The Kansas City Chiefs are losing ground in the minds of NFL analysts as post-draft NFL power rankings have them falling after the NFL Draft.
The Kansas City Chiefs boast the NFL’s reigning MVP as their starting quarterback and were only a play or two away from representing the AFC in the Super Bowl, but this offseason has generated more believers in other teams as the Chiefs wrestle with major questions on both sides of the ball.
In the latest run of NFL Power Rankings after the 2019 NFL Draft, the Chiefs have fallen behind even other AFC contenders beyond just the New England Patriots.
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It’s easy to understand some of the questions. The Chiefs have completely remade the defense, which raises a number of concerns even for fans. The team dumped Justin Houston and traded Dee Ford only to bring in Frank Clark and Alex Okafor. Is that enough for the pass rush? They released Eric Berry but added Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thorhill in free agency and the draft, respectively. Is the new safety tandem enough to cover for cornerback concerns? And what about that lackluster linebacking corps? Is a switch to Steve Spagnuolo as coordinator going to cure all ills?
On the offensive side, the Chiefs led the league in total offense last season, but they’ve already lost Kareem Hunt and could also watch Tyreek Hill do the same, either via release or suspension. Are the Chiefs nearly as dangerous without two of their Pro Bowl skill position players?
These questions are why the Chiefs have taken a hit this offseason. NBC Sports has the Chiefs at No. 7 overall and they surmise that “K.C. will be more reliant on their superstar quarterback than a year ago.” Ouch. Over at NFL.com, the Chiefs have fallen to No. 8 behind other AFC teams like the Patriots, Colts, and Chargers. That’s quite a stretch for a team so close to the big game.
At least the folks at Sports Illustrated are still believers. The Chiefs are No. 3 overall behind the Pats and Saints. The staff writes, “Obviously Tyreek Hill’s status is a major question that’s yet to be answered. Even with the possibility that we might not see him at all in 2019, the Chiefs remain a top team in our poll—with two votes in the No. 1 spot, even.”
Fans know there are plenty of reasons to believe. The defense was already poor last season overall in its effectiveness, so changes should be a good thing here. In addition, the team added Mecole Hardman, a speedy wideout from Georgia. Mahomes should be that much better in his second stating in the league and he’ll still have Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce, Hardman and a loaded running backs corps at his disposal. Plus the stability and creativity of Andy Reid should count for more than he gets credit.