Leo Chenal, LB
Of all of the names on this list, Leo Chenal is the one who is the least overlooked, if that even makes sense. But given the level of his impact in Super Bowl LVIII and the amount his name is typically bandied about following most victories, we figured it wouldn't hurt to honor him here all the same.
In case you missed things, Chenal had himself a true breakout effort against the 49ers in Super Bowl 58. Over the course of all four quarters, Chenal was a defensive menace who rewarded Steve Spagnuolo's trust in him all over the field with a stellar effort that affected the game's outcome in multiple ways.
Near the beginning of the game, the 49ers were rolling offensively, but it was Chenal who forced Christian McCaffrey to fumble the ball and cough up the game's first turnover. While the Chiefs couldn't take advantage with points of their own, it certainly kept the Niners off of the board. That alone would serve as a career highlight, but Chenal was hardly done there.
In the fourth quarter, 49ers kicker Jake Moody attempted an extra point following a touchdown catch by Jauan Jennings, but Chenal was there to block it with the sort of surprising burst that characterizes his all-out playing style. Just like that, the Niners came away with only six points instead of seven and in a game that went to overtime knotted at 19 apiece, it doesn't take much to figure out how gigantic that block was for the Chiefs' fortunes.
Chenal was a hard-hitting, game-changing playmaker on both defense and special teams who could also rush the passer from two levels. His breakout here spells good things for 2024 and beyond as the Chiefs face the potential departure of multiple linebackers in free agency.