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Chiefs Defensive Tackle Room Power Rankings


Source – Sports Illustrated

Article by – Cole Schrot (@coleschrot2329 – Twitter {X})

For reference – Lock = 100%

Probable/Roster Bubble = likely will make the roster but not guaranteed

Roster Bubble Alone = Roughly a 50/50 chance to make the roster

Roster Bubble/Practice Squad = slim chance of making the roster, but not impossible, likely will stay on the practice squad if he clears waivers

Practice Squad only = likely won’t make the roster at all, but might be worth stashing on the practice squad for the future.

Another position in question, (Not in the most positive way) with Chris Jones being out has been defensive tackle. Let’s take a look at how this room is looking, who has emerged, and who has disappointed so far.

1. Chris Jones – Lock (If he reports)

The mysterious saga of Chris Jones continues, and it’s probably fair to say that it is trending in the wrong direction. Camp is over, so what’s next? Would he really hold out games and risk game checks? In terms of the power rankings, Jones is obviously the best DT on the team, as well as the best defensive player on the team.

2. Tershawn Wharton – Lock

Although not a starter on the defensive line, Turk Wharton is probably the second most talented interior pass rusher the Chiefs have. Wharton is undersized for a defensive tackle, but makes up for it with quickness and versatility, with the ability to rush from the defensive end spot in sub packages as well. Hopefully, Wharton is 100% healthy when the regular season comes around so. If not, the room will be lacking a valuable pass-rush punch.

3. Derrick Nnadi – Lock

The definition of Derrick Nnadi’s first 3-4 seasons in Kansas City would be consistency. Nnadi was a solid rock in the middle of Steve Spanuolo’s defense, but last year he took a step back. He wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t making as much noise in the run defense. Without pass-rush ability (which is not his fault, as he is not asked to do that) he is limited in what he can do and will be pushed for time by the likes of the next two players on this list. Nnadi’s advantage is that he has been with the team since 2018 and knows the system well. At the very least he can be a serviceable run-stuffing nose tackle, and he has the trust of the coaching staff which would lead him to be a lock for the 53. 

4. Danny Shelton – Roster Bubble

Danny Shelton has been a big surprise this preseason, as many wrote him off after not making the active roster last season. The wily veteran has progressed this offseason after being brought back on a futures contract (which is rare for a 30-year-old). He looks to be in better shape, defending the run at a high level, and showing some juice rushing the passer which was a shock, as he has been a run-stuffing nose tackle his entire career with little to no pass rush production. Shelton has a sack and has been disruptive in the backfield so far this preseason. Shelton is neck and neck with Keondre Coburn to be the second (and likely final) nose tackle on the 53.

5. Keondre Coburn – Roster Bubble

6th-round pick Keondre Coburn has also had a solid camp and has flashed in the first two preseason games. Coburn is another anchor of a nose tackle at 6’1′ 332 lbs and is battling with Danny Shelton as mentioned above. Expect the loser of the 2nd string nose tackle competition to go to the practice squad (if they clear waivers).

6. Matt Dickerson – Roster Bubble – Practice Squad

Matt Dickerson is an interesting name that doesn’t get brought up much. He was with the Chiefs last year in camp and had a solid camp, but he was cut and then went on to play significant snaps for the Atlanta Falcons last season after they claimed him on waivers. Dickerson finds himself right back in the same situation he was in last year, and he may have an advantage over the players below as he already has been through a preseason with the Chiefs.

7. Daniel Wise – Roster Bubble – Practice Squad

Kansas product Daniel Wise was another futures signing towards the end of last season and has notably gotten first-team reps in training camp in replacement for Chris Jones and Tershawn Wharton. This is likely a smokescreen though, as Wise has an uphill climb to have a chance to make the active roster. Keep an eye on him as a practice squad candidate.

8. Phil Hoskins – Cut

Phil Hoskins was actually on the Chiefs practice squad when they won the Super Bowl last year, but he has had a quiet camp. It will be a crowded practice squad this year with a lot of stacked position groups that will have players not making the 53. Hoskins needs a big game in week 3 of the preseason if he wants to stick around on the practice squad.

9. Chris Williams – Cut 

Former Colt Chris Williams managed to stick around for 3 years in Indy as a UDFA in 2020, bouncing around from the active roster to the practice squad. With the Chiefs, it will likely be a different story. He had a decent preseason week 2, making his way into the backfield a few times, but with it being a tough numbers game, Williams is likely the odd man out.


This prediction could completely change based on the status of the top two players on this list. Ideally, Chris Jones reports and Turk Wharton is 100% to start the year. If not, look for a free agent add at the position or a guy like Matt Dickerson/Daniel Wise to be pushed until the active roster until those issues are resolved.


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