Guest of the League
ANEZ LEAGUE Est. 2017
NFL Playoffs League - FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Chiefs wide receivers showcase speed during indoor race

Tue Aug 11 12:23pm ET
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

In this Jan. 27, 2020, filer photo, Kansas City Chiefs' Mecole Hardman (17) and Tyreek Hill (10) pose for a photo in Miami. The two Chiefs wide receivers have traded barbs about their speed ever since Hardman was chosen in the second round of last year's draft. Hardman and Hill both have world-class speed that much was never in question but just who was the fastest man in Kansas City wasn't settled until the two lined up in the team's indoor facility this past week. Hill won easily. Hardman copped to it on social media with a sad-face emoji. (AP Photo/Doug Benc, File)


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Mecole Hardman is probably faster than 99% of players in the NFL.

Tyreek Hill happens to be in the 1%.

The two Chiefs wide receivers have traded barbs about their speed ever since Hardman was chosen in the second round of last year's draft. Hardman and Hill both have world-class speed - that much was never in question - but just who was the fastest man in Kansas City wasn't settled until the two lined up in the team's indoor facility this past week.

Hill won easily. Hardman copped to it on social media with a sad-face emoji.

''Every day we find ways to better ourselves,'' Hill said in a social media posting. ''Really enjoyed the competition level and the way we push each other. It's all love.''

The real winners, though, are probably the Super Bowl champs. Throw in veteran Sammy Watkins, rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and even tight end Travis Kelce, and the Chiefs just might have the fleetest group of skill position players in a league that has grown increasingly dependent on speed.

''The Tyreek and Mecole race, I mean, both the guys are super fast. I'm just lucky to have both of them,'' Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said during a break from training camp meetings and workouts this week.

''Tyreek got the first one,'' Mahomes said with a smile, ''but I'm going to try to keep them from racing anymore. I'd rather them just run down the sidelines scoring touchdowns during the game week.''

All of the Chiefs' wide receivers did plenty of that last year.

Hill caught seven touchdown passes last season. Hardman had six. Another member of the dynamic group, Demarcus Robinson, hauled in four TD catches and Watkins finished with three.

On one of Hardman's touchdown receptions, an 83-yard catch in Week 3, he hit a top speed of 21.74 mph that put the play among the fastest all season, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. Watkins hit 21.33 mph on a 38-yard TD catch in Week 1.

Hill didn't quite reach those speeds last season, mostly because he's often so far ahead of defenders by the end zone that he's able to throttle back a bit. But gaze back at previous seasons and the two-time All-Pro regularly has some of the fastest single plays in the NFL. In fact, he had the two fastest during the 2016 season, at one point hitting 23.24 mph.

It's not just straight-line speed, either. There is a significant difference between being fast and playing fast. And the ability of Hardman and Hill in particular to stop on a dime, change directions and immediately accelerate to full speed is uncanny.

Those also happen to be traits that allowed Edwards-Helaire to become a first-round draft pick.

Most draftniks thought the Chiefs would select a defensive player in the first round, but they instead made the talented running back out of LSU their choice. They were enamored by his blocking in the pass game, his ability to catch passes out of the backfield and, yes, his speed and elusiveness - and it wound up being a decision that carried even more importance when Super Bowl star Damien Williams decided to opt out because of coronavirus concerns.

''It's something that I was born with,'' Edwards-Helaire said of his unique athletic ability. ''I feel like that was a gift I had (and) you always try to make yourself better, find a way to make it elite, as some guys would say. I wanted to work on it, being quicker and faster than the next person is always the name of the game. It's the way I make my game in, being quick and fast in small areas. It's the way I run the ball. It's the way I got to the Kansas City Chiefs.''

It's a big reason why Hardman made it to the Chiefs. Why Hill made it, too.

Player Notes
Travis Fulgham Aug 11 3:20am ET

The Green Bay Packers have claimed wide receiver Travis Fulgham off waivers from the Detroit Lions. A sixth-round pick out of Old Dominion last season, Fulgham appeared in three games for Detroit, playing 42 offensive snaps against Green Bay in December but not recording a target. With Devin Funchess opting out and a top-heavy receiving corps, it makes sense for Green Bay to add someone at the position, but Fulgham's a longshot to make any kind of impact on this team in 2020.

