A Way Too Early Chiefs 53-man Roster Prediction

With the draft over and mini camps starting soon, there's not too much going on in the NFL world. Sure, Josh Gordon's application for reinstatement was rejected by the league, and Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned, but nothing major has happened. So, once again with fellow Chiefs enthusiast Brandon Norris, I bring you a way-too-early 53-man roster prediction for the Kansas City Chiefs. Brandon’s differences will be noted in parentheses. QB (3): Alex Smith, Patrick Mahomes, Tyler Bray Cut: Joel Stave Joel Stave doesn't seem like he'll beat out Tyler Bray, considering the latter remains on the roster despite being an undrafted free agent while drafted QB's Aaron Murray and Kevin Hogan (both 5th round) are no longer with the team. RB (4 – 3 + 1 FB): Spencer Ware, Kareem Hunt, Charcandrick West, Anthony Sherman Cut: C.J Spiller Hunt will probably steal much of West's snaps on third down, and may even steal Ware's workload as the season progresses. Ware was far better in 2015 when the [Read more...]

Royals Roundtable: Do you believe in (Esky) Magic?

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Ned Yost took a trip down Memory Lane last Monday, desperate for the Royals and their league-worst offense by almost any and every metric to turn it around, inserted Alcides Escobar into the leadoff, hoping there was still Esky Magic leftover from 2014 and 2015 – if it was ever real to begin with. Since, the Royals have won six of seven – including a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles and their then-second best record in the AL – winning consecutive series for the first time this season and are in midst of their second four-game winning streak of 2017. In the process they’re scoring 5.3 runs a game – nearly doubling what they were scoring through the first 30 games (2.7). Meanwhile, Escobar has gone 7-31 (.226) with the same number as his OBP. Currently, he is hitting just .193, and getting on base at a .221 rate. Not good. Protoypical leadoff hitter, right? A real table-setter? This is nothing new for the Royals when Alcides Escobar is penciled in to the top spot of the batting order. [Read more...]

Grading the Chiefs draft

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With the NFL Draft clearly in the rear view, its time to take a look back at what the Kansas City Chiefs did in effort to improve their roster. Unlike 2013-2016, where John Dorsey hoarded picks and was eager to trade down, he made some impressive trade ups – entering the draft with 10 picks, but selecting just six guys when it was all said and done. Most, if not all, of their picks were surprises to some degree. Round 1, Pick 10: QB Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech) I’m giving the Mahomes pick a B- for two reasons. One, we don’t know what his target start date is. Will it be 2018? 2019? It will heavily depend on how quickly he learns the offense. Two, whether or not Alex Smith continues to decline will also factor heavily into Mahomes’ start date. If he begins struggling, and fan outcry peaks, I don’t doubt the coaching staff will put Mahomes on the field. As far as Mahomes himself, I love what the Chiefs are doing. They have a Super Bowl caliber team, but not quarterback. Mahomes, with [Read more...]

As Charles heads to hated rival, let’s remember his greatness in Kansas City

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Jamaal Charles is now a Denver Bronco. Let that sink in. The Chiefs all-time leading rusher (7,260) was released in February as a salary cap casualty – due $8 million after playing just 8 games over the last two seasons. His one-year deal is worth up to $3.5M in incentives, but a base salary of only $900,00 is a cheap risk/reward deal for Denver. There have been plenty mixed emotions from Chiefs fan – from wondering how anyone can play for their former rival, to wishing him luck because no ill will to a guy that wants a job, to ‘who cares, he’ll get hurt anyway.’  Any of them are understandable. For me, I held out hope that maybe he would return to Kansas City on an incentives-based deal similar to what he received in Denver, but it was clear any glimmer that would happen was gone when the Chiefs selected Toledo running back Kareem Hunt – trading up to get him – in the third round in draft. Running back is a young man’s position, and at Charles age (surprisingly only 30, but still [Read more...]

Kansas City Chiefs 7-Round Mock Draft 2.0

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We're a mere hours from the NF draft. Collaborating with Brandon Norris of Arrowhead Addiction, we took our last shot at mocking the 2017 NFL Draft. Round One, Pick 27 My pick: QB DeShaun Watson (Clemson) I haven’t budged from this pick since day one, and spending the week re-watching the Chiefs 2016, I was reminded of how limiting Alex Smith is to this offense. With the help of Reid and the coaching staff the best can be brought out of him, and sitting behind Smith for a year or two will give him time to learn, and going from Mike Williams and Jordan Leggett to Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce is a rookie QB's dream. Brandon’s pick: RB Dalvin Cook (Florida St) Even though he had a bad combine, his film is special. He is amazing and will be an immediate replacement for Jamaal Charles. Round Two, Pick 59 My pick: CB Quincy Wilson (Florida) I picked Wilson here because the Chiefs need an upgrade at corner opposite Marcus Peters, and even if Terrance Mitchell is the real deal, can [Read more...]

