The Chiefs have had their work cut out for them in acquiring/retaining talent this offseason, but they could receive some help. With the departures of Emmanuel Ogbah, Reggie Ragland, and Kendal Fuller, there is an abundance of opportunity on the defensive side of the ball for some of the developmental players to step up. Here’s my list of players that could make a big impact in 2020.
Fenton could be what takes the Chiefs secondary from average to exceptional. With Kendal Fuller going back to the Redskins there should be plenty of reps available for Rashad, and while zone is not his specialty, he does not lack the athleticism or instincts to excel in that scheme. His ability to track and make a play on the ball showed in the stat column last year with an interception and a forced fumble. More importantly however, is his ability to allow other players to switch positions. If Fenton can improve to a dependable CB 2 or 3, you’ll see a rise in Mathieu’s, Breeland’s, and Ward’s numbers. Changing up and hiding different schemes is Coach Spagnuolo’s specialty, and Fenton could be the last piece to the puzzle.
After starting 4 games for the Chiefs in 2018 and missing an entire year due to injury it is easy to see why Speaks could have been forgotten about, but this former second round draft pick could be a weapon for defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. At Ole Miss, Speaks was known not only for his ability to play with his hand in the dirt, but also as a stand up OLB. His speed, tenacity, size, hand placement, and awareness give him the ability to play at a high level. With Ogbah headed to South Beach and Ragland going to Detroit, Speaks is in prime position to become part of the Chiefs elite pass rush.
This 6th round pick out of Utah State could become a major contributor to the Chiefs running AND passing game in 2020. Darwin’s small frame and ability to run between the tackles is not the only thing that makes him a special talent at RB. His ability to catch on the run and make plays in space could lead to him taking on a much bigger role. He’s got the grit, the speed, the playmaking ability, and elusiveness to make him the next Darren Sproles. With only 37 rushing attempts and 10 targets we haven’t seen a huge sample size, but we have seen that he does not take his opportunities lightly. However, with the addition of Washington to the RB room, he’ll have to make a lasting impact in this offseason to ensure he gets the reps he deserves.
Kpassagnon is the closest thing to an Ogbah replacement that we will find on the Chiefs roster in 2020. Athletically he is a freak of nature and he might be one of the most intelligent players on the roster. His reach, size, and knowledge of the playbook puts him in great position to make a major impact. 2020 is also a contract year for Kpassagnon, so he will have extra incentive to play well. His lateral quickness and ability to beat blocks and stop the run will be essential to helping the KC defense who just lost Reggie Ragland.