Now that the 2020 NFL Draft is in our rearview mirror, let’s re-evaluate the roster to see where the Kansas City Chiefs biggest question marks are.
The great thing about the NFL Draft is that you get to make your team better. Of course, the other 31 teams improve as well, so it’s all moot, right? A closer look at the Chiefs’ post-draft roster reveals that Kansas City still has a few question marks in its lineup.
Here are the six biggest roster questions after the draft.
1. What happens at defensive tackle if contract negotiations with Chris Jones reach an impasse?
First off, I must preface this by saying that it is very unlikely we see a Super Bowl champion unable to reach a contract with one of its star players. Chris Jones is going to become a very rich man very soon, in some capacity, and now that the draft has come and gone, it is even more likely that he will be back in a Chiefs uniform. Seeing the draft go by without a trade involving the rights to Jones should comfort Chiefs Kingdom.
Jones is one of the premier interior pass rushers in all the league, and his presence was felt strongly in the Super Bowl. Many ascertain that Jones could have been in contention for Super Bowl MVP with his performance. But the fact is, without a contract, Jones’ situation makes defensive tackle one of the biggest question marks for the Chiefs.
Without their All-Pro anchor in the lineup, Kansas City would be left with a rotation of Derrick Nnadi, Mike Pennel and Khalen Saunders. Nnadi and Pennel serve handily in early downs and short-distance defenses, but both frequently leave the field in nickel and dime packages, where Jones flourishes.
Saunders’ athleticism makes him a decent candidate to get some reps in passing situations, and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo also showed in 2019 that he likes to slide his defensive ends in on passing downs as well. The Chiefs could finagle their way through a situation without their top defensive tackle, but without any new additions up front in the draft, the Chiefs lost a little leverage in contract negotiations with Jones. They need him.