NFL Mock Draft: Three Round Edition

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The NFL Draft is one day away, and it’s time for the second installment of my 2016 NFL Mock Draft. These picks based upon whom I believe these teams need to take, given their current roster and draft tendencies. Once again, I collaborated with Brandon Norris, but unlike our first mock, we’re mocking three rounds this time. Round 1, Pick 1: Cleveland Browns My Pick: EDGE Myles Garrett (Texas A&M) Brandon’s Pick: EDGE Garrett Neither of our picks changed here. The Browns need an impact rusher who can make the lives of Ben Rothelisberger and Joe Flacco living hell. Round 1, Pick 2: San Francisco 49ers  My Pick: EDGE Solomon Thomas (Stanford) Brandon’s Pick: Thomas The 49ers need pass rushers, and Thomas reminds me of Julius Peppers on tape. Round 1, Pick 3: Chicago Bears My Pick: WR Mike Williams (Clemson) Brandon’s Pick: CB Marshon Lattimore (Ohio State) Mike Glennon needs someone to make plays for him. Do you really trust Cameron Meredith, Eddie Royal, or Markus [Read more...]

Royals are failing Mondesi, not the other way around

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Anyone can watch Raul Mondesi at the plate this season and realize he is not comfortable standing in against Major League pitching. Not yet anyway. This is no secret, no giant debate, no conspiracy or "hawt take." The guy just isn't quite ready yet. But we KNEW this……..Didn't we?  In 2016 in 150 plate appearances, Mondesi posted a batting line of .185/.231/.512 for an OPS+ of 36. It doesn't take Bill James running the numbers to figure out that he was not very good at the plate. Coupled with 48 strikeouts, he looked uncomfortable and not ready then, just the same as he has in his first 50 plate appearances this season. Flashy spring training aside, he is still the same struggling 21 year old prospect who some day will be a superstar, but has yet to master the final level of competition. So why the anger NOW? Why are Royals fans so upset with watching him flail as though it is something totally unexpected? Just how much expectation did fans have for a guy with 14 games of experience [Read more...]

Kyle Zimmer can provide the boost the bullpen needs

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After the Royals fell to 2-5 with a dismal offensive performance in a 2-0 shutout on Monday – the Royals first Home Opener shutout since 1971, the Royals sent down a man who shouldn’t have even made the roster, Terrance Gore, to NW Arkansas after he made his only appearance of the season pinch-running for Salvador Perez in the ninth inning. Another roster move came down yesterday, with the struggling Matt Strahm sent to Triple-A Omaha. After his performance through the first week, his demotion should come as no surprise. He’s 0-2 with a 47.50 ERA and 7.50 WHIP so far in 2017 (1.1 IP in 3 appearances), after dominating hitters in 2016 to the tune of a 1.23 ERA, 1.09 WHIP in 22 innings last year. Command has been a major issue, as has twice as many walks this year. “I just need to stay on top of the ball,” Strahm said after Sunday’s loss, where he walked two in a row for a literal Astros walk-off in the 12th inning. “I see the problem, but I need to correct it.” Manager Ned Yost said [Read more...]

Just cancel the season

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It's a matter of minutes before the Royals will take on the Twins in the third game of the season-opening series. But, after losing the first two games by a combined score of 16-2, walking 18 batters, allowed two 6-run innings and registering just seven hits (.122 AVG), they might as well not even play today. Or the rest of the season. Just, shut it down. As the seasons first series comes to a close, we reflect back and observe the first two games offering up what seemed like closure. It is true that they signaled the beginning of the 2017 regular season, but they just as definitively ushered in the swan song of a dying era. With a crashing thud, the Royals managed to dash the hopes and dreams of fans and front office alike. With not one single aspect of the club operating as it should, (sans "Bury Me a Royal" Danny Duffy's performance) the players have begun their victory lap much as a retired player far past his prime waves to the crowd before his final game. While the legend is [Read more...]

NFL First Round Mock Draft 1.0

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With the NFL draft just three weeks + one days away, it’s time for the first installment of my 2016 NFL Mock Draft. These picks based upon whom I believe these teams need to take, given their current roster and draft tendencies. Round 1, Pick 1: Cleveland Browns: EDGE rusher Myles Garrett (Texas A&M) The Browns need a QB, but there’s not one in this draft worth the top pick. Garrett has the tools to build a defense around, and maybe even a franchise. Round 1, Pick 2: San Francisco 49ers: DE Solomon Thomas (Stanford) Great defenses have great pass rushers. Thomas can be that man. Round 1, Pick 3: Chicago Bears: DT Jonathan Allen (Alabama) The Bears need a true presence in the middle, and Allen can stop the run while pushing the pocket as a rusher. Round 1, Pick 4: Jacksonville Jaguars: SS Jamal Adams (LSU) The Jags have dedicated a ton of cap space and draft capital to their defense, so why not replace Jonathan Cyprien with a hard-hitting safety to scare teams away from the [Read more...]