Jarran Reed and Tershawn Wharton
Well, at least it’s not three players this time, right? I’m still doubling up on this one because I believe that what the Chiefs need in order for the pass rush to be improved this season is for both Jarran Reed and Tershawn Wharton to be part of the solution.
Let’s be honest for a second. The Chiefs don’t have very good pass rushing defensive ends. Period. If you want to now classify Chris Jones as a defensive end then that changes things a little, but the group of Frank Clark, Mike Danna, Alex Okafor, and Joshua Kaindoh simply aren’t a group that can be counted on to get enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks. That’s why the Chiefs are having to use Jones there this season.
Jones, regardless of where he lines up, can’t be the only pass rusher who gets regular pressure if the Chiefs want to be a really good defense. With a high powered offense, other teams are going to have to pass to keep pace and the Chiefs have to be able to get consistent pressure in order to shut teams down. Maybe Frank Clark will finally earn his contract, but at this point, I’m not relying on that.
The good news is that there seems to be two other strong pass rushers on the defensive front; they just aren’t your typical edge rushers. If Jarran Reed and Tershawn Wharton can give the Chiefs two more pass rush options that Spagnuolo can move around the defensive front, it will be a huge plus for the defense.
We know Jones will be productive, but if Reed and Wharton can just be lesser versions of Jones, it could be enough to make the Chiefs defensive front a huge headache for opposing offensive lines. It’s also possible that making the offensive line focus on the interior rushers could free up the outside pass rushers to be more productive.
The Chiefs may not have added any big name outside pass rushers to their defensive rotation this offseason, but if their interior rush can become truly dominant with multiple guys being a force, it should be enough to elevate the defense from where it has been the past few seasons.
What do you think Chiefs fans? Do you agree that this collection of players could make Kansas City almost impossible to beat this season if they live up to their potential? Is there anyone I put on the list that you disagree with? Is there anyone else you would have added to the list? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
I’ll personally be keeping a close eye on how these players look when the Chiefs take on the Browns on Sunday. We know Patrick Mahomes and K.C.’s other big names will show off, but if they can get even more help from guys like the ones on this list the Browns and the rest of the NFL are in big, big trouble.