Promo code: cjp, 10% discount！
Welcome to the official hype portion of the NFL calendar.
Fan adrenaline heightens during this part of the offseason. Football-related news items and reports of eye-catching plays from OTAs fuel the excitement.
But for every great reception a wide receiver hauls, remember that defensive backs do not have an open toolbox to work with at this time of the year. A cornerback accustomed to playing press-man coverage tends to ease up during OTAs because of the NFL’s no-contact rules. Moreover, a safety coming over the top usually won’t deliver a hit to potentially dislodge the football.
Simply put, receivers should and often will look good making catches.
The lack of full contact also makes it challenging to effectively evaluate certain position groups, such as the offensive Nike Gehrig Dieter Jersey, and interior defensive lines. Their time to shine will arrive in late July during fully padded one-on-one drills.
Phase III of an NFL team’s offseason workout program is a continuation of the learning process, a period during which players apply what they’ve absorbed in classrooms on the field. And one of the steps the coaches want to see is whether the players, especially rookies like center Creed Humphrey and former Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton, know the playbook and their own assignments.
These 10 days of on-field work should offer at least some insight on what the Chiefs are thinking about their personnel groups — who’s lining up where, for instance — ahead of training camp.
REMEMBER THE TOE
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is still on the mend following offseason toe surgery, but there’s no reason for alarm if he doesn’t participate fully during OTAs.
In late April, Mahomes addressed his recovery process by saying it was going well and ahead of schedule. The star signal-caller said he hoped to “do some stuff by the end of the offseason.”
Mahomes’ projection likely indicates he’ll be closer to full speed by mid-June’s mandatory minicamp or this summer’s training camp.
Bottom line: Mahomes won’t be rushed back on the field until he’s ready.
With Chad Henne, Anthony Gordon and Signed Gehrig Dieter Jersey, rookie Shane Buechele on their offseason roster, the Chiefs have plenty of arms to get through practice sessions if Mahomes doesn’t take part in team drills right away.
The left tackle spot belongs to two-time Pro Bowler Orlando Brown Jr., whom the Chiefs traded for a week before the NFL Draft. And Joe Thuney is a sure thing at left guard.
That leaves at least three starting offensive line spots up for grabs, and the Chiefs have plenty of options for filling them.
Veteran center Austin Blythe signed a one-year deal during free agency. The Chiefs used a second-round pick (63rd overall) on Oklahoma’s Creed Humphrey, who entered the selection process as arguably the top center available. Neither Blythe nor Humphrey appear to have a clear advantage in the Chiefs’ offensive scheme, as both are learning a new playbook.
At right guard, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif returns after opting out in 2020. To give him some competition, the Chiefs signed former three-time Pro Bowler Kyle Long out of retirement during free agency and tendered Andrew Wylie as a restricted free agent.
The right tackle spot is poised to be a battle between veteran Mike Remmers, who returned on a one-year deal during free agency, and Lucas Niang, who opted out of his rookie season in 2020.
Add in Nick Allegretti, Martinas Rankin, Yasir Durant and Daryl Williams, and it’s clear the Chiefs have a lot to sort through.
It’s realistic to anticipate a fluid situation at center, right guard and right tackle, with players rotating in and out of the first- and second-team Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic, units throughout OTAs. The final front five won’t likely be determined until early in training camp.
WIDE RECEIVER CONUNDRUM
Tyreek Hill is a given as a starter, but then things get interesting. The Chiefs must find a replacement for Sammy Watkins, who signed with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Chiefs brought back Demarcus Robinson on a one-year deal. Mecole Hardman enters his third season. And former Kansas State star Byron Pringle has drawn praise from general manager Brett Veach. The Chiefs further bolstered their depth at receiver by using a fifth-round pick on Cornell Powell.
Marcus Kemp and Gehrig Dieter also return, while veterans Chad Williams and Antonio Callaway bring experience with other teams. Among this group, Callaway, who started 13 games for Cleveland in 2018-19, may be the most intriguing.
“We’re excited about him,” Veach said last month.
In total, the Chiefs’ roster features 14 wide receivers, including former K-State standout Dalton Schoen, on an offseason roster of 90. Expect a spirited battle for the top five or six spots behind Hill.
SETTING THE EDGE
Defensive ends Tanoh Kpassagnon, who signed a free-agent deal with the New Orleans Saints, and Alex Okafor, an unrestricted free agent, are gone.
The Chiefs need to identify a complementary pass rusher opposite Frank Clark and the top contenders project to be Taco Charlton, Mike Danna and rookie Joshua Kaindoh, the team’s fourth-round pick this spring.
That trio will rotate throughout OTAs, but here’s another factor to consider.
The Chiefs signed defensive tackle Jarran Reed this offseason. Reed could present a stout tandem alongside Chris Jones in the interior of the team’s 4-3 base scheme. The Chiefs could even consider sliding Jones to an edge spot, depending on their defensive sub-packages.