Significant questions for the Chiefs defense in 2023

The Kansas City Chiefs remain the team to beat, but the defense is still reasonably young, and they will be tested again in 2023. 

Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles
Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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Will The Young Cornerbacks Continue To Improve?

L’Jarius Sneed is the longest-tenured Chief in the cornerback room and, for the time being, is going into 2023 without a new contract. () Whether or not that situation clears itself up remains to be seen.  That means that the three corners going into their second year, are going to be under an intense microscope going into 2023. 

Trent McDuffie is the first-rounder and currently the starter opposite of Sneed. McDuffie missed the first two months of his career after the turf in Arizona ate one of his hamstrings in Week One but closed out 2022 on a streak of hot play that led into the playoffs. The talent is there and on display during the Super Bowl, where he more than held his own against Philly’s wide receivers. The biggest question is whether McDuffie can stay healthy throughout the 2023 season and grow into the CB1 that the Chiefs will need, especially if a deal with Sneed falls through. 

The two other second-year corners are a bit more complicated to figure out. Joshua Williams and Jaylen Watson had highs and lows throughout the 2023 regular season, as with most any late-round pick not named Trey Smith. The hope is that they took their lumps during their time pressed into service, making them more prepared going into their second professional season.

That hope will have to yield fruit as Williams and Watson as listed as the third and fourth corners on the depth chart, which means they are going to see plenty of action in the upcoming season. All-Name guy Dicaprio Bootle and rookie seventh-rounder Nic Jones follow Williams and Watson. Still, the Chiefs hope those two are more special teams players and will not be depended on to play significant snaps in this defense.