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Pre-draft Situation - Defense


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We have had some major changes on defense, some of which are largely under the radar. Free Agency bit hard. Tanoh Kpassagnon signed with New Orleans. Bashaud Breeland and Alex Okafor are currently not on roster, though neither has signed elsewhere. The team indicated an interest in re-signing TK, but that did not happen. We did re-sign Dan Sorensen and Taco Charlton

New people include CB DeAndre Baker, formerly of the Giants and Jarron Reed, formerly of the Seahawks. Baker is an interesting story, see his Wiki page below. He had been out of football and was not in game shape when the Chiefs signed him in December. He played in three games, including starting game 17. As a former 1st round pick and starter, he figures to pick up a lot of Breeland's snaps. Jarron Reed is a swing DT, excellent run stopper with underrated pass rush, at 6 1/2 sacks last season. One key is that he and Frank Clark played together for three years and know each other well. There is a long article below.

It's worth pointing out that the draft last year was two for offense, four for defense. Two of those four, CB L'Jarius Sneed, DE Mike Danna, and UDFA DT Turk Wharton had splashy rookie seasons, particularly Sneed who was called an impact rookie. Second round pick LB Willie Gay and 7th round pick DB BoPete Keyes rarely played as rookies. All five of these players will be expected to have bigger roles this season. 

Going into the draft, the biggest hole is at DE. Only three are currently on the roster--Clark, Danna, and Charlton. The addition of Reed makes it possible to consider Jones and Wharton in DE roles, but getting new blood is a priority. Of lesser urgency is the need to find Sorensen's eventual replacement and one or two LB. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deandre_Baker
https://www.arrowheadpride.com/2021/3/29/22355900/chiefs-jarran-reid-film-review-why-kansas-citys-defensive-line-just-got-better

Edited by onejayhawk
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TK signed with New Orleans today.
 

At DE you forgot about Tim Ward who after a year on IR was signed to the active roster halfway through the season. We'll see whether he can bring some juice. Demone Harris probably is an afterthought here.

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15 minutes ago, KC_Guy said:

TK signed with New Orleans today.

At DE you forgot about Tim Ward who after a year on IR was signed to the active roster halfway through the season. We'll see whether he can bring some juice. Demone Harris probably is an afterthought here.

Correct. There are several players on the 90 man roster I did not mention, eg Khalen Saunders and Rashad Fenton. Some of these players may become important.

J

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7 hours ago, onejayhawk said:

It's possible. Then we really won't need a CB in the draft, even though it's a fan favorite.

J

I don't see how even adding Breeland back on a 1 year deal doesn't keep us from addressing the position long term. Obviously we have one of the three spots likely locked up long term with Snead, but Ward is back on a restricted tender for next year. Baker while showing something intriguing in a very small same shouldn't be penciled in as a known quantity.

 

I am not saying that it is a high priority need, but adding another prospect that brings value outside of round 1 could make alot of sense long term.

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9 hours ago, nicfre2011 said:

I don't see how even adding Breeland back on a 1 year deal doesn't keep us from addressing the position long term. Obviously we have one of the three spots likely locked up long term with Snead, but Ward is back on a restricted tender for next year. Baker while showing something intriguing in a very small same shouldn't be penciled in as a known quantity.

I am not saying that it is a high priority need, but adding another prospect that brings value outside of round 1 could make alot of sense long term.

I'm saying it isn't as high a priority as getting a run support safety.

Without Breeland, we have three young, frontline CB--Ward, Baker and Sneed. I take Baker as a high draft pick and experienced starter. We also have two young bench CB--Fenton and Keyes. In case you don't recall, Ward is the old man from 2018. DeAndre Baker was a 2019 1st round pick. Fenton is also from 2019. Sneed and Keyes are from last year's draft. That's five players from the last three drafts. Why do we need more from this draft? 

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1 hour ago, onejayhawk said:

I'm saying it isn't as high a priority as getting a run support safety.

Without Breeland, we have three young, frontline CB--Ward, Baker and Sneed. I take Baker as a high draft pick and experienced starter. We also have two young bench CB--Fenton and Keyes. In case you don't recall, Ward is the old man from 2018. DeAndre Baker was a 2019 1st round pick. Fenton is also from 2019. Sneed and Keyes are from last year's draft. That's five players from the last three drafts. Why do we need more from this draft? 

Because in 2022 our only CB under contract are Sneed, Fenton, and Keyes. Baker is a RFA, so you could technically count him. Our roster is so top heavy in contracts that we likely can't afford to keep Ward. We got lucky with Sneed last year. But Fenton and Keyes are not #1 nor #2 CBs. Fenton is a decent #3-4 and Keyes is a project. Baker is still an unknown and now he's coming off a broken femur. I really liked him coming out, but he's not the same guy today. So I'm likely looking at someone who drops in rounds 2-4.

I agree with you that we need a safety. We need to get a '22 replacement for Sorensen and potentially one for Mathieu if he isn't extended. Thronhill's contract is up in '23. I think we can re-sign him to a team friendly though.

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2 minutes ago, kingseanjohn said:

Because in 2022 our only CB under contract are Sneed, Fenton, and Keyes. Baker is a RFA, so you could technically count him. Our roster is so top heavy in contracts that we likely can't afford to keep Ward. We got lucky with Sneed last year. But Fenton and Keyes are not #1 nor #2 CBs. Fenton is a decent #3-4 and Keyes is a project. Baker is still an unknown and now he's coming off a broken femur. I really liked him coming out, but he's not the same guy today. So I'm likely looking at someone who drops in rounds 2-4.

