The Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs somehow made themselves even better on offense going into 2020. They gave superstar QB Patrick Mahomes a half-a-billion dollar contract and went out and got Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Does this mean the Kansas City Chiefs have some real magic up their sleeves for 2020? Well, it’ll be hard to top what they’ve done in the last two seasons with Mahomes, but we can probably still find some issues with draft prices in the Kansas City Chiefs 2020 sleeper, breakout, and bust.
Sleeper – Sammy Watkins, Wide Receiver (WR50, 138 overall)
It’s hard to call the former #4 overall pick a sleeper going into his seventh season, but Watkins hasn’t lived up to that billing since the waning years of the Obama Administration. Watkins has one season over 600 yards since his 2015 1,047-yard high-water mark. The last three seasons, since he left Buffalo, have been tough sledding for Sammy Watkins. He averaged just 595 yards and 6 touchdowns a year of that span, for the Rams and Kansas City.
Here’s the rub, though. We’ve seen what Sammy Watkins can be with Kansas City. We saw Watkins go off for 198 yards and three touchdowns in week one last year, and we saw him put Richard Sherman into the grave in the Super Bowl, capping off a playoff run wherein he had more yards in three games than he had in the eight games to close the season combined. The highs are there for Watkins, he just needs to put them all together. Since he burned fantasy football owners so badly last year, we want to leave him on the scrap heap. He’s the #2 wide receiver for one of the most potent offenses in the history of football. Don’t run away from that.
Breakout – Mecole Hardman, Wide Receiver (WR47, 125 overall)
Or maybe the #2 wide receiver is Mecole Hardman? Either way, Hardman or Watkins are cheap ways to get a part of this offense. Hardman is another lesson in us misremembering our opinions on players. When Hardman went in the second round in the NFL draft, the Chiefs were under the shadow of a potential long suspension for Tyreek Hill. The suspension never came to pass, and we all backburnered Mecole Hardman. Did Tyreek Hill not getting suspended, a prospect that had some people throwing Hardman into their top-24, make Hardman worse? Or can we expect Hardman to build on his 13.1 yards per target from last year?
If you want an idea of how lofty those 13.1 yards per target are, he leads all rookie wide receivers in yards per target with a minimum of 25 targets. Ever. In fact, only three qide receivers have at least 25 targets and yards per target over 12.5 (A.J. Brown and Kenny Stills, along with Hardman). Hardman played the role the Chiefs envisioned for him, it just wasn’t as big a part of they offense as they had hoped. Hardman is cheap as dirt and has an enormous upside for 2020, should the Chiefs want to give him the targets.
Bust – Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback (QB2, 19 overall)
Calm down. Sit down. Chill out. This is not hot-takery. This is just a reflection of draft philosophy. There have been four quarterbacks taken in the top-twenty by ADP since 2014 (the oldest data I could find). Only Peyton Manning ended the year inside the top-five at quarterback. Three of the QBs (2019 Mahomes, 2017 Aaron Rodgers, and 2015 Andrew Luck) all missed time with injury but paced out on a per-game basis as QB6 or QB7, so they weren’t even worth the pick on a per-game basis.
Do I fully expect one of Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson to beat this trend in 2020? Of course. They’re both young and talented quarterbacks whose rushing gives them a decent floor and whose potent offenses give stratospheric ceilings. But if you take Mahomes, what if it’s Lamar and vice versa? After all, we already have Mahomes not returning this ADP last season. There are simply too many questions surrounding quarterbacks to take them early in your drafts. Especially when you have guys like Russell Wilson, Kyler Murry, and Dak Prescott nipping at their heels and promising to challenge them for a top-two finish. I guess what I mean by Patrick Mahomes – Bust is don’t draft a quarterback in the first two rounds!
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