How did the rookies on the Kansas City Chiefs play in the 27-20 divisional round victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars?
The Kansas City Chiefs have advanced to the AFC Championship with their divisional-round win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Which rookies saw playing time against Jacksonville and how did those players perform?
The Chiefs selected ten players in this 2022 NFL Draft, with nine of them making the final roster after training camp, and eight have seen playing time on offense or defense so far this season. Despite making the final roster, Darian Kinnard has only dressed for one game this season, in which he only saw six snaps on special teams, and Nazeeh Johnson is on the practice squad but has dressed in twelve games this season, playing only special teams snaps.
Here are the snap counts for every rookie in the divisional round:
- Trent McDuffie, CB: 61 defensive snaps
- Jaylen Watson, CB: 59 defensive snaps (49 defensive and 10 special teams)
- Leo Chenal, LB: 34 total snaps (11 defensive and 23 special teams)
- George Karlaftis, EDGE: 36 total snaps (35 defensive and 1 special team)
- Bryan Cook, S: 38 total snaps (19 defensive and 19 special teams)
- Isiah Pacheco, RB: 28 total snaps (24 offensive and 4 special teams)
- Joshua Williams, CB: 17 total snaps (3 defensive and 14 special teams)
- Skyy Moore, WR: 19 total snaps (18 offensive and 1 special team)
- Nazeeh Johnson, S: 14 special teams snaps
Joshua Williams, Cornerback (Round 4, Pick 135)
Only three defensive snaps in the entire game for Joshua Williams. All three were in coverage and he was never targeted. Given that he’s only played three defensive snaps over the past two games, it’s pretty clear at this point that L’Jarius Sneed, Trent McDuffie, and Jaylen Watson are the top three guys at the cornerback position. Unless Sneed is unable to play this weekend due to his nose injury, which would be a surprise, I do not expect Williams to play much, if at all, the rest of the playoffs.
Leo Chenal, Linebacker (Round 3, Pick 103)
Leo Chenal did not see a ton of action on Saturday as he only played 11 snaps on defense and was not targeted in coverage, nor did he record a tackle. Given that Chenal is more of a run defender, that isn’t much of a surprise as the Jaguars passed on 45 plays and rushed on 16. He was third among Chiefs linebackers in defensive snaps, so it seems that he has earned a spot right behind Nick Bolton and Willie Gay.