Tag Archives: Kansas City Chiefs

2019 NFL Draft recap, pick-by-pick: AFC West

Lock, the team’s second-round pick, finished his career with 12,193 yards passing (second in SEC history).
Denver Broncos Notable picks:  The team traded its 10th overall pick, yet still got the draft’s 21st player overall at Pick 20.  In addition, the team nabbed our 32nd-ranked player in Risner early in the second round. Although Lock was deeper on our board (54th overall), we don’t think the Broncos could have waited any longer to pull the trigger on the third-best QB in the draft.  Of the team’s undrafted free agents, Nevada’s Malik Reed has the most suddenness and could have easily been a draft pick.  For the second consecutive year, John Elway added solid players to an underrated nucleus.  Ultimately, however,  this draft’s eventual grade will come down to the development of Lock.
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1 (20) Traded its first round pick (10th overall) to the Pittsburgh Steelers for the team’s Noah Fant TE/Iowa 21/1st Round Although his teammate T.J. Hockenson won the 2018 John Mackey Award, it was Fant who earned first-team All-Big Ten honors as voted on by the coaches. Fant’s 4.5 speed will be a welcome addition down the seams for new quarterback John Flacco.   
2 (41) Dalton

Risner

OL/Kansas State 32/2nd Round It doesn’t take long to understand the value of Risner, who despite having natural lateral quickness, needs to close off the bottom of the pocket more consistently as an outside tackle.  If he moves back into the center position (where he started in 2015), then we think he’ll challenge for a starting spot.
2 (42)

Acquired from Cincinnati

Drew Lock QB/Missouri 54/2nd Round Lock can challenge all parts of the field with range that is comparable to Joe Flacco, the man he is asked to backup initially in Denver.  We felt that the former Tiger needed a bridge quarterback and Flacco fits the bill.
3 (71) Dre’Mont Jones DT/Ohio State 33/2nd Round Jones’ outstanding footwork frequently allowed him to work over guards after gaining an edge.  For him to become a legitimate starter, he will have to play heavier at the point of attack.
5 (156)

Acquired from Minnesota

Justin Hollins DE-OLB/Oregon 202/4th Round Hollins proved during 2019 East-West Shrine practicesthat he was at least adequate as an exchange LB.  It is a big reason he took home East-West Shrine Game Defensive MVP honors.  The former Duck forced eight fumbles in school. 
6 (187)

Acquired from Carolina

Juwann

Winfree

WR/

Colorado, Maryland

425/5th Round Winfree has unique route-running skill and underrated field speed.  The former Terrapin rarely has to idle himself into patterns.  The Broncos struck gold by staying in-state a year ago with UDFA Pro Bowler Phillip Lindsay and hope to do so again with its sixth-round pick.
Hardman averaged nearly 21 yards per punt return in 2018 and accounted for eight touchdowns (7 REC, 1 PR).

 

Kansas City Chiefs Notable picks: The Chiefs went into the draft looking to add pieces as opposed to having to fill them.  One position of note that the team didn’t address until Day 3 is cornerback.  Heading into the 2019 campaign, they have a rather unproven group of outside cornerbacks.  They will likely have to depend on Kendall Fuller to give them some reps on the flanks after the loss of underrated CB Steven Nelson. In addition, the team is probably depending on Emmanuel Ogbah, who has quietly posted 17 pass break-ups in his career, to be a serviceable left defensive end opposite the recently acquired Frank Clark.
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2 (56)

Acquired from Los Angeles via New England via Chicago

Mecole Hardman All-Purpose/Georgia 72/2nd Round It doesn’t take long to determine where Hardman is inclined to work.  He can become a serious contender for playing time in the slot if he can show increased ball skills and awareness. His biggest strength is the ability to accelerate through the reception, but he left some passes on the field.  We think he is one of the top return threats in the draft. `
2 (63)

