The Kansas City Chiefs opened up their 59th season at home against the Houston Texans. Although it’s the pre-season, the hype was still there for a small portion of the game as we got to finally see the first glance of new starter and potential face-of-franchise Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs also made some heavy moves in the off-season in which they acquired players like WR Sammy Watkins, DB Kendall Fuller, and LB Anthony Hitchens. The biggest transactions might’ve been two departures though, as young star CB Marcus Peters and starting QB Alex Smith were traded.
The new look Chiefs didn’t show too much on last Thursday, as every team does in the pre-season. They would go on to lose the ball game at the very end after TE Alex Ellis failed to catch a touchdown that could’ve put them over the Texans with a potential 2 point conversion (which teams usually do in the preseason when they score a late TD). I still decided to grade the skill position players on offense and determined how each Wide Receiver, Running Back and Tight End performed.
How I grade skill positions: Players are there to make plays, block, run, etc. Therefore, grades are mostly determined by the overall impact they have on the field and how they played on each snap. Keep in mind, some of these players are starters and usually get minimal snaps in the preseason. I grade these players on a scale of 1-10. The projected starters are marked with a *.
Byron Pringle: 1.8
*Tyreek Hill: 1.3
Daniel Braverman: 1.3
Gehrig Dieter: 1.2
Jehu Chesson: 0.6
Jordan Smallwood: 0.5
Marcus Kemp: 0.5
Josh Crockett: 0.2
*Chris Conley: 0.1
*Sammy Watkins: 0.1
Darrell Williams: 6.2
Damien Williams: 1.5
Kerwynn Williams: 1.3
*Kareem Hunt: 1.3
Algernon Brown: 0.2
Alex Ellis: 2.2
*Travis Kelce: 2.1
Jace Amaro: 1.8
*Demetrius Harris: 1.2
Blake Mack: 0.2
Tim Wright: 0.2
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Three players on this list greatly stood out to me in how they performed. And as I look forward to today’s game versus the Atlanta Falcons, I will shine a light on these players to see what they can do and if they can give an impact to the team.
1: WR Demarcus Robinson
The third-year speedy receiver out of Florida had a short but terrific show out in the loss to the Texans. He hauled in 3 catches for 48 yards and a TD with 5 total targets. Robinson is an interesting player to watch this training camp because he and Chris Conley have been battling for that 3rd receiver spot. Conley will probably win the position due to his experience from 2017, before his injury. That being said, Demarcus can easily take the advantage if he plays well in the next two games. We could see a full battle for WR3 from two speedsters. Robinson showed some flash near the end of the season, as he also caught the final touchdown of the Chiefs season in the playoffs (sadly).
2: RB Darrell Williams
Although he started off training camp a longshot to make the team, the former LSU Tiger impressed in his debut with the Chiefs. Darrell showed off his tough and gritty run style and even caught two passes for 15 yards. 35 yards in total. The running back chart is most likely going to be 1. Kareem Hunt 2. Spencer Ware 3. Damien Williams 4. Kerwynn Williams but Darrell Williams could make that 4th spot a little more interesting. As he backed up RB stars like Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice, Williams was able to adapt to that power run type play. Andy Reid might keep one of those types of backs around and it just might be Darrell Williams. The 6’1 buff undrafted back has a big chip on his shoulder as he tries to sway the coaches to keep him around with his play.
3: WR Byron Pringle
To me, Pringle was one of the more refined and sharper route runners there was in the draft. He is also a fast and shifty guy that really caught my eyes when he was playing at Kansas State. Mahomes would love to play with a receiver like Pringle. A guy that can separate with ease as he is a more disciplined receiver and not to mention he has a good set of hands to go along with his talents. He had one catch that went for 16 yards in the game but he also did run some nice routes and created that separation like he had in college. Pringle did make some nice plays in one on one drills in practice too but he just needs to put up better numbers than he did against the Texans and he could have himself a spot on the team. He also had a few snaps on special teams so that is something else to watch with him.
Those are my preseason grades for the Chiefs skill position players. Check out Full Press Coverage for new sports content daily.