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Who Will Be the Key Contributors on the Chiefs Defense? The Answers May Surprise You...

Yes, I know the title is very clickbait-y, but I truly mean it. The Chiefs' defense is due for a renaissance year, and with the youth, intelligence, and skill could become one of the best defenses in the league. Who will catalyze that greatness though? I think the answer depends on who you ask. You have your Chris Joneses, your Frank Clarks, your Carlos Dunlaps, guys that are veterans and will provide leadership. Who will step up though and be THE guy for years to come? Here are my picks, personally.

La'Jarius Sneed: IF Sneed can pull off the All-Pro year he's almost expected to have at this point, he earns the spot as a leader on this Chiefs defense for years to come. The 3rd year corner out of Louisiana Tech impressed the NFL with a lot of great playmaking abilities, and while it flashed from time to time in year 2, Sneed definitely went through a sophomore slump. Now it's time to prove that he can be something great in this league, as we know he can be. With Charvarius Ward gone, he steps into the role as lead corner, and will have to be a mentor for this young DB room. I believe he is up to the task, he's got a chip on his shoulder and has shown he can make plays and guard receivers well. It's just a matter of consistency, which in my opinion only gets better with time and experience.

Justin Reid: Yes, he's a first year Chief, but Reid has seemed to already connect well with the locker room here in Kansas City. I personally love his attitude, and his skills fit the bill to become a marquee safety in this league. Now that he's out from under the Texans, we could very well see him flourish. He's another guy that has shown he has the ability to become great, but just needs better play calling and a chance to step into that leadership role. I think he more than fills those shoes, and if his coverage skills can show more consistently, he becomes one of the best Chiefs safeties of all time in my opinion.

Nick Bolton: Is Nick Bolton the next big linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs? The next DJ, Derrick Thomas, Bobby Bell, or Willie Lanier? This team has had a long history of great linebackers, and I truly think this linebacking corps, led by Bolton, has the potential to make their mark as well. Bolton's athletic, smart, has shown poise and leadership, and is overall in the right position to become a key contributor and leader as a middle linebacker. That's not to say Willie Gay Jr. can't fill this spot, I think he can very well do so, but again, Nick Bolton is in that key spot in the middle of the field and has play calling abilities. I see a bit more maturity in Bolton as well, so I see him stepping into a leadership role before Gay does.

Finally...Juan Thornhill: Here's the surprise the clickbait title was referring to. I think a lot of people forget about Thornhill's journey to where he is at now. A career that's been plagued by injury thus far, but a career that shows how brilliant of a safety Thornhill can be. He does well in coverage, can sniff out runs, and knows where he needs to be when in zone. About all you can ask for in a safety, but I don't think he's gotten the chance to show his potential yet. IF he can stay healthy, and the injury doesn't hamper his abilities, we could see a really dynamic duo covering the roof of this defense in Thornhill and Reid (Which sounds like a law firm, doesn't it?) I have faith in Thornhill, I think a lot of Chiefs fans have discounted him because of his health concerns, but we've seen what he's capable of. I'm betting it shows itself more with Juan being another guy playing with a chip on his shoulder.

So there you have it, my thoughts on who could rise above the rest in terms of contributions for this Chiefs defense. I believe as much as anyone in the Kingdom that the defense will be better than last year's, perhaps by a wide margin, so long as everyone stays healthy and plays to their potential. I'd love to know your thoughts on the matter as well, another discussion type post calls for you to give me your (whether good or bad) opinions. Come on, get featured on the ScorchCast, you know you want to.

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ScorchCast 5/20/2024 Enjoy this week's ScorchCast! Hope you enjoy the new approach to scripting.


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