Acquired from Los Angeles

Juan

Thornhill

DB/Virginia 179/3rd Round Thornhill, a former corner at Virginia, doesn’t mind mixing it up in coverage.  His biggest weakness came when routes broke away from him (either at safety or corner).  The former high school basketball star uses outstanding leaping ability to supplement first-rate instincts.  He was used in somewhat of a hybrid role in 2018.
3 (84)

Acquired from Seattle

Khalen Saunders DT/Western Illinois 179/3rd Round Saunders has some traits that are similar to former Texas DL and current New Orleans Saints DL Malcom Brown.  An above average athlete, he was a tough block for guards or tackles.  Stamina is a bit of a question mark.
6 (201) Rashad Fenton CB/South Carolina 269/4th Round Have you ever seen a player who may not look as fast as he really is?  This is the case for Fenton, who shined as a kickoff returner at various points of his career.  His quick-footed nature and overall toughness means he could get looks at the nickel back spot.
6 (214) Darwin Thompson RB/Utah State 306/4th Round An explosive Pro Day forced evaluators to go back to the tape for Thompson.  What they found was a patient runner with enough speed to bounce runs outside.  A season that featured a 15.3 yards per reception average proved he can catch too.
7 (216)

Acquired from San Francisco

Nick

Allegretti

OG/Illinois 220/4th Round The former Illini two-time team captain started 36 straight games to end his career. We feel the right guard position gives him the best chance to earn a roster spot. Why?  He shifts his weight on opponents as well as any guard in this year’s draft.

 

Jacobs (No. 8 pictured) scored 14 touchdowns on just 154 touches in 2018.

 

Oakland Raiders Notable pick: Newly-hired GM Mike Mayock selected potential core players who add substance to the roster.  Ferrell and Jacobs both played large parts in each of their respective team’s national championship runs. Although Abram represented a personality pick, how different is he from former West Virginia safety Karl Joseph?  The selection of Crosby means the team now has a number of edge rushers to throw at teams, even if none of them would be described as a dominant game changer. Mullen, Johnson and college free agent Keisean Nixon join a cornerback group suddenly filled with young talent and depth.
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1 (4) Clelin Ferrell DE/Clemson 15/1st Round Ferrell averaged 17 tackles for loss per year over the course of the last three seasons.  His ability to finish on the quarterback is undeniable.  The big knock on him was a relative lack of natural bend off the edge.  He is long enough to compensate.
1 (24) Josh Jacobs RB/Alabama 61/2nd Round Jacobs’ running style and receiving skill largely mirrors that of the runner who started for the Raiders the last two seasons, Marshawn Lynch when he came out of school.  He is just not as fast as Lynch was coming out of school. 
1 (27) Johnathan Abram S/

Mississippi State,

Georgia

52/2nd Round Somewhat of a Donte Whitner-type (Bills, 49ers), Abram could become a complement to fellow safety Karl Joseph.  The former Georgia Bulldog has covered the slot effectively, but we don’t think that’s a role he will be asked to man consistently in the NFL.  He will, however, be asked to lock down tight ends.
2 (40) Trayvon Mullen CB/Clemson 95/3rd Round The former high school WR has positive hand-eye coordination and timing. During his two years as a starter, he displayed a keen sense of handling man or zone assignments.  At 6-foot-1, 199 pounds, he is an adequate tackler. 
4 (106) Maxx

Crosby

DE-OLB/Eastern

Michigan

273/4th Round Crosby’s gangly, unorthodox style conjures up images of former Buffalo Bills star Bryce Paup.  For him to make it, he has to play with more sand in the pants.
4 (129)

Acquired from Indianapolis

Isaiah Johnson CB/Houston 139/3rd Round Johnson’s ability to win in zone coverage comes from his receiving background.  In addition, he is one of the top gunners in the 2019 NFL Draft.  Standing 6-foot-2, 208 pounds, the former wideout will find playing time in some capacity in Year 1.
4 (137)

Compensatory pick acquired from Atlanta

Foster Moreau TE/LSU 181/3rd Round Although he wasn’t featured as a receiving tight end at LSU, Moreau contains underrated athleticism and will be a fine on the move or hand in the dirt Y-tight end.  It would not be a surprise to see his receiving skills expand at the NFL level.  He can create separation at the top of his routes.
5 (149)

