Khalen Saunders is a player who isn’t really talked about all that much, which is odd considering he was a top 100 draft pick just two years ago. Similar to Mecole Hardman, Saunders seemed to show promise at times during his rookie season, but 2020 was just bad for Saunders. He only appeared in 3 games, and while you can blame some of his lack of playing time on injury, he simply just got played off the field due to the emergence of UDFA Tershawn Wharton.
The problem is, Wharton isn’t going anywhere and the Chiefs signed Jarran Reed, who only pushes Saunders down the depth chart even more. Where exactly does Saunders fit in a rotation that includes Chris Jones, Jarran Reed, Tershawn Wharton, and Derrick Nnadi? I’m not sure. Maybe Saunders is just nice depth, but again, you spent a third round pick on him. Not sure that would go over well with the fan base.
It would be different if Saunders had the capability to play on the edge, but he’s not built for that at all. Some may point out that the Chiefs could use Jones and Wharton on the edge more which would allow opportunity for Saunders, but I’m not sure how often that would be and/or if that would justify the pick much more. Saunders needs to step up in 2021 if he wants to even make the roster for next year.