In a player’s second season, they usually experience either a sophomore slump or a breakout season. One second-year player that we will not talk about is the NFL’s ’17 leading rusher, Kareem Hunt, who already had a phenomenal rookie season. The other players who made this list are just candidates and could be primed for a second-year breakout season.
The first player we are all hyped about is none other than starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes. He looked excellent during the preseason and during his week 17 stint against the starters of the Denver Broncos. The future is now and Andy Reid is the one who can put this kid, and his skill set, over-the-edge. Reid will be responsible for turning Mahomes into a complete quarterback, not only in this system, but the whole entire National Football League. Andy has a knack for getting the best production out of his quarterbacks and they have given Mahomes a lot of weapons to include: Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Kareem Hunt. Some more weapons could fall into place after the draft, but regardless, Mahomes’ surroundings have him poised to throw for a 4,000 yard passing campaign, which will likely bring more interceptions than fans have been used to. However, Mahomes has the talent to thrive in the Andy Reid system and he will benefit from the play-makers that he has around him.
Another player poised to have a breakout season is linebacker/defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon. I think Kpassagnon could compete for the rotational job against Dee Ford or Allen Bailey, depending on the position that the Chiefs prefer for him this season. The Chiefs drafted him because of his size and key attributes that he brings to the table, despite the obvious development that he needed to be a consistent contributor. He had to develop by learning to play against the elite and use his physical gifts against his opponents properly. They moved him from defensive end to outside linebacker in ’17, which hindered the development process slightly since he had to learn a whole new position. He has all the skills and tools, being listed at 6’7″ and 289 pounds, with a large arm span as well. He did grab a pair of sacks last year, but most of his time came on special teams. During training camp he will have to get as many reps as he can so he can thrive as a true defensive weapon in this league.
Another wildcard player that could make “the leap” could be safety Leon McQuay and he could prove that he could flourish in the Bob Sutton defense. He would also be playing next to Eric Berry. Daniel Sorensen and Eric Murray likely have the lead to start at safety next to Berry, but who knows? I believe we will draft a safety in April’s draft, which could make this competition a bit more crowded.
This article is pre-draft and anything could change, but I believe Mahomes and Kpass have the best chance to have a solid year two. So stay on the edge of your seat, and check the page for all the news as we lead up the draft and the start of the season for the Kansas City Chiefs. Go Chiefs.