8 late-season storylines that will shape the Chiefs' future

Even some of the smaller moves the Chiefs coaches decide to make in the next few weeks could yield significant returns or insights down the road for the Chiefs.

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages
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Felix Anudike-Uzomah shows just enough

This first-round pick was always about a second-year play.

When the Chiefs decided to double up on the defensive line with back-to-back pass rushing picks in the first round from one year to the next, the second one used on Felix Anudike-Uzomah in the 2023 NFL Draft was always about the 2024 season. That's because there simply wasn't room.

In 2023, the Chiefs grabbed George Karlaftis at No. 30 overall which gave them a long-term cornerstone on which to depend and help remake the defensive line. Around him, they already had Mike Danna and then signed Charles Omenihu to form the primary pass rush rotation—all in orbit around All-Pro Chris Jones in the interior—for the 2023 season. Given that Jones himself likes to slide outside, there's just not a lot of room for anyone else.

Back to Anudike-Uzomah. The good news is that he's been able to get some amount of snaps, even a handful, in every game. While Omenihu was suspended, FAU was even able to play as many as 25 snaps compared to the 5-6 he's earning with the line fully healthy. Every little bit helps up front, and Anudike-Uzomah has enough reference material to build on at least.

What would be nice at this point, however, is for the Chiefs to see some improved technique and measured growth here at the end of his rookie year—again, even in small bursts. Remember how George Karlaftis came on strong in the second half of his season? FAU doesn't have the luxury of learning from robust reps, but he if can at least show he's turning a corner, the Chiefs could include him in the core plans for the defense going forward.