Bold predictions for every NFL team in 2022 – AFC West | NFL News, Rankings & Stats

Sam Monson boldly predicts that Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes will finish outside the top 10 in the PFF category due, in part, to the departure of Tyreek Hill.

• Because of Russell Wilson’s deep passing ability, KJ Hamler is primed to become an elite deep threat for the Denver Broncos.

• With elite weapons at his disposal, like Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr will record the best PFF rating of his career in 2022.

• After a strong rookie season, Los Angeles Chargers OT Rashawn Slater will be the top-ranked offensive tackle in 2022.

• Click here for the rest of Sam Monson’s “Bold Prediction” series.


The 2022 NFL season is just around the corner, which means it’s time for some bold predictions. While everyone is focused on total wins per team, I want to be a bit more specific with bold predictions and go out on a limb for each team, giving takes that will be specific to PFF ratings – and others which are more general.

Given the nature of bold predictions, the hit rate here is unlikely to be insanely high, but these takes will be rooted in data – things that I think have a realistic chance of happening, not just insanity ripped from the ether .


Kansas City Chiefs

1. Skyy Moore leads Chiefs wide receivers in production

Without Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs offense will have to play in a different way in 2022, which will likely involve spreading the ball more and continuing last season’s trend of reducing big-player aggression.

Travis Kelce will be their primary receiver, but Moore has the best composite skills to be the top receiver. Moore has an outstanding set of scrimmage outings, good hands and the tenacity to win across the board. He averaged 3.46 yards per throw last season in college, racking up more than 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns.

2. George Karlaftas will surpass all the seasons Frank Clark had in Kansas City as a rookie

Clark has been a big disappointment to the Chiefs since they traded him. With a big veteran contract, Clark was supposed to bring a guaranteed source of pressure and production from the rim, but he just hasn’t produced at the level the Chiefs need. With that in mind, don’t be surprised if rookie George Karlaftis tops Clark’s freshman average. Karlaftis was the underdog rusher in this draft, but he was exceptionally productive in college, hitting 50-plus presses twice and finishing his final season with a 90.6 PFF pass mark. Karlaftis is technically advanced, and while he may have a ceiling to his game, he should have an immediate impact.

3. Patrick Mahomes finishes outside the top 10 in PFF grade

Mahomes struggled last season because of the two safety eyes the league showed Kansas City all season. “Struggling” is a relative term, because a down year for Mahomes is a career year for most other quarterbacks. He still passed for over 4,800 yards and had 37 touchdowns for 13 interceptions, but he posted the lowest PFF rating of his career (77.1) and, by far, the lowest throw rate ( 3.3%). The teams removed the deep bombs and forced Mahomes to be more patient. Leaders were still able to find success, but they weren’t as devastating that way. Without Hill in the lineup, Mahomes might not immediately return to the top ten in ratings.


Denver Broncos

1. It wasn’t all Pete Carroll in Seattle

The “let Russ cook” move was premised on the assumption that Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was responsible for retaining Russell Wilson and limiting his effectiveness as a quarterback. For the first time, we’ll see just how true that is as Wilson takes control of the Broncos’ offense. We can discover that much of the way Wilson plays the game is inherent and not a feature of the chains thrown at him by Carroll and the Seahawks. Denver can dial in a few more passes sooner, but Wilson doesn’t always stick to the quick passing plan, and a big part of what makes him special is his ability to make big plays that are high in value but low in value. efficiency in the field. Wilson can play exceptional football, but stylistically he may never be able to play the kind of offense that some other quarterbacks thrive on.

2. KJ HAMLER becomes an elite deep threat

We saw little of Hamler last season – just 88 snaps in three games – and he’s an unusual receiver. At just 5-foot-9, 173 pounds with blistering speed, Hamler could be a perfect designated deep threat for, arguably, the league’s top deep passer. Hamler has generated just 1.18 yards per pass in the NFL, but has so far faced conservative or inept quarterback play. In college, Hamler was a dynamic threat to big players at all times, and Wilson is well used to taking advantage of those types of players, even if they don’t have full skills.

