What Happens Next If This Is It For DJ, JC, Houston & Hali?

What Happens Next If This Is It

For DJ, JC, Houston & Hali?

The very thought of entering the 2017 season without Derrick Johnson is enough to turn your stomach. We Kansas City Chiefs fans have had enough time go by while living without the best running back in organizational history to know what that’s like… although we love Spencer Ware we know he’ll never truly replace Jamaal Charles. While we know the Tamba Hali’s career is winding down the possible loss of Justin Houston looms as the Chiefs head into the playoffs and offseason without him.

The big question… no… humongous question… is, what if all of those player’s careers are over this year? What will the Chiefs do next?

THE OLB POSITION

Some may argue that John Dorsey was already preparing for the eventual loss of both Justin Houston and Tamba Hali by selecting Dadi Nicolas late in last year’s draft. However, Nicolas has gotten 28 defensive snaps this year, a clear indication that neither Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton or head coach Andy Reid are comfortable placing him in the 3/4 OLB role. Nicolas shined as a pass rusher during last year’s Senior Bowl week and game… which probably got him drafted by Dorsey… but it hasn’t translated to the NFL game and I seriously doubt the Chiefs are counting on him being anyone’s permanent replacement at this point.

The best case scenario at this point for the OLB position opposite Dee Ford is:

  1. Tamba Hali is able to give one more season equal in performance to 2016.
  2. Justin Houston is able to return but has to play in the “half-mast” fashion that Hali has played this year. Expecting more would not be realistic at this point.

Some fans were wondering what the H John Dorsey was doing when he drafted Dee Ford in the 1st round two and a half years ago… especially when he had both Justin Houston and Tamba Hali at full strength. Now, John Dorsey looks like Nostradamus.

During the JARD (John-Andy-Reid-Dorsey) regime, they have yet to spend big on a free agent signing and with the cap being tight, don’t count on that happening this time. However, if both Houston (13.1M) and Hali (3.8M) retire it would free up nearly 17M in cap space for 2017. Perhaps Dorsey would be interested in a mid-tier guy like 6-foot-3, 265, Nick Perry who has 10 sacks this year, who Dorsey helped draft in the 2012 draft for the Packers. Although Perry was a 1st round pick in 2012 he’s only had 12.5 sacks prior to this year, so you have to wonder about his progress. But, his stats for 2016 hold up and he could fit in Bob Sutton’s system quite well.

What seems more likely is that John Dorsey will strike early in the 2017 draft to get his OLB. I’m a fan of Devonte Fields from Louisville (via TCU) who has some off-field issues similar to Tyreek Hill’s. However, here’s what CBSSports.com has to say about Fields,

“Fields started his collegiate career at TCU and made an instant impact with 18.5 tackles for loss and 10.0 sacks in 2012 to earn Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors. He was tabbed as the conference’s preseason Defensive Player of the Year entering 2013, but Fields missed most of his sophomore season because of injuries and off-field issues. Then in the summer of 2014, he was accused of punching his ex-girlfriend and threatening her with a gun, leading to his suspension and eventual dismissal. After a year at Trinity Valley Community College, Fields transferred to Louisville for the 2015 season, where he started to put his name back on the NFL radar, finishing his junior year with 63 tackles, 22.0 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks.”

His trial date was canceled and so were the charges for assault causing bodily injury to a family member, a Class A misdemeanor, after allegedly hitting an ex-girlfriend.

The point is, I can see John Dorsey giving this young talented man a chance to grow as a person and develop as a football player. CBS Sports ranks him as the 97th best prospect in 2017 (DraftTek ranks him at #45) but I can see him being drafted as high as the end of the first round. If he’s still on the board at the end of the second round, it would not surprise me at all to see him wearing Red and Gold next season.

THE ILB POSITION

While there appears to be several answers to the possible absence of an OLB, that’s not necessarily the case at ILB if Derrick Johnson is not back in 2017. Nine-to-ten OLBs are projected (by CBSSports) to go in the first 3 rounds while only five-to-six ILBs are expected to be taken in that same span. Consequently, if John Dorsey is going to make a move to get a good ILB in this draft, it will likely have to be early on. Here is a list of the top available ILBs in the upcoming draft:

DraftTek has ranked Kendall Beckwith lower than CBS likely due to his being on the IR List (he had an ACL in November after an LCL last spring). He was previously expected to be one of the top ILBs in the draft. Kendell Beckwith would be my choice. Watch Beckwith’s 14:52 Draft Breakdown tape here.

It will be far more difficult replacing an ILB like DJ in 2017 than an OLB like Justin Houston. I’m sure that statement will cause some ripples in the land of AO followers but it’s not so much about who’s being replaced as it is about who’s available to replace those players. Clearly, there’s no replacing either of these stellar Chiefs players but the only reason we’re having this conversation is that there is a possibility it will need to happen. Also, even if both players come back in 2017, John Dorsey is likely to be looking for their replacements this year anyway.

