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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Cam Jones, linebacker

Cam Jones joined the Chiefs last spring as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Indiana, and even for a player who made the active roster, he still found himself overshadowed by other rookie free agents and preseason surprises.

For those who were looking closely, however, Jones was steadily building a strong case for himself to be trusted by Steve Spagnuolo's defensive staff.

Jones not only made the active roster at the start of his rookie campaign at a loaded position—remember just how deep the Chiefs were—but he went on to play in all 17 games as a special teams performer for Dave Toub.

In the final game of the season, Andy Reid's decision to rest his starters before the postseason allowed Jones to truly shine. After playing only two defensive snaps all year, Jones was tasked with 95 percent of all possible reps in Week 18 and he seized the opportunity with a strong effort and a team-leading 12 tackles in a close win over the Chargers.

Going forward, the Chiefs are going to be a bit thinner at linebacker given Willie Gay's departure to the New Orleans Saints in free agency. They did retain Drue Tranquill with a three-year deal. Nick Bolton and Leo Chenal will also help lock down starting roles. However, there's a nice opening for some rotational defensive snaps ahead of Jones if he's ready to seize a brass ring in his second season.

If so, it'd be a nice surprise.