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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Joshua Williams, cornerback

We know, we've already covered cornerbacks, but Nic Jones as a surprise and Joshua Williams as a surprise are two different things. While Jones could turn into a nice rotational piece in a very young secondary, Williams could help fill the shoes of the offseason's biggest departure.

Let's not forget, the Chiefs have bled significantly at the cornerback position for the last two years. The departures of Charvarius Ward in 2023 and L'Jarius Sneed this spring would have most secondaries desperate for talent. While the Chiefs have done a good job maintaining a strong pipeline of young talent, they are crossing their fingers in some respects.

Trent McDuffie is secured as the No. 1 option overall. Beyond him, Williams and Jaylen Watson are positioned to step into much bigger roles in the wake of Sneed's absence, but Williams is the man in the spotlight more than any other.

Don't forget that Williams was taken in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft as a total project corner who was the first HBCU player taken in his class. Williams' length and athletic skill set had turned heads leading up to draft day and his stock was rising enough for the Chiefs to make the move early on day three.

With Sneed out of the way, Williams can now lay claim to a consistent starting role on the boundary and iron out whatever wrinkles are left in his game. Fortunately, his trajectory has lived up to pro projections and he's come along quite nicely in two full seasons with the Chiefs. In fact, it's the presence of Williams that made it easier for Sneed to go.

That's not to say Sneed won't be missed, but if Williams comes through and reaches his potential, opponents will be shaking their heads wondering how K.C. keeps the cupboards stocked like they do.