THE RB POSITION

The loss of Jamaal Charles would bring an end to the era of a legend in Kansas City sports history. Not only have the Chiefs had an excellent run of running backs in the past 16 years but so has Andy Reid while he was coaching in Philly. Whether Jamaal Charles returns to form or not it would be a shocker if John Dorsey didn’t use one of his many draft picks in 2017 on a RB. Also, it’s a good year for running backs which is good news for the Chiefs and CBS Sports expects all of the following 15 RBs to go in the first 150 picks (that’s approximately the first five rounds). Here then, is a list of RBs in this year’s draft:

Dalvin Cook is a special talent. His quick and fast and makes excellent cuts. Christian McCaffrey is that all-round talent teams covet, especially teams with Andy Reid as the coach. McCaffrey can run, catch, pass and return punts. Heck, he can probably punt the ball too. As a runner, he’s intelligent and makes cuts that gain him extra yards. Those kinds of players are rare because they can gain yards with their minds. A sentimental favorite of mine is D’Onta Foreman from Texas, where Jamaal Charles spent his college years. At 6-foot-1 and 249 pounds with breakaway speed, it’s hard to imagine him not having success at the next level. However, he does play with his pads high and after watching a number of his tapes I’ve yet to see him lower his head and take on a linebacker. So, he plays too upright for my liking but I guess Reid could fix that. Marlon Mack out of South Florida is fun to watch but he tries to break his runs outside too often and that won’t work in the NFL. My pick of the litter would be Samaje Perine out of Oklahoma especially if Dorsey could land him in the second round. Perine plays with passion, balance, can and does lower his pads to take on LBs, plus he has very good hands when catching the ball. He plays well between the tackles and reminds me of a cross between Frank Gore and Marshall Faulk. I know that’s high praise for any RB but I think Perine could be special in Andy Reid’s system. Watch Perine’s highlights here.

Losing Jamaal Charles, Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali will happen sooner rather than later, whether it happens in 2017 or next year… or the next. However, there is the strongest of possibilities that their time is all done when the 2016 season is done. For Hali, if the Chiefs win the Super Bowl, I think his retirement is a virtual lock. However, since DJ and JC probably won’t be playing in that game even if the Chiefs get there, they’ll probably feel they still have something left to achieve or prove.

The health of Justin Houston is up in the air right now but there also remains the possibility that he will not return to be the player he once was. In any event, losing these players would represent a great part of the core of the Kansas City Chiefs and their absence would be devastating.

I for one am glad I’ve grown to the place in which I trust in the abilities of John Dorsey and his staff to put together a team that will continue to be competitive from one season to the next… with or without these all-time great Chiefs. However, I’m also hoping we don’t have to thimk about this for at least another year.

 

 

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  • Laurels and limitations

    Happy Red Friday everyone, one thing I have to disagree on here in the article is the reason of difficulty in replacing an ILB over that of an OLB. OLBs seem to get all the love and hype, but their production is easier to reproduce than the production of a 3 down ILB’er. There is a very valid reason as to why so few teams field two premier ILBs week after week but plenty of teams field good OLB pass rushers, premier ILBs are more difficult to find and develop.

    • ladner morse

      Happy Red Friday to you!
      BTW… one of the points I am trying to make in this article is that it is harder to find a good replacement for and ILB than it is a good OLB… especially in 2017.

      • Laurels and limitations

        Yeah, and I agree with that premise, but I also believe that that holds true for almost ANY year’s draft.

        • ladner morse

          I’d like to think so but Dorsey has said he values a pass rusher and those guys are hi on his wish list every year.

          • Laurels and limitations

            true dat, true dat…but I’m betting dollars to doughnuts that the need for fresh blood is just as much about attrition and the low shelf life as it is anything else. As soon as an OLB loses even a fraction of a step or strength they become outmatched whereas an ILB can compensate to a degree.

          • ladner morse

            That’s interesting… DJ has said that to keep himself up to speed with the competition… as he gets older he tries to lose a little weight each offseason.

          • Laurels and limitations

            Yup, but DJ makes himself competitive year after year by also playing smart. Comparing DJ’s effectiveness versus that of Hali’s is a perfectly reasonable illustration at this stage in their respective careers. While Hali plays both smart and aggressive, the same yet different way that DJ plays, DJ has been able to make himself much more impactful. OLB is a young man’s game.

    • Chiefly Bacon

      ILBs are so hard to find, because you usually can’t develop one. There are athletic traits that fit the position well, but those basically don’t matter. ILB is a brain position. You either get it or you don’t. You’re either born with those instincts or you’re not. Guys can get better at it of course, but they have to start with a pretty phenomenal football IQ in the first place. While I would never suggest Chiefs move him from CB, I’d be willing to bet that Marcus Peters would be a better ILB than a lot of guys who have 2″ and 30lbs on him because he just sees the play and where it’s going.

      • Laurels and limitations

        agreed, even about Peters because like DJ, Peters can see plays unfolding before most of the field even realizes what is happening.

