition of Joe Thuney, Kyle Long, and Austin Blythe. Don’t forget that Dr. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif will be back at guard after taking a year off to courageously help battle COVID and take care of patients. Our new rookie center Creed Humphrey is no slouch, which leads me into the guys we did pick in the draft:
Round 2, 58 – Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
Round 2, 63 – Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
Round 4, 144 – Joshua Kaindoh, DE, Florida State
Round 5, 162 – Noah Gray, TE, Duke
Round 5, 181 – Cornell Powell, WR, Clemson
Round 6, 226 – Trey Smith, G, Tennessee
The other glaring area where the Chiefs need help, but have improved is defense. I like taking Nick Bolton with our 1st pick in the second round. This guy has the strength and speed to make plays for the Chiefs and with second year player Willie Gay and Anthony Hitchens, the Chiefs could soon have one of the better linebacker groups in the NFL. Look for Bolton to contribute early and also look for Gay to make big strides this year in productivity.
Then we go right back to the offensive line with Creed Humphrey at center. What has really stood out to me is his work ethic. Yes, he’s talented, but it appears this guy is ready to do whatever it takes, which is exactly what you need on the offensive line. His wrestling background is something that definitely contributes to his attitude. We need some tough linemen to protect Mahomes and this man fits the bill.
Our last pick, Trey Smith, will play an important role and probably start at right guard on the offensive line with fellow rookie, Creed Humphrey, and Lucas Niang. Niang was picked last year out of TCU, but didn’t play last year because of COVID. I digress. Smith might have been a first round pick out of Tennessee, but he almost stopped playing due to blood clots. He might be the steal of the draft. He’s already been doing work and people are talking about him, including me.
Speaking of late value, let’s talk about Cornell Powell out of Clemson. Powell didn’t do much his first four year, but last year turned it on and caught 53 balls for 882 yards. Could be a late bloomer that turns into a productive player. It’s easy to get shine at big schools like Clemson, but also easy to get overlooked with all the talent around you.
Who am I most intrigued about? Noah Gray. We already have Travis Kelce and some other solid tight ends in Blake Bell and Jody Fortson, but you can never have enough weapons. I think I heard he has only dropped three balls in camp so far. Pretty impressive for anyone, especially a rookie. The young man can also fly. He ran a 4.55 40 yard dash at the combine, which is really fast for a tight end. Kyle Pitts, drafted fourth overall by the Falcons, was the only other tight end in the draft that has a faster 40. We all know what speed does.
I like where the Chiefs are headed; a better offensive line, a defense that is continuing to improve, and more weapons. This team will be tough to beat. I might be bias, but right now Vegas has us at +500 to win the Super Bowl, better odds than any other team.
Chiefs add more firepower to their offense in the 2020 draft
Despite picking last in the first round, the Chiefs made a big time pick when they were able to draft arguably the top running back in the 2020 draft, Clyde Edwards-Helaire. As the first running back selected, the Chiefs could have picked any RB, but Edwards-Helaire stood out. He’s dynamic to say the least. He’s able to avoid guys on defense when running the ball, but can also catch it out of the backfield. Playing in the spread offense at LSU allowed him to put his pass catching ability on display. Clyde is perfect fit for the Chiefs offense. Damien Williams ended up sitting out because of COVID-19, so picking up a running back turned out to be a wise decision. Everyone is looking for Edwards-Helaire to have a huge year in the Chiefs explosive offense. Look for him to be picked up early on fantasy draft day. Here is a list of everyone the Chiefs selected during the 2020 virtual draft:
32 – Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
63 – Willie Gay Jr., OLB, Mississippi State
96 – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
138 – L’Jarius Sneed, S, Louisiana Tech
177 – Mike Danna, DE, Michigan
237 – Thakarius Keyes, CB, Tulane
Willie Gay Jr. probably has the biggest upside out of everyone the Chiefs drafted this year. Even though Kansas City took him early at 63, he could have gone lower. A suspension for academic fraud and a fight that injured Mississippi States quarterback, Garret Shrader before their bowl game contributed to him falling to the Chiefs. This is a guy that can make an immediate impact. He had the second fastest forty-time at 4.46 seconds for linebackers in the 2020 draft class along with the top broad jump for linebackers at 136 inches. Gay will make an immediate impact and it’s exactly what the Chiefs need. Kansas City’s defense improved last year under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, but is looking to get better. The ceiling is high for Willie and I think Andy Reid and his staff will him reach his full potential.