Acquired from Dallas via Cincinnati

Hunter

Renfrow

WR/

Clemson

126/3rd Round The operative thinking is that Renfrow turns into a multi-year contributor at the slot wide receiver position and you’re done with it…right?  What about special teams production for a receiver weighing in the 180-pound range?  Despite showing up at the gunner spot (ex: Russell Athletic Bowl ’15), he posted just four career tackles.  He did, however, serve as the team’s emergency punter.
7 (230)

Acquired from Atlanta

Quinton Bell Prairie View A&M N/A Bell averaged 13.6 yards per catch before transitioning to defense in 2018.  He responded with 7.5 quarterback sacks and 10 tackles for losses.  He’s bulked up in weight while still maintaining his explosiveness (41 1/2-inch VJ). 

 

Tranquill (No. 23 pictured), a former safety, finished with 292 career tackles for the Fighting Irish.

 

Los Angeles Chargers Notable picks: Tillery’s unique athleticism (4.33 20-yard short shuttle) and heavy hands (10 5/8”) offsets an inconsistent pad level.   Adderley’s range belies his timed speed.  Pipkins has a skill-set and profile that closely mirrors incumbent right tackle Sam Tevi.  Stick may be used in a surprise role for the team and Broughton can play multiple positions.  Tranquill’s foot speed and safety experience could earn him a role in sub-packages, but we expect him to star on special teams immediately.
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1 (28) Jerry Tillery Notre Dame 19/2nd Round Tillery has all of the tools to be a multi-purpose defensive lineman in the NFL.  His style lends itself to somewhat of an Arik Armstead-type (San Francisco 49ers).  Both players were bunch producers in school.
2 (60) Nasir

Adderley

DB/

Delaware

43/2nd Round Adderley’s timed speed does not accurately represent the speed that really matters….his eye speed. His ability to read the quarterback’s body language really was unparalleled in this year’s draft class.  His major key will be finding a balance when it comes to making open field tackles consistently in space.
3 (91) Trey Pipkins OT/Sioux Falls 119/3rd Round He displays positive bend, impressive mobility and an element of finish necessary to compete on Sundays.  His short lateral kick-slide will have to deepen if he is going to stay outside.  We went into how his outstanding NFL Combine workout would be the final factor in swaying NFL coaches and personnel.
4 (130) Drue

Tranquill

LB/Notre Dame 194/4th Round The former safety uses his 4.5 speed to make plays all over the field.  His stock stayed steady due to his ability to return from a couple of freak ACL injuries during school.  It didn’t stop him from finishing his career with 292 tackles and 25 tackles for losses in 52 career appearances.
5 (166) Easton Stick QB/North Dakota State 301/4th Round His 4.6 40-yard dash time opens eyes, but maybe not even as much as his blistering 6.65 time in the three-cone drill.  It is a big reason he rushed for 41 TDs in school.  He doesn’t have former Bison QB Carson Wentz’s arm, but he does have even more impressive athleticism.  The Chargers will find a way to incorporate it on a deep team.
6 (200) Emeke

Egbule

OLB/

Houston

490/5th Round His defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio said of Egbule, “he’s our most versatile player in space.”  It will be imperative for him show these traits for scouts during training camp to earn a roster spot.
7 (242) Cortez Broughton DL/

Cincinnati

247/4th Round In a deep 2019 defensive tackle class, it probably isn’t a surprise that Broughton was one of the overlooked prospects.  Aside from notching 16.5 tackles for losses in 2018, he also put together a pretty good week at the 2019 East-West Shrine Game. Icing on the cake for Broughton came on Cincinnati’s Pro Day, where he notched an impressive 33 1/2-inch vertical jump at 293 pounds.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 12-9-18: In-game report

In a matchup between mentor and mentee, the mentor bested his understudy.  Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs defeated John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens, 27-24, to remain in first place in the AFC.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in- game report:

