NFL draft makeover: Chiefs remain in contention but need help on defense, at receiver


Yahoo Sports 12 October, 2021 - 03:03pm

Who did Josh Allen jump over?

Famously, Allen leapt over Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr in 2018. Now Chiefs cornerback L'Jarius Sneed knows exactly what that feels like. One of the top highlights from the Bills' convincing 38-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football was Allen extending a late drive by jumping over Sneed. Bills WireEven Sean McDermott loved Josh Allen's hurdle: 'He can jump over me if he wants'

Where can I watch Bills vs Chiefs?

How can I watch Bills vs. Chiefs online via live stream? Fans can watch the game on the NBC Sports App or Peacock streaming service, FuboTV. Sling, YouTube TV, and Hulu + Live TV. The NFL and Yahoo! Sports apps also allow fans to watch the game on mobile devices. Rochester Democrat and ChronicleBuffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Live stream, time, date, odds, how to watch

Why is KC vs Buffalo delayed?

The Buffalo Bills' offense has been electric against the Kansas City Chiefs. Another injection of electricity near GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium postponed the Sunday Night Football game at halftime. Rochester Democrat and ChronicleBills-Chiefs delayed at halftime due to lightning at Arrowhead Stadium

What are the odds on the Chiefs Bills game?

Chiefs vs. Bills spread: Kansas City -3. Chiefs vs. Bills over-under: 56.5 points. Chiefs vs. Bills money line: Kansas City -150, Buffalo +130. CBSSports.comChiefs vs. Bills odds, line, spread: Sunday Night Football picks, predictions from proven model on 124-82 run

Minty Bets, Nick Bromberg, Pamela Maldonado, Frank Schwab

Andy Behrens, Dalton Del Don, Matt Harmon, Liz Loza, Scott Pianowski

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

You Pod to Win the Game

The Chiefs have lost thee games in their first five outings in 2021. With Patrick Mahomes as their starting quarterback, the team's third loss had typically taken a lot longer to arrive — in Week 16 in 2018, in Week 8 in 2019 and in the Super Bowl last season.

It has been an atypically tough start for the team, even if their losses came to three current division leaders. Mahomes remains on pace to throw for more than 5,000 yards and 54 touchdowns, so he's not really the issue.

The problem lately has been that Mahomes has been asked to cover up the Chiefs' other shortcomings. Some games he can, others it's just too big an ask.

And in no way are we writing off a team that can flip the switch to nuclear mode at a moment's notice. Some might argue they remain the team to beat in the AFC until further notice, even after the Buffalo Bills' tide-shifting victory at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

But if the Chiefs don't repair their defense for the long term, as well as insulate Mahomes better, it's also not hard to see the team slip into a post-championship lull, much the way that great quarterbacks such as Brett Favre, Drew Brees and Troy Aikman (and others) fell into for similar reasons.

The Chiefs have most of their draft capital in 2022 after making some trades prior to the 2021 NFL draft. Next spring they'll have most of their own original selections, swapping out their fifth-rounder for Baltimore's sixth-round pick (via the Orlando Brown trade) and a sixth for a seventh-rounder (Mike Hughes trade). If they receive a compensatory pick, it likely will be a seventh-rounder.

So how can the Chiefs keep their championship window open? One draft class alone might not be able to do it, but we think it actually could be the start of an important refortification period.

The Chiefs have lacked a second pressure player up front. Chris Jones has been asked to play more outside, and it has reduced his footprint on games. The struggles of Frank Clark since he received a big payday have been well-documented. 

There simply are not enough candidates on the roster to replace Clark fully now. The Chiefs have drafted only two Day 3 EDGE players (Joshua Kaindoh, Round 4, 2021; Mike Danna, Round 5, 2020) since taking Dee Ford in Round 1 in 2014. Alex Okafor, a replacement-level edge rusher who turns 31 soon, has received fairly robust snaps this season.

Hence the need for new blood here. And unlike the past few years, it appears to be a good draft class to have a need on the edge. Depending on where the Chiefs ultimately end up picking in Round 1, they could have their choice of a few options. 

If you look at the Chiefs' defense, it's easy to see they desire mass, length and high-level athleticism in their edge defenders. Harrison checks all those boxes off at 6-foot-6, 265 pounds and with the athletic burst of a player 20 to 30 pounds lighter.

