Nelson is a bit of an unknown. He played sparingly on defense during his rookie year and the times he was on the field struggled when asked to play in the slot. One play that stood out to fans in a positive light was Nelson locking down DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone during the Chiefs playoff win vs the Texans.
While it was not a good throw from Hoyer it was Nelson prevented Hopkins from getting around him and potentially making a highlight reel catch. Now one play means very little in the grand scheme of things, but it was encouraging that the team trusted Nelson in that situation in what was still a close game at the time. I think many of us thought Nelson would contribute early and often in 2015, especially once Gaines went down.
The fact that he didn’t was a bit concerning and that he wasn’t ready for regular snaps, but one has to hope with a full year until his belt he’ll come in with a chance to earn the other starting cornerback job.
Even more concerning may be the state of the safety positions. Last year the Chiefs had Eric Berry, Ron Parker, Abdullah and Branch to rotate between and give opposing offenses a variety of coverages deal with. The versatility that all four of these players offered were a big factor in the team’s turnaround from a 1-5 start.
Next: Getting some depth