Exploring the Kansas City Chiefs lack of investment at cornerback

Bashaud Breeland (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Bashaud Breeland (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
1 of 4

The Kansas City Chiefs have a loaded roster that’s ready to compete for another Super Bowl, but they simply haven’t invested in one very important position.

The Kansas City Chiefs are the reigning Super Bowl champions and are well positioned to make another championship run this coming season. The Chiefs return 20 of the 22 starters from the Super Bowl and are at or near the top of every list of favorites that you can find for the 2020 season. It’s an exciting time to be a Chiefs fan and the last thing I want to do is cast doubt on a team that I believe can win it all again. However, when looking over the Chiefs roster, there is one key position where it appears the Chiefs simply haven’t invested enough resources. That position is cornerback.

Before I go any farther, let me acknowledge that I understand that the Chiefs won the Super Bowl with largely the same group of corners that they have now. The Chiefs used Bashaud Breeland and Charvarius Ward on the outside with Rashad Fenton playing some in the slot along with do-it-all defensive back Tyrann Mathieu. They did lose Kendall Fuller who played important snaps in the Super Bowl, but mostly at safety in place of the injured Juan Thornhill. They also lost veteran Morris Claiborne.

Many Chiefs fans (myself included) were also concerned about the lack of talent at cornerback last year at this time yet they went on to win the Super Bowl. Why should we bother worrying again this year? The answer to that really comes down to how you view the Chiefs cornerback production from last season.

Was it a sign that the Chiefs already have enough quality cornerbacks to get the job done? Do you believe that the Chiefs defensive scheme under Steve Spagnuolo doesn’t require elite cornerback play in order to be successful? Or do you believe that last year was the best possible scenario for the Chiefs corner—meaning they could easily backslide this season, especially if there are any injuries or suspensions at the position?

Speaking of suspensions, let’s address the obvious. My interest in this topic was fueled by two main events. First, the Chiefs waited to draft a cornerback until the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft when many predicted (and hoped) they would draft one earlier. Second, there is also the recent arrest of Bashaud Breeland. Following the arrest it was announced that Breeland was already facing a possible suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy before the arrest took place.

Let me be clear, I have no interest in speculating what should or will happen with Breeland. The best thing we can all do is wait and see how things play out there. It could be that Breeland ends up missing no time. It could be that he misses a few games. It could be that the Chiefs decide they’d rather cut ties and look for corner help elsewhere—although that seems less likely to me. However, the idea of Breeland missing any time at all plays directly into my concerns about the lack of investment made at cornerback.

The concern doesn’t even have to be about a potential suspension. Should the Chiefs have either Breeland or Ward miss any significant time with injury, it would force them to start players with virtually no NFL playing experience. They drafted L’Jarius Sneed in the fourth round and Thakarius “BoPete” Keyes in the seventh round. I like both of those players for where they were drafted. They both have the physical tools the Chiefs appear to look for at the position and the potential to develop with time and good coaching. What I don’t think is that it’s fair to either of those two to expect that they should walk right in and start as rookies.

If the rookies are going to need time to develop, then that would only leave Antonio Hamilton, who has mostly been a special teams player in four NFL seasons, and second year undrafted free agent Alex Brown as options to see regular playing time should one of KC’s starters miss time.

I believe in Brett Veach. I believe he deserves credit for building a Super Bowl winning roster, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t have concerns about the lack of investment he’s made at corner. I went through the entire roster position by position and I believe there is no question that cornerback is the position he has invested in the least.

Let’s take a quick look.