Travis Kelce

When Kelce is rolling, the Kansas City Chiefs offense is rolling. Teams that have defeated the Chiefs have not been able to completely stop Kelce but have been able to limit his productivity or force him and his team to use more targets to get his catches.  The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Chiefs and even though Kelce had 10 catches for 127 yards, it took him 15 targets to post those numbers.  The Patriots were the Chiefs only other loss this season, they double teamed and chipped Kelce all night and held him to five catches on nine targets for 61 yards.  Against the Ravens, Kelce caught two passes on the first possession of the game and forced a holding call on cornerback Marlon Humphrey that resulted in a touchdown.  For the game, he caught seven passes on nine targets for 77 yards and one touchdown. The Chiefs second-ranked scoring offense and No. 3 ranked passing game are a direct reflection of Kelce’s productivity.  If a team hopes to stop the Chiefs offense, then they must prioritize defending Kelce. 

Ravens defense

Despite giving up catches to Kelce early, Baltimore held the Chiefs to 27 points, tied for their lowest output of the season.  The Ravens forced Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes to drive the length of the field and kept everything in front of them by always keeping a safety deep.  Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale also switched up blitz schemes which kept Mahomes off balance and resulted in three sacks.  The Chiefs still managed 92 rushing yards and 347 passing yards but the chunk plays were minimal. The fourth down 48-yard heave across the field from Mahomes to Tyreek Hill was a back breaker for the Ravens. However, besides that play and a screen pass to Spencer Ware, the Ravens didn’t give up a play of more than 25 yards defensively.  Look for the Chiefs division rival, the Los Angeles Chargers, to try and replicate the Ravens defensive game plan when the two teams meet on Thursday.  

Lamar Jackson

The former Louisville quarterback has struggled with turnovers and accuracy issues (58 percent completion percentage, three interceptions and eight fumbles) since he has been under center. However, Jackson has given the Ravens offense a spark because of his running ability and quick passing ability.  Baltimore has went to a more run-pass option attack and one-read passing concepts with Jackson.  Against the Chiefs, the Ravens used their tight end as a motion man to get involved as the lead blocker in power running plays and as a safety option for Jackson in the short passing game. Jackson completed 13-of-24 passes for two touchdowns and ran for 71 yards.  As he gets more comfortable, look for the playbook to expand, but for now Jackson has been productive and has put the Ravens in positions to win.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots, 10-14-18: In-game report

Two of the premier coaches in the NFL faced off in primetime on Sunday Night Football.  New England (4-2) was able to keep pace with the Chiefs (5-1) in the conference after a last second field goal pushed them to victory.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:

Patriots power running game

The Patriots use of offset I-formations with fullback James Develin (No. 46 pictured) and Rob Gronkowski (No. 87 pictured) led a running game that carried the offense for the much of the night.

Bill Belichick flipped the script on Sunday night, instead of relying on his future Hall of Fame quarterback, the longtime coach relied on a power run game.  The Patriots used fullback James Develin in the I-formation and the offset I-formation, while also putting Rob Gronkowski at the tight end spot with his hand in the ground in order to establish a strong push in the run game.  Kansas City ranks 28th in the league in rushing yards allowed and the Patriots took advantage of it.  New England ran for 173 yards and actually ran three more times than they passed.  This power run game will probably be an outlier, but credit to Belichick for his willingness to adjust the game plan for specific game-to-game needs.

Patrick Mahomes 

Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes has a 112.2 quarterback rating through six starts in 2018.

The first-year starter has burst onto the scene and what immediately jumps out about Mahomes is his raw arm talent. Mahomes can make plays off schedule while falling off his back foot reminiscent of the kinds of throws that are usually reserved for Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.  In the first quarter, Mahomes darted  a pass from his back foot and across his body to the waiting hands of Chris Conley, placing the ball where only his receiver could make the play.  The Chiefs quarterback finished with 352 passing yards and four touchdowns but he did throw two interceptions, which led to points for the Patriots.  Mahomes first interception came when Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower faked a blitz and dropped into coverage, fooling the young quarterback.  The second came on a pass where Mahomes was rolling right and tried to throw across his body to tight end Travis Kelce, who was double covered.  Mahomes should be able to fix those types of interceptions with experience. For now, Mahomes should remind Andy Reid of another talented gunslinger that he coached in Brett Favre. 

