Reviewing Kansas City Chiefs ‘The Franchise’: Episode Two, ‘It Starts Here’

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - APRIL 25: A general view of video board signage during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - APRIL 25: A general view of video board signage during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The second episode of The Franchise gives Kansas City Chiefs fans an inside look at the offseason with a specific focus on the NFL Draft. Here’s our review from Jacob Harris.

The Franchise has a tricky tightrope to walk. It’s a biweekly docuseries chronicling the 2019 Kansas City Chiefs from the inside, and a lot of work has obviously been put into the show make it look and feel like something of substance. It’s also produced in-house by 65 Toss Power Trap Productions. So you’re going into this series knowing you’re getting a sanitized product, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t offer unique and insightful content.

The main issue with the first episode was it felt like a bloated 30-minute sizzle reel hyping the upcoming season. There’s nothing wrong with producing a hype video, but when the team is going to be doing that in two-minute chunks on Twitter all season anyway, what’s the point (especially if they aren’t going to provide any information Chiefs fans don’t already know)? Fortunately, the series’ second episode, “It Starts Here”, which focuses on the lead-up to the NFL Draft, gives a much better taste of what this series could provide for fans throughout the 2019 campaign.

More from Arrowhead Addict

It still feels a bit surface-level, though that is mostly the show being a victim of its just-under 30 minute runtime. Trying to pack an offseason’s worth of storylines in half-hour chunks means we get to see Chiefs’ Director of Football Operations Mike Borgonzi get his Starbucks order and talk a little about his hectic schedule, but we don’t get to spend too much time following his day-to-day.

Still, getting to see makeshift workouts in the hotel hallway in between days at the NFL Combine and being given glimpses of Brett Veach and his team discussing potential late-round draft picks does provide enough behind-the-curtain content to justify this show’s existence.

The standout of the episode, and its most singular focus, is Derrick Nnadi. The Chiefs’ second-year defensive tackle joined the team’s Director of College Scouting Ryne Nutt at Florida State University for the college’s pro day. Nnadi returned to his alma mater to help with scouting and give the athletes some advice and support as they approach draft day.

Nnadi’s personality really shines here, as he takes the production crew on a short tour of his school. Often professional athletes are pretty awkward and uncomfortable doing anything in front of a camera other than the sport they excel at. Nnadi seems to be the opposite, able to be himself in a way that I’m sure will endear him to fans, particularly when he stops by his favorite campus spot for a jumbo sausage dog, turns to the camera, and quips, “Normally I’ll have some barbecue sauce on me, ’cause I’m just a big dude like that.” Whether Nnadi’s pocket sauce is in the form of packets or a bottle is left, tragically, unanswered.

The episode again covers the Frank Clark trade, mostly touching on moments we’ve seen before. Since this is all about the Chiefs’ draft, and Clark is ostensibly the team’s first round draft pick this year, following his arrival to K.C. replaces what would have been the circus surrounding an early draft pick’s first days in the city.

Clark Hunt appears in what feels like a very staged conversation with Brett Veach. Hunt robotically inquires about a couple cornerbacks Veach and co. are interested in (Rock Ya-Sin and Byron Murphy), and Veach breaks down why they value them so highly. Then again, Hunt’s public persona has never been one that vibrates with forward-facing enthusiasm, so perhaps his “acting naturally” really is “alien trying to blend in as a normal human”.

What is interesting about this moment, however, is that the Chiefs were apparently set on taking Rock Ya-Sin or Byron Murphy if one was available in the second round. Mecole Hardman is presented more as their Plan B than the the guy they were always after with their first second round pick. That’s not especially shocking information, as in the draft teams need a Plan B, C, D, all the way to Z for every round. But typically teams like to move forward after the draft with the narrative that they got every player they wanted and every pick was the first on their board in that slot. Seeing just a glimmer of the reality of how quickly plans change for a draft room was pretty refreshing.

It’s still a mystery how, when, or even if this series will handle the Tyreek Hill story. While it seems most likely they’ll move on with the show as if it never happened if/when he finally returns to the team, it would feel particularly cynical of them to not even touch on it. That elephant in the room will only grow, after all.

The best The Franchise will have to offer will likely come with the ups and downs of the regular season. But getting small tastes of the inner workings of the front office through the offseason still makes it more than worth a watch for Chiefs fans.

dark. Next. Review of Episode One: 'Be Great'

The Franchise airs Wednesdays @ 6PM CT on FOX Sports Midwest and FOX Sports Kansas City, as well as streaming on Facebook Watch and YouTube. You can also see it at the Chiefs official site.