As the Chiefs head into training camps, the team will begin to take form. Some players will be cut, others will make the practice squad, and those left will make the final 53. Fresh off a Super Bowl, the Chiefs have retained almost all of their core players, only losing a handful of key assets, but have done a great job of filling those positions. The Chiefs have one of the NFL’s youngest rosters, and will only continue to grow. So, with that being said, what is their biggest weakness heading into summer training?
Several positions don’t need to be discussed as the Chiefs are elite in those areas, so we will quickly gloss over them. Quarterback, for obvious reasons, needs the least said about it. For similar reasons Tight end isn’t a pressing need, but even after Travis Kelce, I’m happy with the rapid improvements we’ve seen in Noah Gray over the past couple of years. The offensive line as a whole is a top 5 group in the NFL, and the interior is easily the best in the league.
Defensively, I think the LB group of Nick Bolton, Willie Gay, Leo Chenal, and free agent addition Drue Tranquill has the potential to be the best, and most well-rounded group in the league. Chris Jones carries in the interior defensive line, but with the signing of Charles Omenihu, that group is pushed over the top and could be one of the most destructive interior pass rushers we’ve ever seen.
This group of wide receivers is certainly an intriguing one. The ceiling for the group is immense, but there also may not be a single superstar among them. Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore, and Rashee Rice all have the potential to be the Chiefs WR1, but there are unknowns about all three. MVS could be a WR2-3 for just about any team in the league, while Justin Watson and Richie James are quality depth pieces. Then you have the ultimate unknown in Justyn Ross. Ross at one point was a no-question first-round draft choice, but then had a series of unfortunate injuries that derailed his college career. After redshirting his rookie year with the Chiefs, there is no telling what to expect from Ross, but if he returns to form, then the Chiefs may have another player competing to be WR1. So, while there isn’t a true No. 1 in this group currently, there is plenty of upside and depth to go around.
Perhaps I’m expecting some regression with the DB group this year, but the group has immense talent and upside. L’Jarius Sneed and Justin Reid are both borderline superstars, and I believe Trent McDuffie is well on his way toward that as well. Jaylen Watson, Joshua Williams, and Bryan Cook are all just entering their sophomore seasons after outshining all expectations as rookies. Then you add another feisty 7th-round rookie in Nic Jones, and this unit may once again outshine expectations.
So, outside special teams, that leaves one unit. The Chiefs’ biggest weakness, for the second year in a row, is their Edge/DE group. I am higher on the unit than in the past, however, this group is very young and unproven. George Karlaftis is still a very raw player, Mike Danna is more of a rotational piece than a full-time starter, and rookie Felix Anudike-Uzomah is still unproven at the next level. After cutting Frank Clark, this group is lacking a true veteran player to help coach up the younger players. I think it’s a simple fix of re-signing either Frank Clark or Carlos Dunlap to help this unit grow from a weakness to a strength. If Karlaftis and FAU can develop into even just above-average players, then that’s all Spags needs to make this defense elite for the first time in Mahomes’ career.