Cortez Broughton, defensive tackle
The Kansas City Chiefs decided to raid a division rival for some young talent last year when the Los Angeles Chargers made a serious defensive shift to a 3-4 base under new head coach Brandon Staley. Every defensive scheme is malleable (or should be) for the best players on any defense to adjust, but it can be tough for young players trying to make a team to last through a coaching turnover and that made Cortez Broughton an odd fit.
The Chargers originally invested a seventh-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft on Broughton as a University of Cincinnati product where he played a fairly steady and quiet career on the interior until a breakout season in his final year for the Bearcats. In 2018, however, he had 18.5 tackles for loss (compared to 11 in his first three years) and 7.5 sacks (compared to 3.5 previously).
Broughton made the Chargers roster in his first two seasons but was crowded out of much playing time, with only 2 games played in 2019 and 9 in 2020. The Bolts kept him around this last offseason but cut him when active rosters were due and the Chiefs grabbed Broughton for their practice squad. He has been both activated and protected, which seems to bode well for some real potential playing time going forward.
Both Derrick Nnadi and Jarran Reed will be free agents this spring and it seems quite possible the Chiefs will let them both walk. The Chiefs have Chris Jones inside to go with Khalen Saunders and Turk Wharton inside. There’s room for a veteran to compete with another young player or two but Broughton’s presence in the mix cannot be ignored.