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NFL Draft

Chiefs vs Cardinals: 3 Things We Hope To Learn Tonight

  • The Draft Network
  • August 20, 2021
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Friday’s preseason slate brings us two games, including an appetizing contest that will see the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Arizona Cardinals. The Chiefs are looking for their second preseason victory after they defeated the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 19-16 in their first contest. The Cardinals will also look to keep the good times rolling after they came out on top by a slim margin last week, beating the Dallas Cowboys 19-16.

We’re stoked to get a closer look at both of these teams that find themselves in very different situations heading into the season. With that said, let’s examine three things we’re hoping to learn on Friday night.

CAN ROOKIE LB ZAVEN COLLINS BUILD ON LAST WEEK’S IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE?

One of the big question marks surrounding Cardinals’ first-round pick Zaven Collins revolves around how he would handle a step up in competition as he prepared to transition from Tulsa to the NFL. Collins passed his first test with flying colors by recording a pair of takedowns in his preseason debut, including an eye-popping tackle for loss on Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard in the first quarter that saw Collins showcase his ability to shoot the gap. Collins didn’t fill up the stat sheet, but he looked like he belonged with the starters.

Collins was also tasked with calling the defensive plays during his 23 snaps on the field, something that speaks volumes regarding the trust his coaching staff is already placing in him. All in all, Collins was a standout performer in last week’s win over the Cowboys and we can’t wait to learn more about him on Friday night. 

WHAT WILL A CLOSER LOOK AT CHIEFS’ STARTING OL REVEAL?

The Chiefs have gone through more changes on their offensive line this offseason than any other team in the league. It made sense after the team failed to protect Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LV en route to a shocking 31-9 defeat. 

In the team’s first exhibition game against the San Francisco 49ers, the starters on the offensive line were Lucas Niang, Joe Thuney, Trey Smith, Creed Humphrey, and Orlando Brown Jr. This group features three rookies in Humphrey, Niang, and Smith, and two big-time newcomers in Thuney and Brown Jr. You’d expect them to get a ton of work in during the preseason, but the starters were out there for just 11 snaps against the 49ers a week ago. It was a good showing as they kept the pocket clean and opened up holes in the run game, but the sample size was shockingly small. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has already confirmed that his starters will play an entire half on Friday, and we’re confident he’ll be playing extra close attention to how his offensive line performs.

For a position group that typically relies on communication, continuity, and chemistry, the Chiefs appear set to start these five new offensive linemen in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns. It’s a bold move, but one that Reid is hoping will pay off.

WILL RONDALE MOORE CONTINUE TO EMBARRASS OPPOSING DEFENSES?

Switching our focus back over to a Cardinals rookie, Rondale Moore was absolutely electric in his first NFL game. Moore caught three balls for 23 receiving yards and rushed the ball twice for 16 yards while showcasing the same dual-threat skill set we saw from him at Purdue in the process.

The Cardinals drafted Moore with the 49th overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft after the 5-foot-7 playmaker made national headlines at his pro day with a 42.5-inch vertical. Moore also ran a blazing 4.29 in the 40-yard dash. With that type of athletic profile, it’s no surprise that reports on Moore’s progress out of training camp have been overwhelmingly positive

It’s obviously early, but another good showing for Moore in Friday’s contest with a Chiefs team that plans to play their starters during the first half could see this hype train pick up even more steam heading into the regular season.

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