  • PaulfromnorthMO

    Fields sounds like a guy right up Dorsey’s alley, maybe add the Arkansas TE to that list. But I guess if they can keep their nose clean and produce on the field, why not. I still think OLB is a bigger need than ILB, we have ILB’s on the team that are playing well and yes, I realize they are not DJ, but heck, DJ was not DJ when he was younger and any kid we draft won’t be a DJ either. If we are talking losing both Hali and Houston, our pass rush is down to Ford, that isn’t good. I would prioritize pass rush and then TE before ILB. The production of our TE’s behind Kelce needs improvement in every facet. I’m expecting both Mauga and DJ back next year, although DJ might not be ready to start the season.

    • ladner morse

      While I’d love to see us take a TE early in this draft, if these four are done forever this offseason… TE will probably be the least of his worries.

      • Chiefly Bacon

        Sprinkle, the Arkansas TE, is more of a Fasano type. Probably available in the 3rd or 4th round.

        • great blocker, good in the short routes and dependable. Not a game breaker. We started with Fasano out of the gate and it was a good thing to have brought him to the team.

    • Laurels and limitations

      Yeah, an Arkansas TE could work, I hear that Sprinkle can grab stuff real well.

      • PaulfromnorthMO

        Right, that’s what we need!

    • ladner morse

      In the last game… Andy called Demetrius Harris’ name too many times to believe he’s about to give up on him now. Not after he’s invested four years in the guy. After watching tape on that game, Haris repeatedly allowed the ball to get into his body and that’s the simple reason for his drops. Until he he can learn to focus on the ball and begin to extend his arms and trust that he can make the catch with his hands… he’ll never realize his potential. However, I think Reid believes in him so what I think doesn’t matter.

      • Laurels and limitations

        well, as evidenced by the Poe pass, all the QB has to do is throw the ball high and not ALLOW Harris to use his body.

        • ladner morse

          I thought the same exact thing when I re-watched it! hehe

      • PaulfromnorthMO

        Isn’t that kinda the point though. After four years he should be able to do it right. Plus he has a hefty cap it next year.

      • Chiefly Bacon

        Chiefs have shown a willingness to get upgrades over existing guys though. I really think Dorsey will try to stick to BPA so if a good TE falls to the Chiefs, they’ll probably take him. Even if they like Harris, Shag and Travis haven’t done much of anything this year.

        • Laurels and limitations

          BPA, or BPA at the position needed? I still attest that Dorsey did not choose BPA as the board fell to him last year, he moved the team back in order to fill need as efficiently as possible.

          • ladner morse

            Couldn’t agree more… unless you throw in a piece of pumpkin pie.

          • Laurels and limitations

            apple all the way, buddy.

          • Chiefly Bacon

            I believe Dorsey takes BPA, but tries to move around to spots where the best player available also plays a position of need.

      • freshmeat62

        I always thought the main asset a basketball player brought to football was the sure hands of catching the ball because of those short quick passes in traffic. Thinking now that Harris was a Dennis Rodman type…only defense, rebounding, and muscle under the basket..

      • There is a reason Harris has gotten more targets and it goes with developing the target for Al Smith. Smith went to him and he did have the lost TD catch but it appears to me that over-all, the Chiefs trust his soft hands. He is getting some limelight time before the playoffs and hopefully this pays off. I am not adverse to seeing the next TE show up with the draft. Merely observing what I think is going on(and I was familiar with Harris while at UW-M, so I have been a supporter from before the time he reported for his first camp.

    • Laurels and limitations

      I was just reading up on what Sprinkle did in his shoplifting case and it did not put him in any better of a light.

      Report: Arkansas Tight End Suspended For Trying To Shoplift Despite Having $450 Gift Card [Update]

      Maybe he just became excited, had a bad idea that he thought was funny, like “oh, I got the whole list AND didn’t pay for crap”…or maybe he just ain’t too bright. Either way, the guy had a 450 dollar gift card to the place, the stuff iwas already free, ya know? I hate to label anybody dumb, but come the hell on.

      link= http://deadspin.com/report-arkansas-tight-end-suspended-for-trying-to-shop-1790607261?rev=1483051633666&utm_campaign=socialflow_deadspin_twitter&utm_source=deadspin_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow

      • PaulfromnorthMO

        Maybe he was just never instructed in the proper use of a slide rule and had totaled his “purchases” incorrectly.

        • Laurels and limitations

          Lol, could very well be…..or maybe he is a genius, let’s see shall we? I just gathered my trusty old slide rule from the bottom of the junk drawer of my desk and…….sure enough…the square root of zero is in fact zero.

          • mnelson52

            Is it still that way under common core????lol

          • Laurels and limitations

            nothing is the same under common core, not.one.single.thing.

  • Laurels and limitations

    Dorsey has already used the “black sheep” pick routine, I’d kinda like him to go the “Tim Tebow” goody-two shoes route in order for KC fans to have less division next offseason…I dunno, maybe it’s just me.

