The Kansas City Chiefs are cooking with fire when it comes to their core group of young players. They have a solid, talented bunch that features playmakers on both sides of the ball and guys whom you can build an elite roster around. But, out of their full group of playmakers, which five players stand out as the Chiefs keys to the future? Let’s break them down and start things off with a player who’s well on his way to becoming one of the elite tight ends in the NFL.
Travis Kelce, TE
Kelce was signed to a five-year, $46.842 million deal, according to Spotrac, and is looking like he’s going to be worth every penny. He’s improved in many areas since joining the league and most recently posted career-highs in catches (85), yards (1,125) and yards per reception (13.2) in 2016. There’s a ton to love about his game, and with Jeremy Maclin no longer in town, there’s a real reason to believe that he could wind up seeing 90-100 catches during the 2017 season.
Hill burst into the NFL by making a major statement with his play as a rookie in 2016. He caught 61 passes for 593 yards and six touchdowns but also had three rushing touchdowns and three return touchdowns as well. His 12 combined touchdowns show just how electrifying he can be and that’s the type of player who should see the ball in his hands more and more often moving forward. Hill is now the Chiefs’ No. 1 wideout following Maclin’s release, so he should see even more opportunity this season.
Justin Houston, LB
A knee injury forced Houston to miss 11 games last season, but we’re going to stay on the side of believing that he’ll bounce back and be at least close to the same player he was before. While injuries forced Houston to miss 16 total games over the past two seasons, he still managed 11.5 sacks, and in the three seasons before that, he tallied a superb 43 sacks. He’s capable of being a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks and can defend both the run and the pass. Houston is also under contract through 2020, and the 28-year-old will be vital the team’s success moving forward.
Marcus Peters, CB
Peters is entering his third season in the NFL, but when the time comes for him to get a new deal, he’s going to get a monster one. Over his first two years in the league, Peters has been the definition of a ballhawk, totaling 14 interceptions with two touchdowns. He also has a ridiculous 46 passes defensed through those two seasons and has already cemented himself as one of the elite cornerbacks in the league. The Chiefs would be crazy to let him leave town, which is why there’s virtually no chance they let it happen.
Eric Berry, S
Another Chief who’s young and just received a big contract. The 28-year-old signed a six-year, $78 million deal, meaning that he won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. He’s under contract through 2022 and is one of the league’s best young safeties. Berry has 427 career tackles, 50 passes defensed and 14 interceptions. There are no reasons to believe that he won’t be a key to the Chiefs’ future and his future is exceptionally bright.
Tyreek Hill, WR
Hill busted into the NFL by making a major statement with his play as a rookie in 2016. He caught 61 passes for 593 yards and six touchdowns, but also had three rushing touchdowns and three return touchdowns as well. His 12 combined touchdowns show just how electrifying he can be, and that’s the type of player who should see the ball in his hands more often moving forward. Hill now becomes the Chiefs’ No. 1 wideout with Maclin’s release, so he should see even more opportunity this season.
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