From RotoBaller

Alex Smith Aug 10 10:40pm ET

At one point, it looked like Washington quarterback Alex Smith would never step onto a football field again after a devastating leg injury in 2018, but head coach Ron Rivera says that if Smith is healthy, he'll have a chance to compete for the starting job. That's bad news for second-year passer Dwayne Haskins, who struggled as a rookie. Haskins not winning the starting job this year would signal bad news for his future in Washington and could suggest that the team will be looking for a new quarterback in 2021, as Smith's not the long term answer at this point in his career. This is a quarterback room to avoid in re-draft leagues this season.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Miller Aug 10 10:30pm ET

The New England Patriots have signed former Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller to a one-year deal. Miller missed all of 2019 after tearing his ACL and MCL in preseason, but the veteran back has shown some explosiveness in the past and adds important insurance to this backfield, especially with Sony Michel (foot) not a lock to be healthy Week 1. Miller's been good before, but he's likely just keeping the seat warm for Michel and even if Michel does miss time, Miller's likely to be part of a committee approach in New England. There's not a ton of reason to be excited about this signing for fantasy purposes, but Miller could be worth a late-round dart throw in deeper formats.

From RotoBaller

Sony Michel Aug 10 10:30pm ET

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel (foot) isn't a lock to be recovered by Week 1, putting a major question mark beside the back who most expected to lead this New England backfield in rushing attempts. The team signed veteran Lamar Miller as insurance on Monday, further complicating things and suggesting that Michel's injury issues will bleed over to the regular season. You almost have to be more wary of drafting Michel than you already were with this news, and you already should have been fairly low on him. He's not undraftable, but he's become a huge risk without a lot of upside.

From RotoBaller

Alvin Kamara Aug 10 5:30pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara spoke to the media earlier Monday and offered more details about his injury-plagued 2019 season. Kamara said he "tore his knee' in Week 5 against Jacksonville last year and that he had to deal with it the rest of the season. The 25-year-old didn't require surgery, though he spent the entire offseason rehabbing the knee and said he feels healthy now. Kamara finished as the RB16 in PPR formats despite dealing with the knee and ankle injuries. Coming into 2020 a bit leaner after adopting a plant-based diet, Kamara is poised to have the best season of his career in a contract year. He should be a top-five pick in both formats and could be taken as early as the third pick in PPR leagues.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Green Aug 10 2:30pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green reportedly has been impressing teammates in practices this week as he works back from injuries that robbed him of his entire 2019 season. Tight end C.J. Uzomah told reporters, "We're just running routes and haven't gone full speed against the defense. Drew (Sample) only saw him last year for, what, that first practice? He said, 'I forgot how explosive he is.' I told him, 'You haven't seen the half of it yet.'" Green has serious bounce-back potential as the No. 1 WR in a Bengals offense that should be one of the most-improved in the league. He can be treated as an upside WR3 in fantasy drafts.

From RotoBaller

Carl Davis Aug 9 8:33pm ET

Free-agent CB Tramaine Brock and DT Carl Davis were signed to undisclosed contracts by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Aug. 9.

From TheHuddle

Derrius Guice Aug 9 7:33pm ET

Free-agent RB Derrius Guice (Football Team) passed through waivers unclaimed Sunday, Aug. 9.

From TheHuddle

Kenjon Barner Aug 9 6:13pm ET

Free-agent RB Kenjon Barner (Falcons) is expected to sign with the Baltimore Ravens in the near future, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Caraun Reid Aug 9 5:33pm ET

Free-agent DT Caraun Reid (Cardinals) signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Aug. 9. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle

Marqui Christian Aug 9 5:23pm ET

Free-agent S Marqui Christian (Jets) recently met with the Chicago Bears.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Reed Aug 9 4:53pm ET

Free-agent TE Jordan Reed (Football Team) officially signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Aug. 9. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Fantasy Spin: Reed has dealt with injuries during his career but has posted solid numbers when healthy. He will be the No. 2 tight end for the 49ers behind George Kittle but should have a decent role in the passing game. Reed probably should be considered a No. 2 fantasy tight end in most leagues.

From TheHuddle

Tramaine Brock Aug 9 4:53pm ET

Free-agent CB Tramaine Brock (Titans) is meeting with the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Aug. 9, and likely will sign with the team if the meeting goes well, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Jatavis Brown Aug 9 4:23pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles LB Jatavis Brown was placed on the Reserve/Retired list Sunday, Aug. 9.

From TheHuddle

Mike Daniels Aug 9 3:33pm ET

Free-agent DT Mike Daniels (Lions) is meeting with the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Aug. 9, and is expected to sign with the team, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

A'Shawn Robinson Aug 9 3:03pm ET

Los Angeles Rams DT A'Shawn Robinson (undisclosed) is expected to play at some point during the 2020 season, but the team will take things slow with him since he was diagnosed with a medical issue during the medical on-boarding process.

From TheHuddle

Aug 9 2:53pm ET

Buffalo Bills WR Duke Williams was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, Aug. 9. The team also released CB Akeem King.

From TheHuddle

Logan Thomas Aug 9 2:33pm ET

Washington Football Team TE Logan Thomas was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, Aug. 9.

From TheHuddle

J.J. Wilcox Aug 9 1:13pm ET

Free-agent S J.J. Wilcox (Falcons) officially re-signed with the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Aug. 9. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle