Parker Ehinger

Cowboys Place Parker Ehinger On IR

The Cowboys have taken another hit on their offensive line, as the club announced it’s placed recent trade acquisition Parker Ehinger on injured reserve and signed fellow offensive lineman Kadeem Edwards.

Dallas picked up Ehinger from the Chiefs late last month in exchange for defensive back Charvarius Ward. With Travis Frederick sidelined by Guillian-Barre syndrome, and Zack Martin working his way back from a knee injury (he’ll play in Week 1), the Cowboys were searching for interior offensive line depth. Ehinger, a former fourth-round pick who appeared in six games for Kansas City from 2016-17, was thought to be just that, but he’s now down for the count with his own knee issue.

Edwards, meanwhile, was a fifth-round pick in the 2014 draft, but he’s yet to appear in an NFL game. He’s bounced around the league, spending time with the Buccaneers and Jaguars before landing with the Cowboys in 2016. Edwards was on Dallas’ practice squad for much of the past two years, so he’s certainly familiar with the club’s blocking scheme.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Trade OL Parker Ehinger To Cowboys

We learned earlier tonight that the Cowboys were trading cornerback Charvarius Ward to the Chiefs, and now we’re getting details on what they’ll be getting in return. ESPN’s Adam Teicher reports that Kansas City will be sending offensive lineman Parker Ehinger to Dallas.

The 2016 fourth-round pick out of Cincinnati had difficulties staying on the field during his tenure with the Chiefs. He did start four of his five games as a rookie, but a knee injury ended his season prematurely. In 2017, Ehinger was limited to only one game (one start), but the Chiefs apparently had optimism that he’d be able to start at left guard this year.

However, the lineman was benched for Cam Erving during training camp, and Kansas City apparently decided that they were fine rolling with their current backups. That grouping includes Andrew Wylie, Bryan Witzmann, Jordan Devey and rookies Ryan Hunter and Kahlil McKenzie.

The 25-year-old will now try to crack the Cowboys roster, which is currently dealing with injuries to Marcus Martin and Travis Frederick. The six-foot-six, 310-pound Ehinger will presumably compete with Cameron Fleming, Chaz Green, Joe Looney, and Kadeem Edwards for backup reps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Rumors: Mahomes, Rogers, Ford, OL

Being a first-year starting quarterback, Patrick Mahomes will bring some risk to the Chiefs‘ outlook Alex Smith did not. But the potential reward looks to be much greater. Andy Reid acknowledges the 2017 first-round pick will experience the usual issues adjusting to NFL starter life, but the sixth-year Chiefs coach made it clear he doesn’t want to deprive Mahomes of playmaking opportunities his skill set could create.

You surely don’t want to stifle that at all. One thing that he is blessed with is he has good vision, so you don’t ever want to stifle that and put him in a box with that. Allow him to see,” Reid said from Chiefs training camp in St. Joseph, Mo. “Is there going to be a hiccup here or there? Yeah there’s going to be a hiccup here or there, but you don’t want to stifle that at all.”

Reid added that Mahomes, viewed as a raw but potentially special arm talent out of Texas Tech as a prospect last year, is farther along this year compared to where Smith was in 2013. With the addition of Sammy Watkins, the Chiefs have also outfitted Mahomes with a better collection of skill-position talent than Smith (or possibly any previous Kansas City quarterback) received.

Here’s the latest out of western Missouri:

  • While the Chiefs’ offense looks capable of being one of the NFL’s best units, Kansas City’s defense has plenty of questions. A key one will be the status of their injury-prone edge rushers. Justin Houston enters camp healthy and is signed long-term, but Dee Ford may only be back because an injury left him unable to pass a March physical. His $8.718MM fifth-year option vested, but Ford realizes he’s under pressure to perform this season after a career that’s seen just one productive year (2016, when he had a Chiefs-most 10 sacks). The Chiefs also drafted edge defenders in each of the past two second rounds, in Tanoh Kpassagnon and Breeland Speaks (the latter of whom K.C. traded up to acquire). “Everyone’s seen flashes of what I can do. This is the opportunity to really (show it) for 16 games,” Ford said, via Adam Teicher of ESPN.com. “In order to be a great player you have to be consistent. You can’t just be good (like 2016 in) those first 10 games or so before I got hurt. Everybody was like, ‘That’s the guy we expected,’ and then I got hurt. … This is the time to put it all together.”
  • Eli Rogers left his Chiefs visit Monday without a deal, Field Yates of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). Rogers will now meet with the Browns, who have his three-year OC on staff in Todd Haley. The Raiders have also scheduled a summit with the slot receiver. Behind Watkins and Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs employ Chris Conley, Demarcus Robinson, Jehu Chesson and the recently re-signed De’Anthony Thomas.
  • Despite a 2016 ACL tear hijacking both of Parker Ehinger‘s first two NFL seasons, he still might be the frontrunner to work as the Chiefs’ starting left guard, Nate Taylor of The Athletic writes (subscription required). A fourth-round pick out of Cincinnati two years ago, Ehinger opened his rookie year as a starter but missed all but one game last season. Bryan Witzmann and Jordan Devey represent his primary competitors, per Taylor, who adds that Cameron Erving could linger here as well if he cannot unseat fourth-year center Mitch Morse.
  • Like Ford, Spencer Ware‘s been cleared to begin training camp without a PUP list stay, but the 2016 starter won’t automatically be given the backup job, per Taylor. Charcandrick West remains a factor and scored four touchdowns as Kareem Hunt‘s backup last season. West and Ware will battle for the backup role, just as they did in 2015 when they vied for time behind a then-healthy Jamaal Charles.

Chiefs Sign Knile Davis

Knile Davis is back in Kansas City, as the team announced (via Twitter) that they’ve signed the veteran running back. The team also promoted defensive end David King to the active roster. To make room, the team placed offensive guard Parker Ehinger on the injured reserve and waived offensive lineman Jordan Devey.

Knile DavisIt’s been a tumultuous two weeks for Davis. The 25-year-old was traded to the Packers in mid-October, but he only got five carries in two games before being waived last week. The running back was claimed by the Jets the next day, but he barely lasted three hours as the team opted to sign free agent running C.J. Spiller. In six games this season, Davis has compiled only three yards on six carries, and he’s added another four receptions for 18 yards. The former third-rounder had his best season in 2014, when he ran for 463 yards and six touchdowns. With Jamaal Charles out for the season and Spencer Ware sidelined with a concussion, the team will have to rely on Davis, Charcandrick West, and Bishop Sankey to lead their running game.

King, a seventh-round pick in 2013, has eight NFL appearances under his belt. The 26-year-old has collected four tackles and 1.5 sacks, and he’ll likely compete with Kendall Reyes and Dadi Nicolas for snaps on the defensive line.

We learned earlier this week that Ehinger, a fourth-round rookie, would miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. The Cincinnati product ultimately started four games for the Chiefs. Meanwhile, Devey made one appearance for Kansas City this season. By cutting the former undrafted free agent, the Chiefs will be rolling with only Jah Reid and Bryan Witzmann as their back-up lineman.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/1/16

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Cardinals re-signed guard Taylor Boggs and promoted safety Christian Bryant from the practice squad. Boggs, who also has the ability to play center, has seven career games under his belt. Meanwhile, Bryant has yet to take the field this season after playing in nine games in 2015.
  • The Titans have promoted wide receiver Tre McBride from the practice squad, according to Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com. The former seventh-round pick had a pair of catches in 2015, but he found himself on the team’s practice squad to begin the season.
  • The Colts have elevated cornerback Frankie Williams to the 53-man roster from the practice squad and released tight end Chase Coffman, as ESPN.com’s Mike Wells tweets. Williams will provide depth as Vontae Davis goes through the league’s concussion protocol. The release of Coffman, meanwhile, could be a sign that tight end Dwayne Allen is getting close to returning from his ankle injury.
  • The Seahawks have swapped one defensive end for another. The team announced (via Twitter) that they’ve signed Damontre Moore to the 53-man roster, releasing Malliciah Goodman to make the necessary room. Moore, 24, has 9.5 career sacks, but he was previously cut by the Giants for violating team rules. Goodman appeared in one game for the Seahawks this season.
  • The Chiefs have promoted linebacker Terrance Smith from the practice squad to the active roster, according to his agent (on Twitter). Smith originally joined the organization as an undrafted free agent out of Florida State. Meanwhile, to make room on the roster, the team has released linebacker Sam Barrington (via Greg Auman on Twitter). Barrington has only been active for two games this season.
  • More bad news for the Chiefs on the injury front. ESPN’s Adam Caplan tweets that starting left guard Parker Ehinger will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. A fourth-round pick in this past year’s draft, Ehinger started four of his five games this season.

