Kansas City Chiefs (Last Year: 12-4)
2020 NFL Season Preview:
QB Jordan Ta'amu, TE Ricky Seals-Jones, OT Mike Remmers, DE Taco Charlton, CB Antonio Hamilton.
Early Draft Picks:
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LB Willie Gay Jr., OT Lucas Niang, CB/S L'Jarius Sneed. Chiefs Rookie Forecast
QB Matt Moore, RB LeSean McCoy, TE Blake Bell, C/G Stefen Wisniewski, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, DE Terrell Suggs, DT Xavier Williams, LB Reggie Ragland, CB Kendall Fuller, CB Morris Claiborne.
2020 Kansas City Chiefs Offense:
Andy Reid is an amazing coach when it comes to developing quarterbacks. He has transformed pedestrian signal-callers into capable ones (A.J. Feeley), capable players into good quarterbacks (Alex Smith, Jeff Garcia), and good ones into Pro Bowlers (Donovan McNabb). Reid had never worked with a dynamic talent like Patrick Mahomes prior to selecting him No. 10 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. The results followed the trajectory of Reid's other quarterbacks. Mahomes won the MVP award in 2018 despite being a first-year starter. Mahomes threw for 5,097 yards, a ridiculous 50 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions. He completed 66 percent of his passes and averaged 8.8 yards per attempt. He also was a potent threat as a rusher.
Mahomes' stats declined last year, but only because he was banged up on multiple occasions. He suffered a leg injury in the opener and was inconsistent for a few games after that. He then suffered what seemed like a gruesome knee malady on a Thursday night in Denver. There was fear that he would be lost for the season, but Mahomes missed just two games. Mahomes returned with a vengeance. Following a fluky loss to the Titans, the Chiefs didn't lose a single game after that. Mahomes achieved a big win in New England and then led three comeback victories in the playoffs, which included a fourth-quarter surge in the Super Bowl that featured a pair of touchdown drives to seal the victory.
Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL, and it's not even close. What's scary is that he has made just 31 regular-season starts in his career. If he stays healthy, he'll be unstoppable by the time he's making his 62nd start. Plus, it helps that he's armed with a terrific supporting cast that has remained intact this offseason. Tyreek Hill, who didn't play a full game until Week 6 last year, is one of the most electric play-makers in the NFL. He forms an amazing one-two punch with Travis Kelce, who is one of the top two tight ends in the NFL.
It seemed as though Sammy Watkins would leave via free agency, but the Chiefs retained him. He'll continue to be the No. 2 receiver to start the year, but it's possible that he's supplanted by one of Mecole Hardman or Demarcus Robinson. Both are young talents with plenty of speed and upside.
Speaking of young talents, Clyde Edwards-Helaire was selected with the final pick of the opening round in the 2020 NFL Draft. Edwards-Helaire is a dynamic back who catches passes very well out of the backfield. He's drawn comparisons to Maurice Jones-Drew, so he should, in theory, be able to serve as an upgrade over Damien Williams in the backfield.
The one weakness of Kansas City's scoring unit is the offensive line. The reason why the Chiefs were behind in the Super Bowl was that left tackle Eric Fisher was getting painfully abused by Nick Bosa. While it's difficult for anyone to block Bosa, Fisher didn't look like he had any sort of chance. Fisher is only slightly worse than guard Andrew Wylie and center Austin Reiter, although both are young and can improve. The best blockers are right tackle Mitchell Schwartz and guard Dr. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
2020 Kansas City Chiefs Defense:
The Chiefs completely reconstructed their defense last year, shifting from a 3-4 to a 4-3. This seemed to be a questionable move at the time because it entailed giving up on Justin Houston. However, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was able to make everything work. The stop unit improved as the season progressed and was great enough to limit the offenses Kansas City battled in the second halves of games.
Of course, the primary reason why the Chiefs improved later in the year was Chris Jones' return from injury. The stud defensive tackle is one of the top players in the NFL, regardless of position, so it's no surprise that the Chiefs lost just once in full games that Jones played. There was some speculation that the Chiefs would have to move on from Jones because of salary-cap reasons, but like Sammy Watkins, he'll be back for at least one more season.
