The Chiefs would be wise to consider safety in the draft
While the Chiefs used $94 million in contract extensions for Eric Berry and Daniel Sorenson this offseason, and Ron Parker is under contract for another three seasons, the Chiefs should still consider safety in this week’s draft for a few reasons:
- Kansas City spent 46 percent of their defensive snaps with at least six defensive backs on the field, with either Parker or Sorenson playing a hybrid safety/linebacker-type position on those downs.
- Sorenson especially struggled from this position in 2016, generating just a 34.6 PFF run-defense grade and a 105.4 passer rating from the hybrid spot.
- With Derrick Johnson’s return a question mark, and the NFL’s continued evolution toward a sub package league, look for that third safety spot to be even more important for Kansas City in 2017.
- Questions remain for the Chiefs at cornerback after third-year starters Marcus Peters (85.1) and Steven Nelson (72.9). In the event that upcoming draft picks and/or surprise 2016 nickelback Terrance Mitchel struggle in 2017, the Chiefs might have to employ Parker in slot as they have in the past (he played 697 snaps there in 2015), furthering their need for depth at the safety spot.