Five players the Chiefs must make room for in 2023

Potential doesn't win championships.

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Danny Shelton

Do you want to hear more about players making themselves undeniable? Fewer players have done that better than defensive tackle Danny Shelton. The mountain of a man did not see the field much for the Cheis last season but still won his second ring and first with the franchise. The 2015 first-round pick failed to live up to expectations in Cleveland but still found his way to Kansas City, where those expectations did not exist. He returned this offseason without a guaranteed roster spot and approached the offseason accordingly. 

During an Aug. 21 press conference, Shelton revealed how much weight he had dropped from 2022 to 2023. Plus, he is looking leaner and, dare I say, faster on the field. Watching him against the Saints was a real eye-opener for me personally. The strength has always been there, of course, but Shelton was moving.

Shelton is not just looking better but also performing better, according to PFF. He is the Chiefs' second-highest-graded interior defensive lineman through two preseason games, with an exemplary 74.3 pass-rushing grade as well. His two pressures and a sack in 13 pass-rushing snaps is a very good production from a player not known for his ability in that area.

The lack of Chris Jones and a shallow defensive tackle room only make keeping Shelton a higher priority in my mind. Shelton is much better against the run than Derrick Nnadi right now, and Keondre Coburn is still getting acclimated to the NFL. Shelton, at worst, is an experienced member that provides depth until Jones is 100% ready for game action. But if the Chiefs roll with Nnadi and Coburn on the interior, that will be the weakest position group on the team.