Kansas City Chiefs depend on undrafted players to remake defense

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KANSAS CITY, MO – NOVEMBER 03: Kansas City Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt, left, and general manager Brett Veach, right, watch pregame warmups prior to the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Arrowhead Stadium on November 3, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

The Kansas City Chiefs are giving serious playing time to a handful of former undrafted free agents at the most important point of the season.

When general manager Brett Veach set out to remake the Kansas City Chiefs defense, the lion’s share of attention and analysis fell upon the biggest stars and most expensive moves. The trade for and massive contract handed to Frank Clark dominated offseason storylines as did the signing of safety Tyrann Mathieu in free agency for top-of-the-market money.

The heavy coverage of both imports is to be expected. After all, Clark has grown into a true franchise cornerstone and game-changing end for Steve Spagnuolo’s front seven. Meanwhile, Mathieu has turned into a fan favorite and true leader in the secondary, along with a man with a number of fun nicknames to employ (e.g. The Landlord, Honey Badger). But alongside these stars are a handful of players who put in the tremendous hard work and beat the long odds to find themselves earning real playing time as undrafted players. In fact, the Chiefs are depending on on them more than you might think.

A glimpse at the snap counts from Sunday’s win over the Houston Texans shows that the Chiefs defense is relying heavily on a few of these players who slipped below the radar of every NFL front office to become real contributors. Here’s a quick look at some undrafted gems who have found a home in Kansas City.

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