THE ‘ROTATIONAL RUSHING FLYER’ TRADE
Chiefs trade: 7th round pick in 2023
Rams trade: DE Earnest Brown IV
By now, it should be very clear that the Chiefs could use further help at defensive end. The team lacks both quantity and quality at the position, and it’s amazing to think the Chiefs don’t even have a single edge rusher who is completely reliable at this stage.
Frank Clark will hold down one starting spot while crossing his fingers to avoid the minor injuries and inconsistency that have plagued him during regular seasons in K.C. George Karlaftis will hold down another as the team’s first-round pick at No. 30 overall. From there, Mike Danna will provide rotational snaps and Joshua Kaindoh will hope to do the same. Perhaps Austin Edwards surprises or Malik Herring makes the leap, but all of this is well-wishing which is not a responsible way to build a roster.
For those who say a trade for the likes of Earnest Brown IV isn’t enough, we would nod and agree. However, we’d like to see the Chiefs make a couple of moves to improve the competition at the position, and we’ll start with a low-level flyer of a deal for Brown, who was a fifth-round pick for the L.A. Rams just a year ago—the only draftee to not make the active roster.
Brown was a late-round prospect out of Northwestern who very much looks the part as a 4-3 defensive end with his 6’5″, 270 lb. build. He’s got great burst, good strength, solid bend, and has a nose for making plays behind the opponent’s line of scrimmage. Unfortunately, injuries kept him from showcasing his skills in a key 2019 junior season and COVID limited the schedule in 2020. Teams saw flashes from Brown but certainly not the body of work to draft him higher than the fifth.
Brown is a below-average run defender and, as such, should never be considered for a starting end spot for the Chiefs or anyone else. However, he’s worth a closer look as a rotational pass rusher to see if a new coaching staff can inspire more from him at the pro level. Given how little it would take to get him, Brown seems worth a look—depending on whether or not the Chiefs liked him a year ago on their own draft board.