10. Dorian O’Daniel
When the Chiefs took Dorian O’Daniel in the third round and 100th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, it surprised a lot of people. O’Daniel certainly wasn’t hyped as a top 100 pick leading up to the draft, but clearly the Chiefs had big plans for him. Right? Well, if they did it certainly hasn’t worked out that way. Despite linebacker being far and away the weakest part of K.C.’s defense during his two NFL seasons, O’Daniel simply hasn’t been able to get on the field outside of special teams units.
There was hope that with the arrival of Steve Spagnuolo as the defensive coordinator last season that O’Daniel would see his role increase after being a non-factor his rookie year. Unfortunately, O’Daniel somehow saw his snaps decrease, which many fans would have doubted was even possible. He took only 20 defensive snaps all season in 2019. One would think that if Spagnuolo had big plans for him he would have seen the field more, especially given the coverage upside that his speed gives him. In his limited defensive snaps last season Pro Football Focus did give him a 76.8 coverage grade which was far and away the best of any linebacker on the team.
Chiefs fans shouldn’t give up all hope on O’Daniel, but his lack of playing time last season and the arrival of a fast linebacker with coverage upside in the second round (Willie Gay Jr.) probably means that fans shouldn’t get their hopes up too high either. While O’Daniel is under contract through 2021, this is probably a make or break year for him. If he can’t get on the field again this season, it probably means that he’ll never be more than a bottom of the roster special teams player. That would be a major disappointment given where he was drafted.
Next up, a pair of running backs that find themselves fighting for their futures in Kansas City.