Zack Links contributed to this post.

Impact Rookies: Kansas City Chiefs

The old adage that defense wins championships may or may not be true, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a title-winning team that didn’t build heavily through the draft. Rookie classes, naturally, are evaluated on the perceived upside of the NFL newcomers, but which rookies are ready to contribute right out of the gate? And, how do they fit in with their new team schematically?

To help us forecast the immediate future of these NFL neophytes, we enlisted the help of draft guru Dave-Te Thomas who has served as a scouting personnel consultant to NFL teams for multiple decades.

Today, we continue PFR’s Impact Rookie series with his insight on the Kansas City Chiefs’ draft class:

It was far from exciting for Kansas City fans when the Chiefs introduced their cache from the recent NFL Draft. While some fans recognized the need to improve the pass protection up front after KC quarterbacks were sacked 46 times last year (tied for sixth worst in the league), rather than bulking up the offensive line, they first cut guard Ben Grubbs, let right tackle Jeff Allen sign a four-year deal with Houston, and then traded away the No. 28 pick to San Francisco, only to see the 49ers take one of the better guard prospects available – Stanford’s Josh Garnett. While the fans were clamoring for a big body in the first round, Kansas City did manage to secure from the 49ers their second round pick (No. 37 overall), a fourth round choice (No. 105), and a sixth round selection (No. 178 through Dallas) in this year’s draft during the exchange.

So what does KC have in Jones and the rest of its 2016 rookie class? Let’s dive in:

Second Round – Chris Jones, DE/DT (Mississippi State, No. 37 overall)

Several teams had Jones pegged as a late first round prospect, but the Chiefs see him as a capable edge rusher with the ability to slide inside when they go to a four-man front. Still, other teams felt that the junior would have been better served remaining in school and continuing his development for another year. In 2014, he posted 26 tackles, but just 3.5 of those stops came from behind the line of scrimmage. He shifted from the weak-side to strong-side tackle last season, picking up second-team All-American honors after he delivered 44 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 7.5 stops-for-loss. Chris Jones (vertical)

Jones might not have those eye-catching numbers you expect from an elite prospect, but even with 5.5 sacks combined his last two seasons, the Chiefs felt that he was further along than most of the defensive linemen still left in the draft. They realize that he needs refinement and lacks an array of pass rush moves, but he uses his hands exceptionally well to rip and swim. With his balance, he demonstrates the ability to execute an effective spin move, despite the fact that he tends to get high in his stance (he has a good center of gravity, though).

On film, you see that Jones’ high motor allows him to close in on a ball carrier quickly. Has a lot of range, makes a good portion of his tackles outside the box. With his balance, he gets out in space well, looking like an oversized linebacker. He’s quite light on his feet when he has to be, and you can see that he has that wiggle in his hips needed to make the last second moves to avoid the brunt of a blocker’s punch. When he keeps a low pad level, he generates much better explosion off the snap, but when he fails to deliver on his initial move, his feet stop and his arms get a little out of control at the point of attack, which allows blockers to get a piece of his jersey.

Still, for a player his size, he does a nice job of fitting into tight spaces. I doubt if he will ever be regarded as a pass rusher, as he is more suited in being a one-gap type of penetrator that can alter the lane of a running back. He must be conscious of low blocks though and has to do a better job of recognizing double teams, as failure to do so will result in Jones being driven back by that strong double team duo. In one-on-one battles, it is a completely different story, as the Bulldog uses his long arms and powerful hands to make it very difficult for a blocker to lock on to him, especially when he shows confidence in the power he delivers out his hands and arms.

Continue reading about the Chiefs’ rookie class..

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Chiefs Sign Six Draft Picks, Seven UDFAs

The Chiefs have officially locked up the majority of their nine-player draft class, having signed six selections to contracts, the team announced. Along with the previously reported Chris Jones (second-round pick), the Chiefs inked the followers players to deals:

The Chiefs traded out of the first round this year, making third-round defensive back Keivarae Russell their most significant unsigned draft pick as of now. The team also officially signed seven undrafted free agents, including three cornerbacks:

Additionally, Kansas City waived Lithuanian-born linebacker Tautvydas Kieras, per a team announcement (Twitter link).