Jones will join Frank Clark on the defensive line to put tons of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Clark logged eight sacks, which is a number that could easily improve in 2020. It would help if the Chiefs had a viable edge rusher across from him. Terrell Suggs played that role late in the year, but he's gone. Perhaps the Chiefs will be able to acquire another veteran to handle that role. An upgrade could also be found for defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi.
One of the true weaknesses of Kansas City's secondary is cornerback. Charvarius Ward, who is just 24, did very well last year, but help is needed around him, especially with the recently arrested Bashaud Breeland facing a suspension. Nickel cornerback Kendall Fuller left for the Redskins, so Kansas City needed to find help at two corner areas. The best it could do was spend a fourth-round selection on L'Jarius Sneed.
The Chiefs at least have two talented safeties to make up for the poor cornerback play. Tyrann Mathieu is coming off a great year, and he should continue to be a terrific play-maker for the team. Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Juan Thornhill has tons of promise. He played very well in 2019, and he could be even better next season.
The second major liability in Kansas City's defense is at linebacker. Anthony Hitchens has been a huge disappointment, so the team needed an upgrade at the position. It'll be interesting to see if second-round pick Willie Gay Jr. is able to perform on a high level in the near future.
2020 Kansas City Chiefs Schedule and Intangibles:
The Chiefs needed to bring back the Arrowhead magic that existed prior to 2007. Since that year, Kansas City was a dreadful 20-37 as a host heading into the 2014 campaign. However, Kansas City is now 39-15 at Arrowhead over the past five seasons. This includes the two victories in the playoffs leading up to Super Bowl LIV.
Andy Reid had poor special-teams units in Philadelphia after John Harbaugh left for Baltimore. That was not the case the past seven years for the Chiefs, as they combined for 12 return touchdowns. They've scored six during the past four seasons, thanks to Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman.
Harrison Butker was once again very accurate in field goals last year, hitting 34-of-38 tries, including 3-of-6 from from beyond 50. He missed three extra points, however.
Punter Dustin Colquitt has seen his net average decrease recently. He was 14th in 2018 and 23rd in 2019.
Aside from a road battle against the Ravens, the Chiefs have an easy schedule to start the year, at least until Week 6 when they travel to Buffalo. There are some very difficult games (at Baltimore, at Buffalo, at Tampa Bay, at New Orleans), but the home contests seem easy.
2020 Kansas City Chiefs Rookies:
Go here for the Chiefs Rookie Forecast
, a page with predictions like which rookie will bust and which rookie will become a solid starter.
2020 Kansas City Chiefs Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
2020 Kansas City Chiefs Analysis:
The Chiefs have some defensive problems, namely at cornerback and linebacker, but as long as Patrick Mahomes is healthy, that won't matter very much. The NFL is now Mahomes' league. Assuming there are no catastrophic injuries, the Chiefs have to be considered one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl each year until Mahomes slows down in his late 30s. Considering that Mahomes isn't even 25 yet, that's a scary proposition for the rest of the league.
13-3 (1st in AFC West)
2019 Projection: 13-3. 2019 Actual Result: 12-4.
2018 Projection: 11-5. 2018 Actual Result: 12-4.
2017 Projection: 11-5. 2017 Actual Result: 10-6.
2016 Projection: 10-6. 2016 Actual Result: 12-4.
2020 Fantasy Football Rankings
More 2020 NFL Season Previews
NFL Draft Team Grade: B- Grade
Goals Entering the 2020 NFL Draft: The Chiefs are fresh off their Super Bowl victory, but that doesn't mean that they don't have business to take care of in the NFL Draft. They need to bolster their defense, particularly their edge rush, linebackers and cornerbacks. It also wouldn't hurt to upgrade the offensive line and find a running back to pair with Damian Williams. With just five selections, the Chiefs will think about trading out of the No. 32 pick.