3. NIK BONITTO finishes with the team’s best PFF passing-rushing rating

Denver’s hopes of rushing passes rest on the shoulders of Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory, but while Chubb was a top-five draft pick and Gregory had top ratings a season ago, every player is low on sample size when it comes to elite play. Bonitto may have a limited role as a designated pass-rusher, but he was lethal as a passing-rush force in college. Bonitto posted the best productivity in two years for PFF passing rushing in the draft class, ahead of Aidan Hutchinson. He recorded 91 total pressures from 406 snaps in his final two seasons, earning a PFF rating above 92.0 each time.


Las Vegas Raiders

1. Derek Carr has the highest PFF rating of his career

Carr showed the difference that having a No. 1 receiver, or even an accomplished deep threat, has on his performance. His best season in the NFL is still 2016 – at least in terms of PFF ratings – but he nearly knocked it down in 2020 and now has Davante Adams added to his receivers. Adams has been the NFL’s top receiver for a few years, leading the league’s PFF rankings (93.1) and third in yards per yardage (2.82) the past two seasons. Adams was also Carr’s favorite target in college, so the two already have chemistry.

2. Raiders finish with bottom-five offensive line

If there’s one thing that can sink the Raiders this season, it’s the offensive line, a group that ranks 29th before the season on paper. The offensive line provides the foundation for everything else on offense. As good as the Raiders are in terms of quarterbacking and skill position players, it could all be undermined if the offensive line is excessively bad. No lineman in the league allowed more pressure than Alex Leatherwood last season (67), and the Raiders ranked 24th in pass blocking efficiency. This group needs several pleasant surprises to avoid being a problem.

3. CB Nate Hobbs makes the Pro Bowl

A real bright spot on the Raiders last season was the play of rookie cornerback Nate Hobbs, as he trailed only Maxx Crosby in PFF rating on defense. Hobbs lined up mostly in the lunge and allowed just 8.5 yards per catch on the season. The Raiders ran a very predictable defense last season, but with a new coaching staff, Hobbs could see the benefit of a little more variety in terms of coverage. Hobbs has the knack of being one of the best slot corners in the league, and that could see him earn a spot in the Pro Bowl.


Los Angeles Chargers

1. The defense ranks in the top 10

Brandon Staley was hired as head coach of the Chargers after orchestrating the NFL’s No. 1 defense with the Los Angeles Rams. The Chargers already had talent on defense, and Staley’s plan was at the forefront of NFL defensive strategy. He was expected to have an immediate impact on the unit, but that didn’t quite happen as he finished 24th in the EPA per game last year on defense. Nonetheless, the Chargers have added major reinforcements in the offseason – Khalil Mack, Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson should all make a major difference in their ability to stop the run while Mack also adds real pressure.

2. Defense will rank in the top five in turnover

Much of the defense turnaround will come from the collection of ballhawks the Chargers seem to be prioritizing for their secondary. Turnovers are among the most valuable plays in football, and creating them can make up for a lot of the yardage dropped. JC Jackson has 25 interceptions and 28 pass breakups over his four seasons in the league. Asante Samuel Jr.’s rookie year was disappointing, but he still had two interceptions and seven pass breakups. He has impressive ball skills and a knack for breaking football. Derwin James is one of the best point guards in the NFL, and Nasir Adderley has an elite lineup at free safety. The Chargers weren’t bad on turnover last year, but this season they’re among the league’s elite.

3. RASHAWN SLATER will be the highest rated tackle in the NFL

Few tackles have entered the NFL looking as composed and assured as Slater. He was one of only four tackles to earn PFF ratings over 80.0 as a run blocker and pass protector, and he did so in his rookie season. His biggest challenge came against Myles Garrett, and the biggest issues he had with him had more to do with the token blocks he was getting than anything else. It would take a drop in play from the absurd level set by Trent Williams in 2021 for any other tackle to move to the top of the leaderboard, but if that happens Slater has as much of a chance as anyone to jump into that role. with a jump of 2 years.

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