The 2021 season started unexpectedly worrisome for the Chiefs, with them only winning four games in their first eight. Many NFL pundits, as well as fans, started writing the Chiefs off early. It was only then that the Kansas City Chiefs made a strong push toward the end of the season, with their only loss after Week Seven coming against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17.
The Chiefs then proceeded to turn the clock back and became those same Chiefs we have recently grown accustomed to with Patrick Mahomes under center. The same Kansas City Chiefs that dominated the AFC North in the postseason and advanced to earn a chance at a Super Bowl title. They reeled off a win against the lowly Steelers and played a dangerous Buffalo Bills team that took the game down to the wire, with the Chiefs tying the game in under 15 seconds and winning in overtime. Then came the Cincinnati Bengals, and the rest is forever cemented in beloved Chiefs’ lore.
To begin the season, the Chiefs’ secondary set league-level lows. Of course, the defense, as a whole, was not that good to start the season. As the season wore on, the defense started arriving, and the secondary was a bright spot toward the end of the season, ranking in the top half of the NFL. Then came NFL free agency. With Chavarius Ward playing comparably to other top cornerbacks, he priced himself out of Kansas City and joined the San Francisco 49ers. Mike Hughes was free to test the free agency waters and signed with the Detroit Lions.
The Chiefs have a few talented cornerbacks on their roster and a couple of good prospects, but they lost more talent than they retained. L’Jarius Sneed is a promising up-and-coming corner and has the potential to be great, and Rashad Fenton started making great strides toward becoming a starter. The Chiefs also have Deandre Baker, a former first-round pick, that could become an important contributor to the team.
This once strong cornerback room is hardly intimidating anymore. The Chiefs must address the position with an infusion of new talent. Rumor has circulated that the Chiefs are interested in James Bradberry and Stephon Gilmore. Both of these players would be great acquisitions, but both are on the older side and would only serve as a stop-gap for the short-term.
This would give the roster more veteran leadership at a position so young, but the Chiefs need to infuse fresh blood capable of manning the secondary for years to come.
With the 2022 NFL Draft quickly approaching, we will look at three “dark horse” options the Chiefs could select in this year’s draft. With Brett Veach’s propensity to draft cornerbacks in the later rounds and spending more money elsewhere on defense, we will find three great options that fit the current Kansas City Chiefs’ mold:
Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati
Bryant weighs in at 193 lbs and is 6’1”. Bryant is a four-year starter whose experience playing football helped hone in on his football IQ. He has above-average skills and has good size that fits Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme. While he may not become a CB1 in Kansas City, he could help this secondary become more elite. He has the makings of a Brett Veach pick written all over it.
Mario Goodrich, CB, Clemson
Goodrich weighs in at 190lbs and is exactly six feet tall. Goodrich did not allow a single touchdown last year, mainly due to the opposing quarterback avoiding lobbing passes in his direction. He had two interceptions and could have potentially had more if quarterbacks did not fear his ball-hawking skills. After all, he was one of the best cornerbacks in all of the ACC. Goodrich can cover the run well, and he is really good in zone schemes. That alone could make him a sleeper in the Chiefs’ secondary. The Chiefs could find value with Goodrich in the later rounds.
Marcus Jones, CB, Houston
Jones weighs in at 174 lbs and is only 5’8.” Jones is an intriguing option for the Chiefs. He played wide receiver, which, I believe, will help refine his cornerback skills. He also had five interceptions, and 13 passes defended, which puts him top ten in all of the country. Jones has excellent skills and would fit great in KC.
And if this were not enough, Jones is also a great kick returner. Dave Toub would be licking his chops to have a playmaker like Jones on the squad. Jones has the potential to be elite on special teams and contribute in the “new look” secondary.
Out of all three “dark horse” picks, I believe Marcus Jones would be the best pick out of the three. He does not have to start on day one on the defense. Spags could bring him along slowly, but the Chiefs would be wise to use his excellent kick returning skills right away!
Which dark horse cornerback prospect do you think the Chiefs should draft? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.
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