Which position groups are strongest for the Kansas City Chiefs?

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 16: Defensive end Chris Jones
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 16: Defensive end Chris Jones /
4 of 5
Position Groups - Frank Clark
SEATTLE, WA – DECEMBER 02: Frank Clark #55 of the Seattle Seahawks attempts to tacks Matt Breida #22 of the San Francisco 49ers in the first quarter at CenturyLink Field on December 2, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

Defensive Line

In 2018, the defensive line was middle of the pack when it came to the Chiefs’ position groups. They weren’t terrible, but they weren’t great. That’s not to say that some of the Chiefs’ defensive lineman didn’t have a nice season.

Chris Jones had a phenomenal one. But, as a unit they were consistently poor against the run. Even more, regardless of their ability to generate a good pass rush, this seemed to provide little value to the backend of the defense.

So, along with the termination of Bob Sutton, Veach and Steve Spagnuolo have made it a point this offseason to completely remake this defensive line. With two trades, a solid signing, and a top-100 draft pick, it appears this defensive line will have a completely new look in 2019.

Below is a list of the most promising prospects for this position group. Likely roles is merely a way-too-early prediction of what this unit will look like heading into camp, and could look completely different once the season starts.

Defensive Line
Defensive Line /

There are several players to watch from this group. What will Chris Jones be able to do as a follow up to his monster year in 2018? I think it’s fair to expect a lot from Jones in 2019. He’s coming into his fourth year in the league and seems to have turned a corner in terms of consistency. What’s more, he’s playing next to much better players than he has in his first three years with the Chiefs.

How will Frank Clark fare now that he is a Chief? In the last two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Clark has played in 32 games, had 22 sacks, 73 tackles, and 20 tackles for loss. Now that he’ll be playing on the same line as Chris Jones, can we expect him to duplicate or even exceed his performance in Seattle? I think we can.

Then there’s Khalen Saunders, a defensive tackle who gained the nickname “The Aaron Donald of the FCS.” If you’re curious about Saunders as an athlete, look no further than this video of him doing backflips. Anytime an individual weighing over 300 pounds can do flying somersaults in the air, that’s something to write home about.

Even more, he’s demonstrated the ability to transfer this athleticism onto the gridiron. He reportedly had a great Senior Bowl, competing and consistently beating players like Garrett Bradbury and Michael Deiter. It’s hard to say what his ultimate impact will be in year one, given he’ll have a learning curve coming from FCS but, with NFL coaching and hard work, it seems the sky’s the limit for a player with Saunders’ physical tools.

Out of all position groups, the defensive line has the potential to be one of the best. In total, this group has 10 players ranging from All-Pro potential to solid flashes technical and athletic ability that can get the job done. After struggling through the 2018 season, it looks like the defensive line has the makings of a dominant force in 2019.