Rodney McLeod: With Abdullah on his way out, the Chiefs will need to backfill his position with a capable free safety — enter McLeod. The fifth-year man out of Virginia has spent his entire career with the Los Angeles (formerly St. Louis) Rams. During his time there, McLeod has proven to be a hard-hitting, opportunistic playmaker.
His presence in the secondary would give Kansas City the intimidation factor they simply didn’t have in Abdullah. McLeod’s Broncos receiver slaying past would help him fit right in with the rest of the AFC West. If you’re unfamiliar, there are clips of him absolutely de-cleating both Emmanuel Sanders and Andre Caldwell on YouTube.
Isa Abdul-Quddus: One hallmark of Bob Sutton’s secondary is their versatility. The addition of Abdul-Quddus would give that group even more options in coverage as he can play both safety positions. When injury struck the Lions’ secondary (James Ihedigbo) in 2015, he filled in admirably for him.
Last year, Pro Football Focus ranked him among the top-20 safeties in the NFL. Abdul-Quddus can also add value to one of the league’s elite special teams units. He’s excelled as a special teamer throughout his career and would be an excellent, multi-purpose addition to the fold available for pennies on the dollar.
Reggie Nelson: The 32-year old defensive back already has ties to the organization. Well, sort of. He and Chiefs’ Defensive Rookie of the Year Marcus Peters each had eight interceptions in 2015 (tied for the league lead). In fact, Nelson’s snagged 23 interceptions in six seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Despite his age, he’s been one of the more durable players in the AFC. Since 2011, he’s missed just three starts. Nelson’s better in coverage than he is in run support, but he won’t be a liability. He’s a willing tackler who has no problem jumping into the fray. Coupling his ball skills with a defensive backfield that spent most of last season creating turnovers would make Sutton and company even more problematic in 2016.
Next: Options at outside linebacker...