I agree with you that we need a safety. We need to get a '22 replacement for Sorensen and potentially one for Mathieu if he isn't extended. Thronhill's contract is up in '23. I think we can re-sign him to a team friendly though.

I agree. I really hope Baker can end up being a steal as a cast off of the Giants...but I don't think we can bet the farm on that. I get the feeling Ward will eventually price himself out of Kansas City.

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57 minutes ago, kingseanjohn said:

Because in 2022 our only CB under contract are Sneed, Fenton, and Keyes. Baker is a RFA, so you could technically count him. Our roster is so top heavy in contracts that we likely can't afford to keep Ward. We got lucky with Sneed last year. But Fenton and Keyes are not #1 nor #2 CBs. Fenton is a decent #3-4 and Keyes is a project. Baker is still an unknown and now he's coming off a broken femur. I really liked him coming out, but he's not the same guy today. So I'm likely looking at someone who drops in rounds 2-4.

I agree with you that we need a safety. We need to get a '22 replacement for Sorensen and potentially one for Mathieu if he isn't extended. Thronhill's contract is up in '23. I think we can re-sign him to a team friendly though.

Baker is on a reserve/futures contract, but we control him for 2022. Ward was RFA and we tendered, so he is also under contract. Our top three CB are Ward, Baker and Sneed, in some order. Fenton is an acceptable CB3 and a good CB4. We will see what a whole offseason of work will do for Keyes. 

Baker's injury is not that serious. Broken bones heal almost completely. Soft tissue injuries--rotator cuffs, ligament or tendon damage, etc.--are much more touchy.

I don't think we would spend #63 on a S. However, there are some players who may be there at #94 who would could turn their head. I think Thornhill is already the replacement for Mathieu, but that does leave Sorensen.  

J

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1 hour ago, onejayhawk said:

Baker is on a reserve/futures contract, but we control him for 2022. Ward was RFA and we tendered, so he is also under contract. Our top three CB are Ward, Baker and Sneed, in some order. Fenton is an acceptable CB3 and a good CB4. We will see what a whole offseason of work will do for Keyes.

Agreed on Baker. We do control him for 2022 since he's a RFA. Based on the tender amounts, that's a likely possibility assuming he performs well. The broken femur isn't the only concern. He wasn't really in football shape when we brought him in. The injury delayed his progress even further. Even if the injury heals up 100%, it'll still take some time for him to potentially return to 2019 form.

Ward is under contract/tendered this year, not 2022+.

I think we will be ok this year IF Baker can return to form. It's 2022+ that I'm concerned with.

 

Right now we have an estimated 30mil in cap space next year. To put that in a little more perspective, we only have 23 players under contract. That means, as of today, we can average to pay 30 guys 1mil each. That doesn't leave room to bring Ward, Mathieu and others back. Sure, we can cut Clark and save an additional 13.4mil. But then we have another huge hole. Or we can cut Hitchens or Hill... You get the idea. Creating holes to create money to fill other holes. -- I feel myself starting a Brett Veach rant so I'll stop here.

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Baker's injury was reported as a simple femur fracture, with a surgery that went without complication. For lower leg breaks, basic recovery time is generally measured in weeks. The injury occurred on 3 January. Unless there is something they aren't telling us, Baker should be full speed well before the draft, much less camp. 

J

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not much of an update for the D.

One suggestion is that Turk Wharton is potentially a candidate for DE. He has the build for it. With TK gone, there are a lot of snaps available. Also, Chris Jones has spent time at DE. Obviously, Mike Danna is going to get some, but that does not come close to covering all the snaps. Aside from a few specialty situations for Taco, those snaps go to someone new or to a DT.

LB is even more up in the air. Only Hitchens is currently under contract from the top four of last season. Willie Gay, Do'D and PS players are the only others under contract. 

The secondary seems fairly stable, even without Bashaud Breeland. Sorensen re-signed for a year, so there are three S and three CB with extensive playing time. Add to that Rashad Fenton and BoPete Keys. That said, Sorensen is on a one year contract and he's 31. New blood is needed.

The defense is in flux. Normally, this sort of thing would have happened last year, but the team reloaded for another SB run. This year, every roster spot is up for grabs, except a few building blocks--Frank Clark, Chris Jones, Anthony Hitchens, L'Jarius Sneed. At least this year we will have a whole off season program, the draft, a host of hold overs from PS, and several players signed to futures contracts. It will almost be like open try outs.

J

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8 hours ago, onejayhawk said:

Not much of an update for the D.

One suggestion is that Turk Wharton is potentially a candidate for DE. He has the build for it. With TK gone, there are a lot of snaps available. Also, Chris Jones has spent time at DE. Obviously, Mike Danna is going to get some, but that does not come close to covering all the snaps. Aside from a few specialty situations for Taco, those snaps go to someone new or to a DT.

LB is even more up in the air. Only Hitchens is currently under contract from the top four of last season. Willie Gay, Do'D and PS players are the only others under contract. 

The secondary seems fairly stable, even without Bashaud Breeland. Sorensen re-signed for a year, so there are three S and three CB with extensive playing time. Add to that Rashad Fenton and BoPete Keys. That said, Sorensen is on a one year contract and he's 31. New blood is needed.

The defense is in flux. Normally, this sort of thing would have happened last year, but the team reloaded for another SB run. This year, every roster spot is up for grabs, except a few building blocks--Frank Clark, Chris Jones, Anthony Hitchens, L'Jarius Sneed. At least this year we will have a whole off season program, the draft, a host of hold overs from PS, and several players signed to futures contracts. It will almost be like open try outs.

J

Didn't the team bring back Neimann? Definitely not starter material IMO, atleast hopefully not.

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