Patriots defense 

Bill Belichick’s defensive mantra has remained constant since he came to New England: make your second or third best players beat us offensively.  The Patriots doubled Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce all night and sacrificed the pass rushing of Dont’a Hightower and Trey Flowers in order to chip Kelce at the line. The game plan worked as the Pats held Kelce to five catches for 61 yards. However, Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill were left with more room to roam free as a result. The pair combined for 327 total yards and four touchdowns. It was a tale of two halves for the Patriots, who led 24-9 at halftime. If these two teams meet again in the playoffs, Belichick might have to tinker with his game-plan because despite holding Kelce in check, Hill and Hunt nearly upended New England in Foxboro. 

2018 NFL Draft Recap, pick-by-pick: AFC West

AFC WEST

Denver

Broncos

Freeman went over the 100-yard mark 31 times during his four-year run in Eugene.

Notable pick: Chubb will get a lot of one-on-one matchups working opposite Von Miller. It won’t be good for AFC West opponents. Freeman may be the grinder the Broncos need to control the clock and set up the play action pass game for Case Keenum. This could take pressure off of the team’s offensive tackles.

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1 (5) Bradley

Chubb

DE-6’4 269

NC State 1 (1st Round) Chubb took his game to the next level in 2017 by adding a deft swipe move to complement his ability to post tackles. He will get even more tutelage from the NFL’s best in Von Miller.
2 (40) Courtland

Sutton

WR-6’3 218

SMU 28 (2nd Round) Sutton has all of the skills to develop into a No. 1 WR in the NFL. It won’t happen if he doesn’t eliminate the drops that show up once per game.
3 (71) Royce

Freeman

RB-5’11 229

Oregon 27 (2nd Round) He ran for over 5,600 yards and scored 60 TDs in school. At nearly 230 pounds, he runs with a light-footed nature.
3 (99) Isaac

Yiadom

CB-6’1 190

Boston College 166 (4th Round) Yiadom is one of the better cornerbacks in the draft playing with his back to the ball. Despite just adequate recovery speed, his length (32 ¼” arms) increases his recovery ability.
4 (106) Josey

Jewell

LB-6’1 234

Iowa 104 (3rd Round) Jewell’s instincts are top-notch and he is adept at making in-game adjustments to combat offensive personnel.
4 (113) DaeSean

Hamilton

WR-6’1 202

Penn State 63 (2nd Round) Hamilton brings slot quickness and outside wide receiver size to a unit that will move him around to create mismatches.
5 (156) Troy

Fumagalli

TE-6’5 247

Wisconsin 337 (5th Round Fumagalli is yet another pass receiving option for the Broncos in the middle of the field for Case Keenum. He’s not a burner, but he catches everything in his area code.
6 (217) Keishawn Bierria

LB-6’0 230

Washington 342 (5th Round) Back-to-back second-team All-Pac-12 selection was a factor on the kickoff team in school…too.
7 (226) David Williams

RB-5’11 229

Arkansas, South Carolina 301 (4th Round) The Broncos have struck gold in the past with late round running backs. The former Gamecock averaged 5.6 yards per carry for the Razorbacks in a pro-style scheme in 2017.

 

Kansas

City

Chiefs

Nnadi may not look the part, but he produced 9.5 QB sacks and 20.5 tackles for losses for the Seminoles over the last two seasons (2016-17).

Notable pick: Watts was dinged for average workouts prior to the draft. When teams look back at this draft, he could become one of the value picks in this class.