Has he set the college football world on fire? Not yet. But Harrison was an elite high-school recruit who has played at a respectable level for the Buckeyes the past two-plus seasons, often generating a high rate of pressures and hits, even his if sack total (7.5 in 26 career games) and disruptions (one forced fumble, three passes defended) are moderate at best so far.

Still, a team like the Chiefs would be smart to bet on Harrison's traits. Even if his production doesn't spike down the stretch, he could vault higher than wherever the Chiefs pick if he blows up the NFL scouting combine, as expected. Some scouts believe Harrison will run in the high 4.5-second range in the 40-yard dash and perform very well in the jumping drills.

Entering the season, Demus earned mostly third- and fourth-round grades from NFL scouts. He was the Terrapins' best offensive weapon the past few seasons and had been off to a great start in 2021, catching four or more passes in every game and averaging 18.1 yards per catch at 6-foot-3 and 217 pounds, all while earning extra attention as the one skill-position player opponents felt they needed to stop against Maryland.

That all changed two weeks ago when Demus suffered a season-ending knee injury in the loss to Iowa. It was a crushing blow for player and program alike. 

Demus is a height-weight-speed prospect who can stretch the field vertically. The Chiefs have been seeking this type of big-framed, clean-moving target for some time now. They brought in Josh Gordon as a dart throw and still have Demarcus Robinson, but adding a receiver in this mold feels like a priority.

When Demus was being carted off the field following his injury, he mouthed the words "I'll be back" to his teammates. It's possible he feels like there is unfinished business. But we also wouldn't blame him for declaring early if he felt like the injury and rehab wouldn't set back his ability to work out for NFL teams during the next draft cycle.

If he does enter the 2022 class, Demus could still be available in the middle rounds because of the injury. It might scare off other teams, but the dice-rolling Chiefs typically will bet on elite traits and likely wouldn't be scared off by his medical limitations.

The Chiefs have shown an affinity for taking gambles on FBS-level prospects (and lower), such as Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, James O'Shaughnessy, Tyreek Hill (who spent a year at West Alabama after being dismissed from Oklahoma State), Ukeme Eligwe and Tremon Smith. They've had a pretty decent hit rate on this type of projection pick.

Bell fits that mold. The redshirt senior has taken a circuitous route to this point, committing to Maryland (and leaving before taking a snap), spending a year at Albany State in 2015, transferring to Iowa Community College, followed by a year off, a season at Coffeyville CC and then landing with the D2 Argonauts in 2019.

Settling down there, Bell has established himself as one of the best D2 prospects in the country. He's a big hitter at a shade under 6-1 and 210 pounds, and scouts estimate he can run in the high 4.4s. Bell has the explosive athletic ability and production (three INTs, 15 PBUs, four fumble recoveries) to draw NFL scouting attention, even if he's an older prospect. 

Bell led UWF's defense to the D2 title in 2019, collecting two pass breakups and one fumble recovery in the title game. This season, the Argos are the unquestioned No. 1 ranked team on the D2 level with Bell leading the way on defense.

Although Bell might not quite get the attention that second-rounders Kyle Dugger and Jeremy Chinn received two years ago, he's a Senior Bowl candidate whose postseason workouts could put him very much in the Day 3 picture.

The Chiefs really need to find players at safety, a position where their depth and talent have been stretched almost as far as they can go.

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Chiefs officially place running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire on injured reserve

Arrowhead Pride 13 October, 2021 - 12:05am

The running back suffered an MCL sprain on Sunday.

It was reported on Monday that Edwards-Helaire suffered an MCL sprain during the Chiefs’ loss to the Buffalo Bills, which would cost him a few weeks. Being placed on injured reserve rules Edwards-Helaire out for at least the next three games — away at the Washington Football Team, away at the Tennessee Titans and at home against the New York Giants.

In the same tweet, the Chiefs announced the activations of running back Derrick Gore and Prince Tega Wanogho from the practice squad. Gore rounds out the room behind Darrel Williams and Jerick McKinnon, and Tega Wanogho stands to provide the Chiefs depth as they work through the fractured hand to left guard Joe Thuney.

Tega Wanogho played all 110 preseason snaps at left tackle, so the left guard depth would probably start with last year’s starter in Nick Allegretti or veteran Mike Remmers and continue with Austin Blythe, who can play center or guard.

The Chiefs also signed running back Elijah McGuire to the practice squad (more information on that here).

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