2020 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Andy Reid typically doesn't like drafting running backs in the first round, and taking Clyde Edwards-Helaire wasn't the original plan. Reid wanted Jeff Gladney, but when the Vikings plucked him off the board, Reid went with an alternative route and selected Edwards-Helaire. The LSU product is a perfect fit in his offense, and he'll make the Chiefs even more explosive.
Reid spent five of his final six picks on defense, with the lone exception being tackle Lucas Niang. This was the correct strategy, as Kansas City has plenty of holes defensively. I thought the Chiefs took Willie Gay Jr. a bit too early at No. 63, but he'll certainly help a horrid linebacking corps. Defensive back L'Jarius Sneed, conversely, was nice value toward the end of the fourth frame.
I didn't like the Chiefs' picks after that, but I think they did an OK job of improving their roster in the 2020 NFL Draft. It would have been more ideal to move down from No. 32, but I'm excited to see what Patrick Mahomes can do with Edwards-Helaire lining up in the backfield with him.
See NFL Draft Grades for every single 49ers pick.
NFL Draft Individual Grades:
32. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU - B+ Grade
With all of the running backs falling out of the first round, I don't know if the value was there for Clyde Edwards-Helaire. I love the fit, however. Andy Reid running backs need to be potent receivers out of the backfield, and Edwards-Helaire fits the offense so well for that reason. Running back was a big need for the Chiefs, and Edwards-Helaire will make Kansas City's offense so much more explosive.
63. Willie Gay Jr., LB, Mississippi State - C Grade
The Chiefs have needed linebacker help ever since Derrick Johnson declined. I still think they'll need linebacker help after this pick. I think this is a bit of a reach for Willie Gay Jr. It's not an egregious one, but the Chiefs could've done better or traded down to acquire Gay.
96. Lucas Niang, OT, TCU - A Grade
Eric Fisher was demolished in the Super Bowl. Granted, he was going up against Nick Bosa, so he had quite the challenge, but Patrick Mahomes was getting no time in the pocket for most of the evening. It's unclear how much longer Fisher can remain on the blind side, so I like the decision to bring in someone to challenge him to be the starter by 2021. I had Niang in the second round of many updates, so I love the value.
138. L'Jarius Sneed, CB/S, Louisiana Tech - B+ Grade
I'm curious to see where the Chiefs use L'Jarius Sneed. He can play all over the secondary, but Kansas City needs a cornerback more than anything. Sneed, who is very athletic, should be able to help in that regard.
177. Mike Danna, DE, Michigan - D- Grade
I didn't think Mike Danna would be drafted. He spent one year at Michigan, where he logged three sacks. Danna is someone who could've been acquired as a UDFA.
237. Bopete Keyes, CB, Tulane - C Grade
Bopete Keyes doesn't appear to be an NFL player. He has nice size at 6-1, 195, and he has long arms, but he's not a pro athlete, so I don't see him making the 53-man roster.
The Chiefs got over the hump that stopped them last year. They suffered a defeat in the AFC Championship to the Patriots, but that didn't happen again in 2019, as Patrick Mahomes made his first of what should be several trips to the Super Bowl.
Chiefs sign RB DeAndre Washington
Chiefs sign TE Ricky Seals-Jones
Chiefs sign QB Jordan Ta'amu
Chiefs sign OT Mike Remmers
Chiefs sign CB Antonio Hamilton
- Two Linebackers: The Chiefs must upgrade the middle of their defense to improve against ground attacks. They've had issues at linebacker ever since Derrick Johnson was released.
- Defensive Tackle: Chris Jones is an elite defensive tackle, but Kansas City needs someone better to start next to him so that it can improve against the run. Franchised Chris Jones
- Cornerback: Bashaud Breeland must be upgraded. A better starter is needed across from Charvarius Ward.
- Running Back: Damien Williams is just a mediocre running back. The Chiefs could stand to upgrade him with one of their second-day picks. Signed DeAndre Washington
- Edge Rusher: The Chiefs signed Terrell Suggs to be a solid pass-rusher across from Frank Clark. They'll need to find a better long-term solution.
