With a small cornerback room going into 2020, could the Kansas City Chiefs find relief by selecting TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney in the NFL Draft?
The Kansas City Chiefs were able to win the Super Bowl in 2019 without spending much draft capital or money in free agency on one of the most critical positions. Spending two sixth-round picks and throwing low-cost, one-year contracts at veterans is all the team has done to address cornerback over the last two years. Oh, and they traded a backup offensive lineman for an undrafted free agent cornerback with the Dallas Cowboys.
Thankfully, that trade brought Charvarius Ward, who, after playing only a handful of games in 2018, improved even more in 2019 under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. He entered the season in the starting lineup with Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller—both of which are unrestricted free agents in 2020.
Breeland was a significant contributor to Kansas City on the backend of the defense in 2019, but he will likely command more money in 2020. Fuller has not looked the same as he once did in Washington. He had a rough start to the 2019 season dealing with some injuries, but after missing some time, Fuller stepped up and showed impressive versatility to help cover at safety.
Outside of those two, the Chiefs have tried to patch holes with Morris Claiborne, Orlando Scandrick, and even David Amerson until the end of training camp. Rookie sixth-round pick Rashad Fenton stepped up and delivered well above expectations, given his draft selection in 2019. His quick development likely saved Kansas City due to the number of injuries that were piling up. The Chiefs only have two corners worth mentioning on the roster for 2020—Ward and Fenton—as the team heads into free agency.
With 20 unrestricted free agents for the Chiefs following the 2019 season, and the number of significant contracts coming up, general manager Brett Veach can’t afford to be careless with the salary cap. While they need to have some veteran presence in the room, it likely won’t come from a top dollar signing. That means that Veach needs to be looking at this loaded cornerback class in the 2020 NFL Draft.
One player that would fit Spagnuolo’s defense well is Texas Christian University cornerback Jeff Gladney.