Chiefs vs. Saints: Defensive players to watch in the first preseason game

With the Kansas City Chiefs' first exhibition matchup two days away, here are a few more players worth watching in their Preseason Week 1 tilt against the New Orleans Saints.

Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp
Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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Nic Jones, corner

Of all the players in the Chiefs' 2023 draft class, Ball State graduate Nic Jones may have one of the longest paths to the football field. For him, preseason will likely be his best hope to see significant snaps. He walked into a loaded cornerback room that includes L'Jarius Sneed and 60% of the "Fab 5" defensive backs drafted just a year ago (Trent McDuffie, Jaylen Watson, and Joshua Williams). His special teams experience likely puts him in a good position to make the team, especially in the wake of Nazeeh Johnson's ACL injury.

By all accounts, Jones has had an impressive training camp at Missouri Western State. His matchups with other camp standout Justyn Ross is a case of iron sharpening iron. Search "Nic Jones" on Twitter and you'll find several clips of him getting the best of Ross. The next three weeks will be a chance for him to put some quality reps on film. Sneed is in a contract year and there's a chance he may not be extended. Now's the time for Jones to make a case for a larger role beyond the 2023 season.

The Chiefs may be fielding their best defensive unit during the Andy Reid's tenure in Kansas City. On paper, that suggests the aforementioned players may come along more slowly than fans would like, but the month of August will be intriguing for the three of them. Hopefully, we'll get plenty of chances to see them all in action come Sunday afternoon.