3. MIke Danna
It’s unfortunate that the Chiefs defense has been such a pitiful unit overall, because the story of Mike Danna’s emergence really is one of the best stories from the season’s first quarter.
Danna has always been a solid find for the Chiefs ever since Veach first drafted him in the fifth round out of Michigan. During his senior season, he was a rarely-used transfer in the Big Ten after showing serious pass rushing chops at Central Michigan. However, Wolverines coaches told Veach that Danna in particular was a pure sponge along the line, able to take in anything you give him and apply it to his game.
So far, that is absolutely true at the pro level. Danna was an unheralded pick even in the fifth round that left most analysts scratching their heads. Yet in his first season, Danna played in a majority of games and earned plenty of snaps as a rotational rusher. He finished with 9 pressures and 2.5 sacks in 13 games for the Chiefs in 2020.
This year, Danna already has 6 pressures and 3 sacks for the Chiefs through four games. He’s earned a lot more playing time with the absence of Frank Clark in the lineup, but even when Clark gets back, the team needs to figure out how to keep Danna in the lineup.
Danna’s relentless motor is allowing him to clean up on multiple plays, and he’s shown he can set the edge against the run as well. He’s a talented young player who is becoming a well-rounded defensive end, which is one thing this defense was sorely lacking. It’s too bad the rest of the defense is falling apart, because we should be celebrating Danna’s emergence a lot more.