    • ladner morse

      What “division” are you referring to?

      • PaulfromnorthMO

        Square roots, now that is fun division!

        • Laurels and limitations

          thank the lord for calculators, much faster when figuring theorems.

          • PaulfromnorthMO

            I had to learn that stuff before calc’s. I seriously doubt I could do it now. I used to be pretty good with a slide rule if I do say so myself.

          • Laurels and limitations

            lol, I have that stuff on my phone in various apps…a “slide-what?”

          • PaulfromnorthMO

            LOL, what’s an app?

          • Laurels and limitations

            touche’

      • Laurels and limitations

        the Hill selection. I would just assume not have to read about whether or not a KC draftee did, or did not, pistol whip his girlfriend. *dramatizing for hyperbole, I have zero insight into the Field’s case/scenario.

    • Chiefly Bacon

      I’ve got the guy for you. SILB Richie Brown out of Mississippi State. Great inside thumper and a really stand up guy. Should be available in the 3-6 round range (so tough to predict ILBs).

      • Laurels and limitations

        Cool, I’ll hafta check him out.

      • Laurels and limitations

        wow, 96 tackles for a loss, in a year! That’s nuts.

        • Chiefly Bacon

          Don’t know where you’re seeing that. Just had four tackles for a loss this year and 1.5 sacks. 93 total tackles. Still pretty good numbers

          • Laurels and limitations

            it was a stat from 2015, one of the announcers stated that during the NC Stats game.

    • PaulfromnorthMO

      I’ve often wondered if that decision to draft “troubled” kids, trying to get high value at a lower cost, isn’t coming from Hunt. We did some of that prior to JARD.

      • Laurels and limitations

        could be, but I also wonder how much modern media and information availability procures insight that we were not privy too in the 50’s-early 90’s.

        • PaulfromnorthMO

          Good point. These kids are so much in the limelight, we almost know the color stain on their TP.

          • Laurels and limitations

            well, seeing as half of them walk around with their pants around their knees, we know that also.

          • berttheclock

            But, do they rebuckle their knickerbockers below the knee? (ala, the “Music Man” and Prof Harold Hill)

          • Laurels and limitations

            I think they must, something has to keep their pants from completely falling to the floor, after all.

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s
          • Laurels and limitations

            LMAO!!!!

      • Chiefly Bacon

        Team seems to mostly do their homework on guys. They don’t just pick up guys with huge problems cause they’re good. They see a guy with a fixable issue and they pounce.

  • Chiefly Bacon

    Assuming he enters the draft, I’ve got my eyes on RB/WR Curtis Samuel. http://draftbreakdown.com/video/curtis-samuel-vs-bowling-green-2016/ He’s slightly undersized for a RB, but big enough for the position and he can genuinely play WR. Ohio state got a ton of mileage out of putting Samuel in the back-field and then splitting him out at WR. He’s a dynamic return man and he’s also taken snaps in the wild cat. Elusive speedster with pretty good vision.

    • PaulfromnorthMO

      Would that be Hill 2.0?

      • Chiefly Bacon

        Not really. Samuel is 5’11” 197lbs. So pretty normal for a WR, just a little undersized for a RB. He does fit the mold of an offensive weapon, but he doesn’t have to be pigeon-holed there. Could just as easily win a job as a slot receiver as a RB.

        • PaulfromnorthMO

          What type of RB his he, IF JC25 doesn’t make it back, a shifty, speedy back to complement Ware would be good.

          • Chiefly Bacon

            Exactly. He’s a speedy guy with pretty good vision. Can make some guys miss, but doesn’t run around in the backfield. Seems to know mostly when to just turn it up field and get two yards cause there’s nothing there. He’s not gonna break tackles, but I think the rest of his skills can make up for that. You can watch tape of him vs Bowling Green in the link I posted. It’s a DraftBreakdown video so they just show the plays he’s in and generally circle him if it’s not obvious where he is.

        • ladner morse

          I think Samuel would be a better WR than a RB in the NFL. If the Chiefs want another weapon he could fit right in. I say “if” because they haven’t yet learned how to use the one’s they have like Chris Conley or Demarcus Robinson. I’m hoping Robinson gets his chance in 2017 because his yards after catch ability is terrific.

  • berttheclock

    I’m surprised Laddie did not include the Northwestern ILB, Anthony Walker, of whom Draft Tek has on their latest Mock going to the Chiefs in the 2nd round. However, in reading reports of him, he has been rated by some pundits over at Walter as being better playing a Will where he could be paired with a larger thumper. He is athletic, but, lacks the punch at this time of being a thumper. He can drop into coverage and he possesses excellent side line to side line moves.

  • Chiefly Bacon

    I’d really love to see Chiefs draft Jordan Willis of K-State for OLB depth. I think he’s playing out of position at 4-3 DE and should be able to make the transition to 3-4 OLB. He’s got great speed and good size.

