Chiefs 2023 training camp preview: Will pass rush stay dominant? – ESPN – Kansas City Chiefs Blog
Adam TeicherESPN Workers Author4 Minute Learn
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs open 2023 training camp on July 23 at Missouri Western State College in St. Joseph. Right here’s a more in-depth have a look at some storylines:
Largest query: Can the Chiefs once more be among the many league leaders in sacks?
The Chiefs completed a shocking second within the NFL final 12 months with 55 sacks, almost matching their complete from the earlier two seasons mixed. Chris Jones, who led the workforce with 15.5 sacks, is again. Edge rushers George Karlaftis and Mike Danna, who mixed for 11 sacks, may even return. However three of their prime six pass-rushers, together with ends Frank Clark and Carlos Dunlap, are gone.
Of their place the Chiefs signed free agent Charles Omenihu and drafted Felix Anudike-Uzomah within the first spherical, however each gamers are unproven. Omenihu looms as a big piece of the puzzle. He’ll begin on the sting however the Chiefs plan to maneuver him inside alongside Jones on passing downs.
The participant with probably the most to show: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB
Edwards-Helaire hasn’t produced like the primary-spherical draft decide he was in 2020. Every of his three seasons have been interrupted by accidents and final 12 months, he misplaced his spot because the common featured again to seventh-spherical draft decide, Isiah Pacheco, even earlier than getting harm. The Chiefs declined the fifth-12 months possibility on his contract, elevating the chance that that is his final season in Kansas City.
However it’s not too late for him to have an effect, regardless that the Chiefs have Pacheco and veteran Jerick McKinnon at working again. If he can stay wholesome, Edwards-Helaire has an opportunity to be a contributor and earn a contract for 2024 — with one other workforce, if not the Chiefs.
Fiercest fantasy-related battle: After shedding JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman Jr., the Chiefs are searching for extensive receivers to take a step ahead
They haven’t any scarcity of candidates, most notably Kadarius Toney, who the Chiefs hope could be their No. 1 extensive receiver. However their depth chart is shy on confirmed contributors. Toney has 55 catches in two NFL seasons. Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught 42 passes with two touchdowns final 12 months in his debut season with the Chiefs. The very best season ever turned in by any present Chiefs receiver is the 57 catches by Richie James with the New York Giants final season.
Even when Toney has an enormous season, the Chiefs are going to wish contributions from Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore, rookie Rashee Rice and maybe James and others. Camp will go a great distance towards figuring out which gamers get probably the most probabilities.
Training camp is successful if … the Chiefs can keep away from vital accidents
The Chiefs appear like they’re primed for one more Tremendous Bowl run however want gamers like Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Jones to be alongside for many, if not all, of the trip. The Chiefs have some skinny spots on their depth chart, most notably their offensive and defensive traces.
They appear strong with their beginning offensive linemen after including tackles Jawaan Taylor and Donovan Smith to a bunch that features heart Creed Humphrey and guards Joe Thuney and Trey Smith. However an harm may smash their plans. Equally, the Chiefs have sufficient on their line of defense for a productive rotation, however would undergo if accidents strike.
Most impactful offseason addition: Charles Omenihu, DE
The Chiefs haven’t any scarcity of candidates, together with Taylor and Smith on the offensive line, and rookies in Anudike-Uzomah and Rice. However it’s excellent news if it’s Omenihu. He has simply 11.5 sacks in 4 NFL seasons, together with 4.5 with the San Francisco 49ers final season. The Chiefs consider he’s able to making an enormous leap in that class and their protection is prone to have an enormous season if he does. Omenihu will play on the sting in lots of the Chiefs’ defensive packages, however they plan to maneuver him to the inside alongside Jones on passing downs.