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2 (46) Breeland

Speaks

DL-6’3 283

Ole Miss 77 (3rd Round) Speaks has the look of current Jacksonville Jaguars DL Malik Jackson. Like Jackson, he may be underrated coming out of school. Speaks is athletic enough to play either the end or OLB spots.
3 (75) Derrick

Nnadi

DT-6’1 317

FSU 109 (3rd Round) For a 6-foot-1 defensive tackle, he established lockout on a consistent basis. Very good instincts.
3 (100) Dorian

O’Daniel

LB-6’0 5/8 223

Clemson 162 (3rd  Round) O’Daniel covers the slot, RBs and is an outstanding special teams prospect.
4 (124) Armani

Watts

S-5’10 202

Texas A&M 64 (3rd Round) Watts may have been the most active run-defending safety in the SEC. He contributed 4 INTs in 2017.
6 (196) Tremon

Smith

CB-5’11 186

Central Arkansas 248 (4th Round) Smith was a terror in 2017 once he got his hands on the ball. He drops his weight to sink vs. intermediate routes and plays through the hands of bigger WRs in the Red Zone.
6 (198) Kahlil

McKenzie

DT-6’4 314

Tennessee 338 (5th Round) Despite being a DT in school, the Chiefs plan on moving him to the guard position. He looked good at this spot in pre-draft workouts.

 

Oakland

Raiders

Townsend will be counted on to replace former Oakland punter Marquette King. He produces hang times that average in the 4.6 range and placed 27 punts inside the 20-yard line for the Gators in 2017.

Notable pick: Hall could end up becoming the team’s best find. His collegiate productivity was unmatched and his versatility will open up the team’s defensive fronts. Despite average length for a DT, he produced 29 pass break-ups in school.

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1 (15) Kolton

Miller

OT-6’9 309

UCLA 65 (3rd Round) Miller has rare athleticism for a man of his size. His 23 career starts were a result of missing most of 2016 due to injury. Developing an anchor will be a key for Miller.
2 (57) P.J.

Hall

DL-6’0 308

Sam Houston St. 23 (2nd Round) Hall posted 86.5 tackles for losses in school and blocked 14 kicks. In addition, he found time to post four interceptions.
3 (65) Brandon

Parker

OT-6’7 305

NC A&T 126 (3rd Round) Parker –much like Miller- needs improvement in terms of core strength. Also –like Miller- he has positive finishing instincts as a blocker.
3 (87) Trade from Los Angeles Rams Arden Key

DE-6’5 238

LSU 84 (3rd Round) If he can return to his 2016-form, the Raiders may have gotten another sub-package pass rush threat.
4 (110) Nick Nelson

CB-5’10 200

Wisconsin, Hawaii 60 (2nd Round) Nelson’s meniscus injury prior to the draft caused a slight slide. He may have gone a round higher. Dating back to his days at Hawaii, his footwork has always been his best friend.
5 (140) Maurice

Hurst

DL-6’1 291

Michigan 76 (3rd Round) Medical concerns made Hurst a Day 3 pick.   The Raiders got a player who is instant off the ball and wins with a slippery nature. He will push Eddie Vanderdoes.
5 (173) Johnny

Townsend

P-6’1 211

Florida 437 (5th Round) This may have been the team’s most important pick for its defense. The release of Marquette King necessitated it earlier than expected.   Townsend struggled out-kicking his coverage units in school.
6 (216) Azeem

Victor

LB-6’2 240

Washington 365 (5th Round) It seems like ages since Victor produced 95 tackles and 9.5 tackles for losses (2015). His final season was filled with suspension and off the field issues.
7 (228) Marcell

Ateman

WR-6’4 216

Oklahoma State 213 (4th Round) While not sudden, Ateman is athletic enough use his 78-inch wingspan to dwarf CBs in the Red Zone. Averaged nearly 20 yards per catch in 2017.

 

Los

Angeles

Chargers

Nwosu (No. 42 pictured) not only posted 9.5 QB sacks for the Trojans in 2017, he also broke up 13 passes.

Notable picks: James should be a Day 1 starter. Nwosu could very well do the same. Either way, the selection of Jones may be the most important pick of the first three selections. The Chargers ranked 31st versus the run in 2017.

