By Marc Lawrence – Many NFL pundits were surprised when the defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs selected RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire from LSU with the final pick in the first round this year. Pro Football Focus says Edwards-Helaire has the type of burst, lateral agility and quickness to create his own space as a runner, and he is a diverse weapon in the passing game. The concern is how he will be utilized. Having a first-round running back on the roster can lead to suboptimal decision-making — whether consciously or subconsciously. For Andy Reid, that’s calling more runs to justify taking a running back in the first round. For Patrick Mahomes, that’s looking to check down a little sooner because he knows Edwards-Helaire could make something happen. You have a special type of talent in Mahomes that the league has never seen. PFF says you don’t want to even take the ball out of his hands in favor of runs or ever have him doing anything other than keeping his eyes downfield looking for big plays. Stay tuned … The Chiefs had one of the most uninspiring linebacker corps in the NFL last season. Second Round LB Willie Gay Jr. from Mississippi State changes that in 2020. He tested out on Isaiah Simmons levels of freaky at the combine with a 4.46-second 40 time, 39.5-inch vertical, and 11-foot-4 broad jump at 6-foot-1, 243 pounds. Gay ranked third among off-ball linebackers behind Simmons and Patrick Queen on PFF’s big board, 39th overall … For more on the Chiefs draft and a composite review of their grade from 4 of the nation’s leading football authorities, click here.
Like Secretariat, horseracing purists are turning over in their graves at the announcement that the Belmont Stakes will take place June 20 without spectators. The Belmont is traditionally the third leg of the Triple Crown, but will be the first leg this year for the first time. On top of it all, the race will be shortened from its usual distance of 1½ miles to 1⅛ miles. The race has been run at 1½ miles since 1926. The race was originally scheduled for June 6. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Kentucky Derby, usually the first leg, was rescheduled from May 2 to Sept. 5, while the Preakness Stakes, usually the second leg, was rescheduled from May 16 to Oct. 3. Let’s hope the ‘call to the post’ goes off with fewer glitches than the revamped Triple Crown.
Grinding Out The Profits
From the 2020 PLAYBOOK Football Preview Guide magazine: The Cleveland Browns are 1-19-1 straight up in season openers since rejoining the league as an expansion team in 1999. This from a team that was 4-44 in all games from 2015-17. Adding to the ugliness, the Browns are 2-35 SU and 3-34 ATS the last 37 games in which they are minus in TO’s. Safe to say, it’s time to stop the madness