  • berttheclock

    Yesterday, I talked about the need for the Chiefs to have a DeMarco Murray type to spell Ware. My point is Ware is not a type of back you can put into the game to carry your entire load. He needs rest. A poster said Murray was too much of a Larry Johnson type and that time in the NFL was past. Merlin wanted a more of a one cut back. Now, I remember seeing great films of Murray at Dallas when their line would open large holes and what impressed me about Murray’s running was his ability to hit the hole, then, make his one cut which gained him huge chunks of yardage. However, the main reason I mentioned Murray is with the Titans, he has become a work horse with the former Alabama star RB to spell him on occasion. This is the type of back I foresee keeping Ware fresh to pro long his time with the Chiefs.

    That said, I agree with Chiefly Bacon, that a type of back such as Samuel has great promise for the West Coast as that type would fit very well catching passes out of the backfield.

  • berttheclock

    One point from yesterday was about my hope DJ can return to playing next year. He would be an outstanding player/coach on the field and could be used sparingly, but, he would provide a great deal of imput to the other players and help set up the defenses.

  • berttheclock

    Off topic, but, Joel T of AP made an excellent point about the play of Schwartz this year. He noted he was surprised by comments from fans (and I have seen such here) knocking Schwartz. Joel noted that Schwartz has never missed games due to injuries and this season, he has battled an injured ankle which has hurt his lateral movements.

    • freshmeat62

      I’m one that has knocked Schwartz some this year. Didn’t realize he had an injury. He seemed to get beat wide to many times, but the bad ankle would answer that.

    • Bdiddy

      Schwartz seems to be good for 1 or 2 false starts a game. If he’s really feeling his oats he may have 3 or 4.

  • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

    When we make it to the Super Bowl this year, which I believe we will, a few things will have to happen first like, the national debt being paid off, all politicians become honest or Miley Cyrus acts like a lady……but when all these stars align and we get there, I think DJ and Charles should suit up and be in the game for one play.

    • Laurels and limitations

      Miley Cyrus acting like a lady, you so funny!!

  • berttheclock

    One RB who will draw attention at the Combine is Corey Clement. The reason will be to see how well he has been able to come back from his sports hernia operation in Germany. Prior to the injury, he had been the successor to Gordon with Wisconsin. He has speed and can catch passes.

    • freshmeat62

      Guess I’m going to have to start getting up to speed on the upcoming draft prospects. Haven’t paid a lot of attention to them yet, nor have I watched a lot of college games this year. Just read a few bio’s so far.

  • freshmeat62

    I am not counting on DJ, Charles, or Hali being back next year. I would be surprised though if Houston didn’t come back. I think he just came back to soon, thus the aggravated knee…at least that’s what I hope. Maybe w/ the long off season to let it heal, he’ll be back to normal. He sure didn’t look injured or lack any movement I could notice in that game against Denver. Besides I can’t see him retiring, giving up those millions of $’s. I don’t know/understand the cap consequences of him being cut or retiring. If he did not come back, and the Chiefs are able save a bunch of his contract, that would solve the Berry or Poe question.

    • berttheclock

      You are correct about that Denver game, but, on the play where he cut past “micah’ and sprinted after the QB, only to have the QB double back on him to throw the RD pass, he was never the same again. Something happened on that play which has reduced his speed and power.

  • Laurels and limitations

    Greg Rosenthal talking up the Chiefs, and even moreso the Steelers. I really want to see the Steelers have to play their way through while taking some lumps along the way while KC takes a bye week to heal up AND gameplan.
    “The Chiefs and Steelers, meanwhile, are absolute threats to take down New England. Pittsburgh was the only team in football to rank in the top ten in offense and defense in FootballOutsiders’ latest efficiency rankings”

  • Merlin

    I am a fan of Anthony Walker Jr. the redshirt JR. ILB from Northwestern. He is a fast ILB in the mold of DJ. He recently asked for a draft evaluation from the NFL Draft Advisory Board. Laddie. have you looked at him for the 2017 Draft?

    • berttheclock

      I mentioned the Walter Football comment about he might fit the WILL better than the thumper next to him. However, he still could put on weight. But, what I noticed from the Draft Tek account of his play was his motor and his ability to both drop back into coverage and his great side line to side line range.

      • Merlin

        Yes, I am looking at him to replace DJ.

      • two types of speed and this is where DJ excels (think 3 cone). Side line to side line does depend on quick read and pursuit but if coming from the opposite side tells much of the story and I think this is where he shows up strong. We will see what he shows come combine or pro day and I am interested to give him a lot of thought. To be truthful, I don’t doubt that Houston will be in pure form in 2017, so my concern about OLB is not JH but Hali. I think with Ford moving up in his first full season of play has shown a lot. No matter the sacks as much as pressures and hurries. His speed got to Sieman in the Denver game big time and he essentially broke up 4 plays where he had the Denver QB retreating. One of those was a short pass that was almost intercepted. I am good with Ford, even from the right side. He will learn that as well if that is what must happen. Part of his problem is he played a lot opposite Hali and Hali is not the Hali we once knew. You get 2 guys getting 10-15 sacks who are not JH but doing the deal, setting the edge and crashing running backs to their inside, we have enough OLB to accomplish QB pressure and do the run defense. Dee Ford next year I think will come into his own. Still, I want to see KC find the next OLB to put in the machine.