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1 (17) Derwin

James

S-6’2 215

FSU 46 (2nd Round) The Chargers are going to look for James to be an intimidating eighth man in the box as well as the team’s enforcer in the middle of the field.
2 (48) Uchenna

Nwosu

OLB-6’3 251

USC 61 (2nd Round) Nwosu will challenge Kyle Emanuel for playing time immediately at an outside linebacker spot. His ability to affect the three-step passing game was rare in school (20 PBUs).
3 (84) Justin

Jones

DT-6’2 311

NC State 144 (3rd Round) Jones posted 8.5 tackles for loss in 2017. While not a pass rusher, he can hold the point of attack and will be a good rotational player in the Chargers defensive front.
4 (119) Kyzir

White

S-6’2 216

West Virginia 197 (4th Round) White is a good blitz threat with plus upper body strength. His ability to control stalk blockers could land him a spot in sub-packages.
5 (155) Scott

Quessenberry

OC-6’4 310

UCLA 110 (3rd Round) Quessenberry can hopefully improve the Chargers ability to move bodies in the run game.
7 (251) Justin Jackson

RB-5’11 199

Northwestern 265 (4th Round) Jackson’s vision is apparent. Despite a WR-like build, he was tough enough to withstand over 1,100 carries in his career.

Bryant’s Beehive: 3-for-3 into NFL Week 17

Is Dez Bryant worthy of carry the title of X-Factor? Is Drew Brees still the best QB in the NFC South? What challenges does Kansas City Chiefs rookie QB Patrick Mahomes face in his first career start? Read more to find out these answers and more in Bryant’s 3-for-3.

Dez Bryant: X-Factor or Not

There’s no question from a physical standpoint Dez Bryant is one of those Terrell Owens specimen-type athletes. However, Bryant’s mediocre productivity this season has only been a reflection of his previous two seasons in Dallas. The Cowboys need more from their big money receiver. Before the double coverage murmurs begin, teams have had to respect the veteran presence of Jason Witten, the consistency of Cole Beasley, and the speed of Terrance Williams. Even when comparing him with Hall of Fame WR Michael Irvin in his eighth-year in the NFL, Irvin had 111 catches for over 1,600 yards (1995). Despite a decline in his numbers and less games played the following season, Irvin went on to have back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons (1997-98). At this point, the projection of Bryant reaching his 2012-14 status is not looking so bright. In 2017, Bryant failed to have a 100-yard receiving game and according to Pro Football Focus, he ranks second in the NFL with nine drops. The bottom line is Bryant is underperforming his contract, as well as his lead position for the Cowboys organization. With the future at quarterback and running back, is it time for the Cowboys to seek a No. 1 WR in the 2018 NFL Draft?

‘Brees’-ing Through

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees continues to find the Fountain of Youth. Over the last few seasons, the NFC South has been graced with the athleticism of Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton, Atlanta Falcons 2016 MVP QB Matt Ryan, and the emerging Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Jameis Winston. However, the 38-year old veteran has led his team to its first winning record and playoff berth in four seasons. Perhaps these accomplishments are more fulfilling at this stage in his career than passing for 5,000 yards in a season (something he has accomplished four times). With one more game remaining on schedule, Brees has completed a career-high 71.9% of his passes and has managed to stay in the single digit column in interceptions (8). It has been eight years since Drew Brees has hoisted the Lombardi Trophy.  Does the ageless wonder have what it takes to bring another championship back to New Orleans?

Mahomes Debut

After locking up the AFC West for the second season in a row and clinching a spot in the playoffs, head coach Andy Reid is turning the keys over to rookie QB Patrick Mahomes for Sunday’s contest against the Denver Broncos. While this game may serve as a meaningless game for some, Mahomes will still be tested by a Broncos defense that ranks second in the league in total defense and fourth in the league against the pass.  Mahomes, the 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft, displayed great arm strength, strong hips through his release, and mobility coming out of Texas Tech. With a notable seasoned veteran and the potential contract discussions of Alex Smith at the end of the season, could we be getting a glimpse of the Chiefs new QB next season?