- Backup Quarterback: Both of the 49ers' backup quarterbacks are impending free agents. Signed Jordan Ta'amu; re-signed Chad Henne
- Offensive Line Depth: The Chiefs had some problems in the middle of the year when they were missing multiple offensive linemen. They need to make sure they have better depth up front. Signed Mike Remmers
Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
2020 NFL Free Agent Signings:
Mike Remmers, OT, Giants. Age: 31.
Signed with Chiefs
It's curious that Mike Remmers tends to play his best under Pat Shurmur. Remmers shouldn't be a starter in the NFL, but he would be a great backup swing tackle moving forward.
DeAndre Washington, RB, Raiders. Age: 27.
Signed with Chiefs
DeAndre Washington did a solid job replacing Josh Jacobs in a couple of games late in the year. He's a decent runner with nice pass-catching ability.
- Ricky Seals-Jones (RFA), TE, Browns. Age: 25. -- Signed with Chiefs
- Antonio Hamilton, CB, Giants. Age: 27. -- Signed with Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs Free Agents:
Salary Cap: TBA.
Chris Jones, DT, Chiefs. Age: 26.
Franchised by the Chiefs
Aside from Aaron Donald, Chris Jones is the best defensive tackle in the NFL. Jones can single-handedly dominate the trenches. He stuffs the run and puts heavy pressure on opposing quarterbacks. He's also just 26 as of July, so his best years are probably still ahead of him.
Anthony Sherman, FB, Chiefs. Age: 31.
Re-signed with Chiefs (1 year)
Anthony Sherman is a terrific blocker and a core special-teamer. He can also catch an occasional pass effectively.
Kendall Fuller, CB, Chiefs. Age: 25.
Signed with Redskins
Kendall Fuller didn't perform that well this past season because of an injury, but he has been an excellent slot cornerback in the past. At just 25, Fuller figures to rebound.
Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Chiefs. Age: 26.
Signed with Dolphins (2 years, $15 million)
Emmanuel Ogbah was a quality edge rusher for the Chiefs this past season when he was healthy, producing 5.5 sacks in 10 games. Unfortunately, Ogbah suffered a torn pectoral in November.
Xavier Williams, DT, Chiefs. Age: 28.
Xavier Williams is normally a stud run-stuffer, but he struggled in 2019 because he labored through an ankle injury.
Demarcus Robinson, WR, Chiefs. Age: 25.
Re-signed with Chiefs (1 year, $2.3 million)
Demarcus Robinson is raw, but he's shown some exceptional play-making ability in the wake of some injuries in front of him.
Terrell Suggs, DE/OLB, Chiefs. Age: 37.
Terrell Suggs is no longer an every-down player, but he can still generate decent pressure on opposing quarterbacks when playing about 20 snaps per game.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Chiefs. Age: 32.
LeSean McCoy is a shell of his former self, but he can still produce some nice runs and make good plays as a receiver out of the backfield.
Matt Moore, QB, Chiefs. Age: 36.
Matt Moore has been one of the better backup quarterbacks in the NFL for quite some time. He proved that's still the case with some quality starts last year.
- Stefen Wisniewski, C/G, Chiefs. Age: 31. -- Signed with Steelers (2 years)
- Blake Bell, TE, Chiefs. Age: 29. -- Signed with Cowboys
- Bashaud Breeland, CB, Chiefs. Age: 28. -- Re-signed with Chiefs (1 year)
- Morris Claiborne, CB, Chiefs. Age: 30.
- Reggie Ragland, LB, Chiefs. Age: 26. -- Signed with Lions
- Mike Pennel, DT, Chiefs. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Chiefs (1 year)
- Darron Lee, LB, Chiefs. Age: 25.
- Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs. Age: 28.
- Chad Henne, QB, Chiefs. Age: 35. -- Re-signed with Chiefs (2 years)
- Jordan Lucas, S, Chiefs. Age: 27. -- Signed with Bears
- Marcus Kemp (RFA), WR, Chiefs. Age: 25.
- Keith Reaser, CB, Chiefs. Age: 29.
NFL Free Agent Tracker:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors
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