Kansas City Chiefs secondary ranked in NFL’s top half

Trent McDuffie #22 of the Washington Huskies. KC Chiefs (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Trent McDuffie #22 of the Washington Huskies. KC Chiefs (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

If the preseason rankings for the Kansas City Chiefs secondary are even remotely close at this stage of the calendar, general manager Brett Veach should be smiling from ear to ear.

Pro Football Focus recently put out its list of the best secondaries in the National Football League, top to bottom. They ranked the Chiefs at No. 14, which might not sound like something to get excited about, but when you consider the complete overhaul of the offseason and the young nature of each position group, that’s a ton of respect considering many of them have never played a single down in red and gold.

The Chiefs waved goodbye to a ton of snaps played this offseason in the secondary, starting with the decision to not re-sign safety Tyrann Mathieu. From there, Charvarius Ward also left in free agency as did Daniel Sorensen, Armani Watts, and Mike Hughes.

The Kansas City Chiefs secondary has been ranked in the top half of the entire NFL by Pro Football Focus in their offseason overview.

In their places, the Chiefs went to work in both free agency and the NFL Draft. Justin Reid was the initial signing of the spring. Lonnie Johnson was brought over in a minor trade with the Houston Texans. Luq Barcoo was added as a smaller signing as well.

Veach followed up with several more draft picks from the first to the seventh rounds. Trent McDuffie was the earliest target of all as a well-rounded defensive back out of Washington. From there, the Chiefs added a hard-hitting safety in Bryan Cook in the second, an exciting small-school corner in Joshua Williams in the fourth, and both Marshall safety Nazeeh Johnson and Washington State corner Jaylen Watson in the final round.

Basically, Juan Thornhill, Rashad Fenton, and L’Jarius Sneed are the lone holdovers from the last few seasons, which means the learning curve is going to be high as the team’s pass defense comes together on the field. The Chiefs hope the investment of youth pays off in the long haul after watching the defense get torched by mismatches at key points against veteran performers.

If the Chiefs are earning a decent amount of respect—to be considered above average—before the majority of these players have hit the field is a nod of respect and trust for the job Veach has done. Just wait until you see the depth and dynamism play out.

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