The Kansas City leaders“The season’s work ended last week with a mandatory mini-camp that ended on Thursday. Next time we see the team on Wednesday, July 27, when they start Public Training Camp Internships at the University of the Western State of Missouri Josephis, Missouris.
Until then, we have relied on many reports from voluntary OTAs and mandatory mini-camp sessions in recent weeks. To summarize some of what we’ve heard, let’s look at some chiefs who may just go up (or down) in the process right now.
But as we do, let’s keep in mind that the team doesn’t have a padded workout or pre-season game yet. Much has changed in the past the first game of the season against Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, September 11th.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling: Our own Pete Sweeney may have started this conversation, but now it’s among both professionals and social media. In the off-season, Valdes-Scantling worked with defender Patrick Mahomes in Texas – and that pays off early. Everyone is starting to see that the timing and chemistry between them is already at a high level. While the fifth-year scale was considered a deep threat only while on the Green Bay Packers team, there were hints in his film that he might be something more than Kansas City. And oh, yeah … he’s very fast, too.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling recorded the 2nd speed of the ball carriers last season, reaching a top speed of 22.09 miles per hour in week 11.
Since entering the NFL in 2018, Valdes-Scantling has scored 20+ miles an hour 14 times as a ball carrier. Only Tyreek Hill (45) has written more among WRs. https://t.co/OLS2AP52Yf pic.twitter.com/hFG0vCtzdT
– Next Generation Statistics (@NextGenStats) March 24, 2022
Nick Bolton: As a beginner, the 2021 second-round defender exceeded all expectations by leading the team in defenses and playing at a high level in general – even when others around him were not. Now – with the departure of Anthony Hitchens and Ben Niemann – Bolton is the undisputed leader among the team’s defenders. He and third-year player Willie Gay Jr. has created a close bond and a great duo on the second level. Bolton continues to grow before our eyes, playing faster and taking control of the defense. In 2022, he will become MIKE’s defender, who will wear a green dot and call the defense.
Josh Gordon: Perhaps the biggest surprise of the last few weeks has been the constant reports that Gordon has looked better and played. Given that he dropped out of favor last season – and that the team added a number of wide receivers who are probably above him in the depth chart – he should be considered a long-range hit. (He also left one of the mini-camps early, feeling a slight injury). But Gordon has proven that he has a natural ability to play that position, so maybe we can’t rule him out yet. See if he looks like St. Josephis is still in the eye because he may be forced to make a difficult decision about which recipients this team wants to keep.
Other trends in the right direction: corner defender Joshua Williams, tight ends Jody Fortson and Travis Kelce, defensive ends Mike Danna and George Karlaftis, security guards Bryan Cook and Juan Thornhill, and defender Chris Jones.
Derrick Gore: The back room has become quite crowded after Gore signed a contract for another year. The Chiefs not only made a quick draw in the seventh round (Isiah Pacheco) but also added an exciting UDFA (Jerrion Ealy). Both have the opportunity to enter the list as both returnees and defenders with a change of pace. But then Kansas City re-signed Jerick McKinnon, who had made a significant contribution in 2021. Gore’s chances of getting on the 2022 list are becoming increasingly blurred.
Mecole Hardman: Now starting the final year of his newcomer contract, Hardman has said all the right things this season – and he should be ready for the big year. But he’s struggled with a tendon injury – and apparently shook off a little rust in the mini-camp with a few drops. This is a huge season for Hardman and we are expecting great things. It has many options for this St. Josephis to implement.
Trent McDuffie: The other player we have high expectations of is the Kansas City man who was selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. McDuffie appears to have fought a chewing injury – and has been beaten a few times in a mini-camp. Given his growth (and playing style), we can assume that when the pillows come on, he will look better. He will start this season and will hopefully be able to lock some receivers in range. If he can play with the kind of physicality he is known for, he can begin to show what made him one of the best corners of the drift.
Other trends in the wrong direction: broad receivers Daurice Fountain and Justyn Ross, narrow ends Blake Bell and Noah Gray, and linebacker Leo Chenal.
Value (sleeping) selection:
Jordan Franks: So far, the narrow end of the 2018 UDFA has turned its head. Reports of several hard hits (including touchdowns) with another Kansas City team make us wonder if the Chiefs may have an unexpected position fight. Travis Kelce is still the best in his business – and it looks like Jody Fortson will pick up where he left off. That’s how Franks faces an uphill rise. But Blake Bell is missing and Noah Gray has been quiet. It is possible that a door will open for Franks to win a job. Josephis.
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