Still, the 2018 draft location isn’t quite up for grabs. The league is expected to discuss in May whether to hold the draft in Philadelphia for a second straight year, as it did in Chicago, or open the bidding to other NFL cities, like Kansas City.
While Donovan admits that a potential Super Bowl at Arrowhead Stadium is still many years away, he said, when it comes to preparation to host the draft, the Chiefs have “checked every box.” Stay tuned, Kansas City.
The neophyte tandem of Ryan and Flacco went on to lead their respective teams to the playoffs as 16-game starters in 2008, forcing front offices and coaching staffs to reconsider their aversion to baptisms by fire.
When the Rams waited until Week 9 to unveil No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff, it was an exception to the rule that has seen highly touted rookies such as Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota under center in the season opener.
According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Chiefs are “likely to pass on Nick Foles’ option for 2017.” This would make the former Eagles standout and Rams bust a free agent. Garafolo added that he was due $6.4 million and not $10.4 million, which was a number previously associated with the option.
While this could theoretically spring Foles into the open market and allow him to flirt with the Jets, Bills, Bears, 49ers and Texans, it is uncertain whether or not he represents a marked upgrade. Following his miraculous Pro Bowl season in 2013, Foles has appeared in 22 games, completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 4,625 yards, 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. He would be a difficult sell (right now) for any franchise promising their fans an upgrade. Of course, injuries and other outside circumstances tend to change situations quickly.
Ware was injured fighting for extra yards on a swing pass. He tried to get up before going back to the ground grabbing his right knee. The fourth-year pro looked to be in a lot of pain and couldn’t put weight on his leg as he was carted off the field.
Ware earned the Chiefs starting gig last season, going for 921 yards on 214 carries. The 25-year-old also is a passing game threat, going for 447 yards on 33 catches in 2016.
Spiller returns to the Chiefs’ backfield after compiling 46 yards on 11 rush attempts this preseason. He’ll be a depth option behind rookie starter Kareem Hunt and backup Charcandrick West. Last season’s starter Spencer Ware is out for the season after suffering a knee injury.
The Chiefs losing Nelson, who started 15 games in 2016, for half the season is a blow. Not having their starting slot corner against the New England Patriots for the opener on Thursday is a hit to the team’s depth. Phillip Gaines and Terrance Mitchell are options to start for K.C.
The theory, of course, is that a strong-armed gunslinger like Mahomes could provide more home-run plays, and thus help lift the Chiefs past the divisional round of the playoffs that they’ve lost in the last two seasons.
Mahomes has a long way to go to make that idea a reality. Eventually supplanting a starter like Smith won’t be an easy chore. But when a veteran running back like West, who’s caught hundreds of balls from Smith, has that kind of reaction to seeing a new, more live arm in camp, perhaps the usurping at quarterback isn’t that far off.