AAMA: Jamaal Charles, Quarterbacks, NFL Draft, Brandon Flowers


Feb 1, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles receives the NFL.com fantasy player of the year award at the 3rd NFL Honors at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back for the third installment of Arrowhead Addict’s “Ask Me Anything.” There were some great questions this weeks. There were even a few non-Chiefs questions, which are highly encouraged.

Let’s get to this thing.

Traditionally running backs start to tail off after age 28, and Charles turned 27 this past December. Add in that Charles has had over 300 touches in each of the last two seasons. One would think the safe assumption is Charles probably has only two seasons left performing at a high level.

How are we defining “letdown?” The Chiefs could easily be a better team than they were a in 2013 but finish with fewer wins and miss the playoffs. And the Royals could finish with 90 wins but miss the playoffs, something many fell the Royals have to do in order to justify the James Shield trade.

If we are going to define letdown based on expectations entering 2014, the Royals are the team more likely to have the biggest letdown. Most seem to understand the Chiefs’ schedule is going to be much tougher in 2014 and winning 11 or more games would be an impressive accomplishment. Some media members in baseball have the Royals going to the playoffs and potentially making the World Series

Given the expectations, the Royals are in line to have the biggest letdown.

Drops are an interesting thing. PFF has a stat that calculates drop rate, where anything over 10 is not very good. Here’s the list of some of the guys who played at least 50% of their team’s offensive snaps that had a drop rate over 10:

A.J. Green, Dez Bryant, Calvin Johnson, Julian Edelman, Hakeem Nicks, Roddy White, Wes Walker, Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Marshall, Mike Wallace, and Vincent Jackson.

Make of this what you will.

Of the three names mentioned the most around the Chiefs – Odell Beckham Jr., Marqise Lee, and Brandin Cooks – all three would fit what the Chiefs want to do. Kansas City absolutely could not go wrong with any of those guys.

The issue I have, and what I’ve been annoyingly mentioning over and over again, is it doesn’t make sense for the Chiefs to take a wide receiver in the first round. Other receivers who would make sense for the Chiefs in this draft include Allen Robinson, Jordan Matthews, Donte Moncrief, Jared Abbrederis, Josh Huff, Ryan Grant, Jalen Saunders, John Brown, Tevin Reese, and … well you get the point. There are a lot of good fits.

This draft is loaded with wide receiver talent, but it is also loaded with the type of receiver that would fit what the Chiefs like to do. Andy Reid‘s philosophy is to spread the ball around, get the ball in space, and try to put as much speed on the field as possible.

Some stats to consider about wide receivers in Philadelphia’s system from 1999-2012:

– No receiver ever caught 100 passes.

– Only four times did a receiver top 1,000 yards (DeSean Jackson twice, Terrell Owens, Kevin Curtis).

– Highest amount of receptions for any wide receiver was  77 (Curtis and Owens).

– Only three receivers had a season with 70 or more receptions (Curtis, Owens, and Jeremy Maclin). Brian Westbrook had three seasons of 70 or more catches by himself, includes a 90 reception season.

And this is over 14 seasons and dozens of receivers.

For perspective, Dwayne Bowe has four seasons of catching 70 passes or more, three 1,000 yard seasons, and two seasons with 80 catches or more in seven seasons by himself.

Being deep at wide receiver may be more meaningful in Reid’s system than having top-end receivers. Though it should be noted Reid used a first round pick to get Maclin and a second round pick to get Jackson. Green Bay has used several second and third round picks on receivers.

But keep in mind that Reid treats the passing game differently than most coaches do when evaluating the wide receiver position.

Terez A. Paylor has you covered on this one. He’s should be good to go for the OTAs and training camp.

Tamba Hali probably has the best shot given how much the team could save against the cap, but I’d be surprised right now if they cut any of those three. Bowe is probably here unless someone like A.J. Jenkins breaks out in addition to a draft pick and Weston Dressler proving they can hold the fort. And I think Brandon Flowers will have a better year, too. (We’ll talk more about him later.)

Hali will be 31 after next season and would save the Chiefs about $9 million in cap space. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if the Chiefs let him play out the rest of this contract. The salary cap is expected to increase to over $140 million in 2015 and then over $150 million in 2016. This should give the Chiefs plenty of room to re-sign Smith, Justin Houston, and Eric Berry to deals. And considering the Chiefs are going to have approximately 11 draft picks in 2015, they team is about to get a lot younger and, therefore, cheaper.

I think it is the latter. He’s a cover two guy, but his a more complete corner than some give him credit for. He’s not bad in man coverage, but taller receivers with speed give him fits. We saw this last year when he had to run with Dez Bryant. It wasn’t pretty.

Two things we probably should consider with Flowers: He essentially changed positions when the Chiefs moved him from an outside cover two corner to an inside man coverage corner, and he was dealing with a knee injury for a good portion of the season. Those two things combined will lead to a down year.

Flowers is only 28, has a history of being a very good corner, and showed last year he can cover in man-to-man situations well assuming the right matchup. The key is for Marcus Cooper to develop and for the Chiefs to be able to develop another corner as depth. The better Sean Smith and Cooper can hold down the outside, and the more depth the Chiefs have to keep Flowers on the inside, the better the chances Flowers will have to be successful this season.

This all assumes he stays healthy, of course.


John Dorsey is coming from a franchise that took Aaron Rodgers when they already had Brett Farve locked up for a few more seasons. Even if the Chiefs are planning on extending Smith, it wouldn’t be a foolish idea to make the move. As Tyler points out in his tweet, the Patriots have met with him and Johnny Football with the idea of needing to replace Tom Brady in a few years.

In the modern NFL, being set at quarterback trumps everything else. Even if you are a believer in Alex Smith, passing on Bridgwater still bring a great deal of value to your franchise as either a future replacement for Smith or as a trade chip.

With that said, if you are on the trade down bandwagon, the best scenario for the Chiefs trading down and picking up selections would be if Bridgewater or one of the other top quarterbacks were to fall to 23. Ultimately it is about who falls and what the Chiefs’ evaluation of the player.

Once, for sure. I’d put the over/under at 1.5.