Defensive MVP: L’Jarius Sneed
I know Chris Jones and Tyrann Mathieu are going to garner most people’s attention and votes but I think the versatility and lockdown ability of Sneed will win it this year. With Chris Jones moving more to a defensive end position, I am interested to see how that effects his numbers. I think while he be his same effective, dominate self, I wouldn’t be shocked if some of the counting stats were down. Same token, it’s not that I don’t think Mathieu or Jones will dominate, it’s that I think Sneed will be that great.
Sneed is going to be playing all over the secondary this year and I think Spags is going to let his playmaking ability shine through. I am expecting him to come up with multiple interceptions and sacks this season. Spags loves letting him come on a blitz to get after the quarterback and he seems to thrive when given that opportunity. With improved secondary play all over, Sneed will be able to be more aggressive and I believe his aggressiveness will translate into the Chiefs defensive MVP.
Defensive Breakout: Juan Thornhill
This was tough. If Tim Ward would have made the roster, I could have made a case for him. Mike Hughes is seemingly poised for solid season at corner after the Chiefs picked him up on the cheap. The reason why I went with Thornhill is I believe he will have a ton of opportunity as the season progresses and his talent level and ceiling is incredible. It all comes down to health.
Can he break out since he was so solid his rookie year? Yes, yes he can. After all of the injuries and the time it took to get back into his normal self, he slid down the depth chart behind Dirty Dan Sorenson. He retakes the starting spot and will be a game changer at safety by week 4. He’s too talented and the fact he should finally be healthy coupled with him now being in the system for multiple years should lead to a breakout season for Thornhill.