Another player that can make a big difference right out of the gate is L’Jarius Sneed. This guy is a burner with a 4.37 second forty time. That was the fourth fastest time in the draft. He also jumped a 41 inch vertical, which was tied for second among safeties. Sneed will probably play corner for the Chiefs and might be plugged in immediately. He has the talent and will be a nice addition to the defense. Anybody that can come in and help the Chiefs defense get better is a win and Sneed can do that.
I also like picking Lucas Niang, offensive tackle out of TCU in the third round. Providing protection for Patrick Mahomes and giving him time is important to say the least.
It appears the Chiefs had another great draft. Brett Veach and Andy Reid continue to make moves that will position the Chiefs as a Super Bowl contender for years to come.
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Here's how I feel about the Royals winning the 2015 World Series
I’ve had close to two months to reflect on the Royals World Series victory and it still seems unreal. The way we came back from being down late in eight of the games has been well documented, but it’s always worth mentioning when discussing the 2015 World Series champs. The best game, in my opinion, was the game against Houston where we, once again if you remember back to the Wild Card game in 2014, came back from four down going into the eighth. As one fan said to me at the bar a few nights ago, lightning struck twice. That game and the game the season before defined our team and the magic associated with the Royals.
When you look at what the Royals accomplished with the way baseball is set up, you look to the owner, gm, and coach and have to tip your hat. It wasn’t long ago that a disgruntled fan, in Joseph Accurso published a letter in the Kansas City Star to David Glass imploring him to make some moves to help the Royals or sell the team. When we advanced in the playoffs last year, Ned Yost said in a postgame interview they have been planning this for five years. With all due respect, it almost sounded like a joke when he made that statement, but it was true. This is what David Glass and co. had set out to do. Build a team for the most part from within, bringing up players through their minor league system they had drafted or through their baseball academy, and occasionally signing key free agents. Props to ownership and management.
As for the players, you guys are the ones that are most responsible for this epic World Series win. Guys not only played as well as they did last year when we went to the World Series, but actually improved. Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar and others lifted themselves to a new level. It would have been easy to get complacent after the run we had last year. Thank you for never giving up, sticking together, and playing your hardest all the time. It’s special that most of these guys have been with each other for a while, so there are relationships that go beyond the club house. When it came time to name the MVP of the World Series, it was tough to pick who deserved it most. Salvadore Perez came away with the award after batting .364 in the series, controlling the game, and playing incredible defense. My only hope is that we can keep you all together for as long as possible. I’m so proud of Edison Volquez for pitching two great games with his dad passing right before his first start of the series. Both of those performances where he gave up just three runs and two runs were special outings and played a huge part in helping us win the World Series. I’m also proud of Mike Moustakas who lost his mom earlier in the year. He played great for us through a tough time in his life. Chris Young played through losing his dad recently as well. That was a guy who kind of came out of nowhere to play an important role in the postseason. I’m proud of you Chris and I’m proud of all the other players on the Royals. No matter what happens for the rest of your lives, no one can take this away and the fact that you all are the 2015 World Series Champions.
And then you have the fans. Wow. The people in Kansas City put us on the map and supported the Royals in a big way, but it’s not just what the fans did this year. It’s also the way they stuck with the team in previous years when the Royal’s weren’t rolling. Thank you to the fans for supporting the Royals and stepping up in a big way when they needed you most. My dad, a big baseball fan, put it best when we first talked after the Royals won the World Series when he said “I’m glad we won, but I don’t want this to stop, I want to keep having fun watching the Royals play great baseball.” I think that’s the way a lot of people feel and why everyone is looking forward to 2016. The support the fans have given this team really is unbelievable. You saw it at the parade. It was incredible to see the amount of people that converged upon downtown Kansas City for the day. That’s what people do in Kansas City. We are all friends and support our teams to the max and I honestly think and know that support and spirit helped this team battle and win the 2015 World Series. Thank you Royals fans.
Chris Conley, Dontari Poe, and Ron Parker after setting a franchise record with ten wins in a row
Ron Parker, Mike DeVito, and Mitch Morse after beating Cleveland and clinching a playoff spot