        At ILB I am more concerned and obviously it starts with DJ. Two achilles tears in 3 years is a worry no matter what. He will retire, presuming he is back in 2017 and believe me, I believe him — he will be back, Dorsey must accommodate losing him after 2018 to retirement. I like Ramik Wilson == he is growing more disruptive and has made tackles behind the LoS. That’s good stuff — but we still need a thumper type which brings me to having Mauga back — in other words, I think Josh has a place on the 53man. Then if we add in Terrence Smith(and I firmly believe that is why he really was brought up from the ps–it is a plan). We can’t know what he can really do — yet. He has the pedigree. We’ll see. This may be Dorsey’s jewel mine in the works and we just don’t know it yet.

    • ladner morse

      I’m unimpressed with Anthony Walker Jr. So much of playing ILB is about diagnosing a play (sometimes before it starts) and then tracking the ball or ball carrier to make the play. I don’t see those attributes in Anthony Walker Jr. at all. Yes, he’s fast but he uses his speed to chase down the backside of a play too often and by the time he gets there the offense has already gained a chunk of yardage. Instincts and the ability to diagnose on the spot… those at the traits that separate the good one’s from the not so good ones. I have also kind of crossed Walker off my list early because I think the Chiefs will go with someone on the roster to replace DJ while they go shopping for a player who can play the role next to him.

      • Laurels and limitations

        I saw a lot of the same things, minus the speed, and typed pretty much the same evaluation to Merlin…So KC will probably take him in the first.

      • Merlin

        Walker didn’t play well early in the season. He sets their defense and is very bright. He had 105 tackles, 62 solo with 10 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles this year. Last year, he had better stats, with 120 tackles, 63 solo, 19 tackles for loss, 3 forced fumbles. I think we can agree to disagree here.

  • berttheclock

    Just ran down a long list of possible ILB FAs for March. Some cream of a sort up top, but, the further one drops down the money scale, several of them have already passed through KC. One possibility might be Keenan Robinson of the Giants. He went to them last year on a one year prove it deal. Had some injury problems prior to that.

    • berttheclock

      Laddie might know more about Robinson as he played for the Longhorns.

  • berttheclock

    A comment from a Bolts’ Fansided thread caught my attention. The Bolts have forced a turnover in every single game they have played this year. Combine that with having a wide out who is only yards away from going over the 1,000 yard mark, including a RB who is close to doing the same thing, a rising star defensive player in Bosa and ,a s the writer says, hard to believe they are only 5-11 for the year.

    Tyrell Williams, their second year wide out, has been amazing this season. He was not expected to be the top target for Rivers, but, he just kept getting open. Has some problems running routes at times and can have a touch of dropsy on others, but, to be able to come out of nowhere and approach the 1,000 yard mark is exceptional. He is by far the best player to ever come out of the very small Western Oregon U. One of very little notability with the Niners and Kevin Boss, the TE, who played for the Chiefs and Giants are the other two.

    • Merlin

      Don’t sleep on the Chargers. They outplayed the Chiefs week one, at Arrowhead.

      • ladner morse

        For 40 minutes.

  • freshmeat62

    Just watched the Beckwith and Perine tapes. Didn’t like Beckwith at all. He too many times the runner went right by him, and he seemed to be be easily pushed out of the way by the o-linemen. It was against Alabama, but still…nah!

    Now Perine, on the other hand, I really liked. He’s built a lot like Ware, short and stocky. But unlike Ware who seems to just bull his way into and thru lines, Perine was bouncing off and picking up big yardage. And it looked like he has speed. Either that or he was playing against a lot of slow secondaries. When he got into the open he was leaving those safeties and CB’s in his dust.

    • berttheclock

      Draft Tek has some team taking him one pick ahead of the Chiefs.

      • Laurels and limitations

        the LB from Northwestern? I was just reading where the NFL advisory board was likely to suggest he returns to school in stead of declaring early.

        • Merlin

          Not sure what else he has to prove. I would like to see him come out and the Chiefs grab him.

          • Laurels and limitations

            I wouldn’t know what he has to prove either, I was just regurgitating what some supposed insider said. Lol, same value I guess.

          • Merlin

            I read what you cited as well. The bottom line is, what will he do? I think he goes in rounds 1-3.

