Ten Kansas City Chiefs players who need to step up in 2020

Tanoh Kpassagnon of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Tanoh Kpassagnon of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Alex Okafor of the Kansas City Chiefs
Alex Okafor of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

3. Alex Okafor

The Kansas City Chiefs gave Alex Okafor a nice free agent contract last offseason to be the starting edge player opposite Frank Clark. In fact, Okafor currently has the 10th largest cap number on the team for this coming season. Similar to what I said about Kpassagnon, Okafor needs to be more than just a rotational contributor to validate his contract and ensure he is still a Chief in 2021.

Okafor is under contract through 2021, but the Chiefs could save roughly $6 million in cap space if they cut ties with him after this coming season. If Okafor can’t establish himself as clearly better than guys like Kpassagnon, Speaks, and Charlton it will be hard to justify keeping him around.

Okafor was able to contribute 5 sacks in 10 games last season. At that rate, he could have hit 8 sacks on the season, but he wasn’t able to stay healthy. I think the Chiefs would take 8 sacks from him this year, but the question is will he be on the field enough to do so. Like several other players on this list, PFF did not grade Okafor very highly when he was on the field last season. His 48.2 overall grade was the lowest since his rookie season and his 39.6 grade against the run was one of the worst amongst starting edge players.

If Okafor can establish himself as healthy and a clear starter and pass rusher opposite Clark, it would be a huge boost to the Chiefs defense. If he can’t, don’t expect the Chiefs to keep him and his large contract around for another season in Kansas City.

Next up, an offensive lineman who most fans like, but has under achieved.