Heads of market drivers head into the first week

The regular season (finally) begins this weekend, with Kansas City Chiefs On the road opposite Arizona Cardinals Sunday afternoon.

By all indications, this team comes off as healthy (and profound) as any in recent memory. General Manager Brett Fitch and coach Andy Reed have compiled a roster of 69 players (53 in the active roster plus 16 in the coaching squad) Which gives them options as per options.

On Sunday, we’ll finally see plans to start the entire offseason. We’ll learn more about how they intend to change attack without wide receiver Tyreek Hill – and how they can redesign the defense around three novice players.

We’ll also learn more about some of the players we think are going in the right direction – or in some cases, the wrong direction. Here are a few of the heads we think might be heading this week.

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Denny Medley USA Today Sports

Sky More: The Chiefs kept only five receivers, including this year’s second-round pick. Expectations were too low for Moore, who will likely be on target behind the tight end Travis Kelsey and fellow showrunners Joey Joe Smith-Schuster and Marquis Valdes-Scantling – and possibly even Mikol Hardman. But the fact that the team felt comfortable with five receivers on the active roster indicates their confidence in Moore. In limited pre-season movement, we saw Kansas City trying to get the ball to him in a variety of ways — including sticking the ball to the toes on the sideline and deep goals. On Sundays, Moore looks forward to raising expectations with a handful of plays.

George Karlavtis: I would still argue about that We need to manage our expectations A defensive tackle for beginners in the first round. But I’m also willing to admit that those expectations (like Moore’s) may have gone up a bit during pre-season. angry george He may never bend the edge or get double-digit sacks, but his best traits seem to translate to the NFL — and he seems to be learning fast. Just from effort and strength alone, it now looks like there’s a path for him to get eight or nine sacks in 2022. That’s okay — because more than any other newbie in the Chiefs, the team will rely on him for production. Frank Clarke is sick again, Carlos Dunlap had a nagging injury and the players at the bottom of the list haven’t shown much yet. As a novice, Karlavtis can lead defensive ends in both shots And the bags.

Judy Fortson: It seems that the past two years have all led to this moment. He was injured and recovered more than once. He got a job in the coaching squad and then was called up. In 2022, he comfortably made the initial 53-player roster for Kansas City. When he was on the field in pre-season games, the results were often amazing – especially in the red. It looks like it’s finally time for Fortson to get important shots — and maybe even a double-digit drop.

Others are heading in the right direction: Wide receivers Justin Watson and JoJo Smith-Schuster, linebackers Ronald Jones and Isaiah Pacheco, linebackers Jaylen Watson, linebackers Leo Chenal and linebackers Michael Burton.

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Syndicate: The Enquirer

Karim Butcher / The Enquirer / USA Today

Andrew Wylie: The weakest link in this Chiefs’ offensive line is clearly the right handling. With the season going into off-season, we thought there would be a lot of competition for the position – but it looks like Wylie has the job at hand from day one. Here’s the question: did he have the job by default? With Lucas Niang on puppy (physically unable to perform) existing And fifth-round rookie Darian Kennard failed to impress in camp, was anyone really paying to start Willie’s job? With the enhanced pass rush from West Asia, both pass protection interventions will be tested on a weekly basis – and in the first week, JJ Watt and Markus Golden will attempt to expose Wiley. We’ll see how he responds.

Joshua Williams: This is not a longstanding indictment of Williams. In fact, it should be a factor in this secondary stage for years to come. But in the short term, it showed that it needed some development. During pre-season he was in a position to make a lot of big plays – but when the ball was in the air, he often fell short. Williams seems to have missed out on fellow rookie Jaylene Watson, who has been a pleasant surprise so far. Starting this weekend, Williams will likely be inactive on game day as he continues to grow for the future.

Others are heading in the wrong direction: Darian Kennard tackle and defensive end Frank Clarke and Carlos Dunlap

Choice Value (Sleeper): Brian Cook

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears

Jimmy Sabao USA Today Sports

We’ve seen glimpses of what got heads so excited about junior safety; The size/speed combination (and ability to hit) has been clear since the time pads came into existence. But the objection was against Green Bay Packers Which showed what he might be able to do. In defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s system, Cook’s ability to get so close to football (and do a cover-up) could make him an exciting third safe. All Koke really needs is to be a competent player – a player who isn’t targeted by opposing midfielders in defensive sub-packs. But it could be more than that: a dynamic and versatile playmaker who can take turns to keep Kansas City’s defense unpredictable. Watch all the ways presidents cook on Sundays. He might just be an influential player in coverage, support playback, and in blitzkrieg – one that many have yet to notice.