          • Laurels and limitations

            I’m not sure, I was just watching some highlights: Wisconsin, Stanford, Nebraska I think they were..and I couldn’t give him above a rd. 3 grade at the draft. I saw a guy that was effectively blocked out by a single blocker far too often as well as become clogged up in the pile and miss the play(s) entirely. Highlight reels are always so vague that concrete evaluations are hard to come by, but just watching those I wouldn’t rank AWJr. above Ramik Wilson coming in. I guess the real question is what is AWJr.’s ceiling?

          • berttheclock

            Speaking of highlight reels, did you read where the Buffalo GM, who does not want Tyrod Taylor, has not included him on their highlights which went out yesterday? Funny thing is that GM was known for finding excellent defensive talent with Pittsburgh, but, even though he has complete control of Buffalo’s draft, he has not been able to put many new guys on the playing field. Word is no HC worth anything wants to work for him.

          • Laurels and limitations

            A GM being ostracized by the coaching community? Not even Pioli had to deal with that.

  • mnelson52

    This is a topic where I have no input. I don’t follow college ball other than watching Missouri some. I usually wait till the season is over to start studying players. I guess that’s why I get very few picks right. I did pick Berry, Fisher, and Jones correctly, except I had the Chiefs taking Jones in the 1st round at 28 instead of 2nd round. When we took Ford, I was right about the position but I didn’t really have Ford on my radar for 1st round.

  • Laurels and limitations

    and absolutely nobody is surprised…

    No sign of Justin Houston on practice field this morning. Seems likely he will rest for the finale in San Diego. More from Reid at 1 p.m.— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) December 30, 2016

    • berttheclock

      Rotoworld states that Ware will be a game time decision.

      • Laurels and limitations

        that’s not a good thing, not a good thing at all. All the injury reports that we receive just reaffirm the idea that a bye week and playing the Steelers is better than playing two worse teams in the playoffs.

  • ladner morse

    This is interesting.#chiefs worked out Olympic sprinter Tre Houston today.— Chiefs360 (@Chiefs360) December 30, 2016

    • ladner morse

      Olympic Sprinter Tre Houston worked out for Chiefs today, per @seanstellato. Houston ran the 200 in Rio representing Bermuda.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 30, 2016

      • berttheclock

        Any word yet as to whether Dorsey has brought any of the Bermuda Bobsledders in yet?

    • ladner morse

      At 5-foot-10 and weighing in at 174 pounds, Its hard to imagine that the Chiefs have a place for a 26 year old rookie… about to turn 27 in March.

      • berttheclock

        The Chiefs worked him out last spring, as well.

      • Chiefly Bacon

        Looking ahead to if they lose DAT most likely.

  • berttheclock

    Hey, Laddie, did you see where Terrell Watson, formerly with Azusa Pacific, is, finally, going to have a chance to play in the NFL. The Eagles just activated him and will use him against the Cowboys for short yardage situations.

    • berttheclock

      He is the RB who broke Okoye’s college records. Was on the PS of the Bengals for a couple of years.

    • ladner morse

      I remember him. I hope he does well. I love too see my So. Cal buddies excel.

  • ladner morse

    Stanford Cardinals may have won the Sun Bowl today 25-23 over North Carolina… but I’m no fan of Christian McCaffrey’s decision to sit the game out because he was afraid to get injured.

    BTW… QB Trubisky of NC is a good one. Led his tema down the field to make would would have been a game-tying TD except they couldn’t score the 2-PT conversion.

    Also, Stanford’s DT Solomon Thomas is a stud-muffin!

    • berttheclock

      NFL Draft Scout rates the 2019 NFL draft prospect, Solomon Thomas, as the best at his position in the land.

    • berttheclock

      Contrast that with the sack master Derek Barnett of Tennessee, who said it was disrespectful to miss a bowl game and went on to keep sacking. He should go high in the draft.

  • ladner morse

    Justin Houston will be listed as OUT on Sunday, per Andy Reid.— BJ Kissel (@ChiefsReporter) December 30, 2016

    • berttheclock

      Heal, heal, heal thyself Mr Houston. Please, don’t try to return until you knee fully supports you.

  • berttheclock

    With the recent emergence of Terrence Smith with the Chiefs, word is, finally, beginning to come out concerning his background which is highly interesting. AP has done some work on it, but, there have been more indepth articles written about him from the Clemson side. His father was Terry Smith, Jr, who was a prolific wide out for Clemson and many thought he would be a lock in the NFL. Built very similar to his son, Terrence, and reports from those who knew his father well, say Terrence is the spitting image of his father. BTW, his cousin is DeAndre Hopkins, the great wide out for the Texans. But, when, Terrence was only four years old, his father was killed in a very tragic way. I’ll leave that part of the story to others due to the sadness of it to all concerned in the family. I will say this. Terry Smith, Jr, for whatever reason went undrafted to the shock of many, walked on to the Colts only to be injured and cut. After that, his life became to spiral downward.

    The mother of Terrence, Angela Smith, worked extremely hard to keep her young son on the correct path forward. Many who helped him along the way thought he would follow his father to Clemson, but, Terrence wanted to prove himself on his own. He decided to play LB and chose Florida State. Fortunately, for the Chiefs, Mr Dorsey discovered the young man and signed him as an UDFA with a $15,000 signing bonus. Looks as though the foresight of Dorsey has really paid off for everyone concerned.

