4 Chiefs defenders who could be nice surprises in 2024

The Chiefs have a number of players who could step up and surprise on the defensive side in 2024.

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers / Ric Tapia/GettyImages
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Nic Jones, cornerback

The pipeline has to work. The Chiefs are counting on it.

The Chiefs have suffered significant losses to the secondary in the last couple of years, but the ability of younger players to step up into larger roles has helped soften the blow of such departures during consecutive Super Bowl runs. If the Chiefs are going to lean on the defense once again, they're going to need those developmental prospects to turn the corner one more time.

Nic Jones is this year's newest face, a former seventh-round pick who now has room to move and grow on defense after largely watching and learning a stacked cornerback room show him how things are done during his rookie campaign.

Jones was taken out of Ball State University at the end of the draft last year to round out a rookie class that was largely shifted into understudy roles on such a talented roster. Is Jones ready for a larger role? The good news is that he was already flashing as early as last preseason.

Remember, Jones was a two-year starter for the Cardinals on both the boundary and in the slot and came away with 14 pass deflections which showed a solid nose for the ball. His athletic profile is not impressive compared to other prospects yet his instincts make up for some of that and the film backs it up.

The Chiefs don't need Jones to play a major role on defense or anything. Rather, they need him to be ready to compete for a rotational spot and a leader on special teams. He blocked two punts while at BSU, so he's got a history of altering games from that position. Now he can be a surprise for the Chiefs and continue to do so at the pro level.