Although the Chiefs may have given up one of their best cornerbacks, there is still great talent in the defensive backfield. Marcus Peters was recently traded to the Rams. Even so, Kansas City recently obtained Kendall Fuller and David Amerson.
The Newest Corners on the KC Block
As mentioned in a previous article, Kendall Fuller ought to be a great addition next season for Kansas City. Before being traded from the Redskins, he had a combined total last season of 55 tackles and four interceptions. Fuller had the second-highest cornerback PFF grade with a 90 and had the lowest allowed passer rating in the league.
David Amerson, a former Raiders cornerback, recently signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the Chiefs. This 6-foot-1 cornerback only played for six games in 2017 before injuring his foot. In the two previous seasons, he had six interceptions and defended 42 passes.
Although we have heard a lot about these two in the sports news lately, let’s look at the talent the Chiefs already possess, who haven’t necessarily been given the spotlight.
The Great Corners KC Already Has
Coming up on his third season in the NFL, Steven Nelson has recorded 100 career tackles; in 2017, he was ranked the league’s 26th best cornerback. In his rookie season, he didn’t start off too impressively, only recording eight tackles over 12 games. Over the next two seasons, a big improvement: he averaged close to four per game. He, Fuller and Amerson should make quite the trio.
Terrance Mitchell shouldn’t be overlooked, though. After being released from the Texans and then being moved back and forth from the Chiefs practice squad to the active roster in 2016, Mitchell has performed well for Kansas City. Last season, he had four interceptions, two off Chargers’ QB Philip Rivers in Week 3. Mitchell also defended 18 passes.
Though Mitchell is a free agent, the Chiefs should keep him and see what he has to offer for next season. The following defensive backs, meanwhile, would seem to need improvement and will have to compete to make the roster.
A Few Players Who Need to Show Up by Preseason
Kenneth Acker recorded more total tackles for the San Francisco 49ers in 2015 than he did for the Chiefs in 2016 and 2017 combined. He also had more interceptions and passes defended in that one year, and Acker hasn’t had many injuries. He and Phillip Gaines were deep on the Chiefs’ depth chart last season. Gaines has played for the Chiefs for four seasons and has only logged 90 total tackles, with 14 passes defended and one interception.
Keith Reaser was not on the active roster for the Chiefs until the middle of December of the 2017 season. He played in but one game, logging four tackles and defending two passes. He played for San Francisco in 2015 and 2016 and didn’t have as high of average.
And then there’s the rookie who was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2017 from Oklahoma State. Ashton Lampkin nonetheless impressed many in the rookie minicamp. He never played in the regular season due to an ACL injury suffered in the preseason. But during his downtime, he was able to study the playbook and film and could likely come back, perhaps stronger.
These four cornerbacks would surely need to step it up during the offseason, but Kansas City should have faith because they are being led by vets Fuller and Amerson. Nelson and Mitchell aren’t too far behind in talent. There is a method to general manager Brett Veach’s madness. KC just has to wait and see what that method is and how it turns out.
2019 NFL Draft Board
Welcome to NFL Draft week! Here is the downloadable version of Ryan’s 2019 Draft board laying out the prospects round-by-round as Draft fits. Chiefs will be drafting some of these players. Check them off as they come off the board and highlight your targets!
Click image to download the .pdf and follow along on NFL Draft weekend