    • berttheclock

      BTW, when young Terrence was in the ninth grade, he had high enough SATs to move forward to college. He credits his mother for helping him with his studies.

    • ladner morse

      Thank you for sharing. May still be doing the Mitchell piece I’ve been planning.

    • Thanks for covering this Bert. I have high hopes for Smith and the Chiefs. He has had snaps and each time an important pursuit play was on and he was in the game he was where the ball was. He only had 7 snaps v Denver, but think on that one because he first came from the PS to get on the Roster. S/T time but getting snaps now.

  • berttheclock

    Both NBC and the NFL knew what they were doing by flexing the Christmas game of the Broncos-Chiefs to Prime Time. The broadcast had its highest rating in the past five years and, for once, the Chiefs let the nation into their secret of being special. I wear my Red Hoodie whenever I go shopping around the Greater Portland area. Truly amazing the number of people who come up to me with Congrats. I have noticed more than one Bronco wearing person just look straight ahead and keep moving.

    One fellow at a pet store called out to me that he was a Dolphins’ fan and thanked the Chiefs for winning.

    • ladner morse

      Cool. The hotel we were staying in last weekend in KC had some Broncos fans wearing their garb but hanging their heads. Wouldn’t even look me in the face. How rude. 😎

      • tm1946

        And you loved every minute.

  • KCBudMan

    Hello Merlin! Great article… Here’s my un-heralded/un-requested 2-cents on the upcoming draft: This is going to be a great draft for the Chiefs. The depth and strength of the positions line up very nicely with our needs.

    RB: I echo your thoughts on D’Onta Foreman. It may be the pads-high running style talking, but he reminds me of Larry Johnson (hopefully with a better attitude).
    ILB: This is the one I’m most concerned about as far as depth in the draft. There are, however, high-quality players at the top of the list. The Raiders DraftTek analyst and I have been battling back and forth over Zach Cunningham. I’ve tempered my excitement for drafting Raekwon McMillan. He seemed to have an average year. Jarrad Davis would be a nice pick up a s well. I just love the coverage, motor, and aggressive attitude that Cunningham brings to the table
    OLB: Devonte Fields. Hmm… I really like this guy. He could fit the ILB spot as well. My only concern is that he seems to do best when he is allowed to “freelance” with his coverage. We kinda already have that happening with our safeties (Berry and Sorenson). Because of that I’m not sure he is a fit for the current scheme.
    DE: DraftTek has Deatrich Wise listed as an EDGE rusher, which can be a cross between OLB and DE. I see him more in the DE role as such.
    CB: Many, many good choices in this position. I think patience is the way to go. Damontae Kazee could fly under the radar and be a nice grab in the mid to later RDs. Very big and a very big hitter. … Some mock drafts have KC taking Marlon Humphrey in RD 1. Forget it! He is not going to fall that far down the board.
    QB: The DraftTek SIM keeps dropping Deshaun Watson in my lap. Kiss those days good-bye, based upon his performance in the Peach Bowl. But, I’d take him. (Compares to Jeff Garcia.) I’m also eyeing the Big 12 QBs, Rudloph and Mahomes. (Not sure why DraftTek does not have the later on their board.) Also, hoping Luke Falk goes to the NFL this year… Big gamble if he stays, but it could pay off for him. …. I worry less about a QB dropping to us in RD 1 than RD 2. I think there is going to be a RD 2 and 3 run on QBs this year. There are so many teams looking to upgrade their backup QBs (Steelers, Giants, Buffalo, Washington, etc.) Plus, many are learning that the NE approach is the way to go: develop and trade high. Also, less spotlight on the RD 2 QB.
    OG: I’m starting to agree with Kevin Kietzman (I know… GHAWD NO! Don’t say that!) in that I’d rather see the Chiefs use the wait-to-take approach on O-linemen. SO many RD 1 busts out there. Plus, our success in RD 2 and 3 is pretty good. (Morse, for example…. and possibly Ehinger) I’d like to give Ehinger another season to put it together, but a challenger is more than welcome. I’m just not excited about using RD 1 pick for such.
    S: Yep. I’d be very happy if Malik Hooker comes our way. I’d like to see Ron Parker get back to covering the slot.
    TE: Man, wouldn’t it be cool if we Alex Smith had two TE weapons to throw to? I’m just not sure about the depth of the position coming out of the draft.
    Surprise cut for next year: Dustin Colquitt. He’s phenomenal and under-rated, but expensive.
    Well, that’s it… I’ll keep a closer watch on your site. I enjoy your takes. Your successor at DraftTek. (By the way, also I’ve also taken on the analyst role for the NY Giants at DraftTek, at least for the next few weeks…. I do not think the draft lines up with their needs as well as it does for the Chiefs.)