Headed into the 2020 season, one of the biggest strengths for the Kansas City Chiefs is the defensive line. Stars like Chris Jones and Frank Clark are what draw a lot of attention, but the unit is deep overall. Sunday evening, a surprise report came from James Palmer of the NFL Network indicating the depth could improve even more.
Tershawn Wharton was a four-year stand out at Missouri S&T, recording 35.5 career sacks. He was named first-team all GLVC three times and was a Division Two All-American honorable-mention in 2018. While at S&T, Wharton played mostly as a defensive end, but with his size and strength, as well as his skillset he looks poised to make the Chiefs roster as a defensive tackle.
The Chiefs have Wharton listed at 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, but recent reports from the Chiefs camp say he is probably more in the 285-295 pound weight range. That would put him in a position to likely be a depth player as a three technique, which is most likely in Steve Spagnuolo’s defense.
He could also play as a tight five technique on the edge for run downs, as well as an inside four technique. A good player to compare his style of play to is former Chiefs defensive tackle Allen Bailey. Like Bailey, Wharton possesses a ton of explosion in his game, but he also turns all this into a good amount of speed and quickness.
Pad level and leverage use are something Wharton excelled at while in college. A very strong lower body build helps him stay low off the ball and low when delivers contact to the ball carrier.
Small school products are nothing new to the NFL, and with Covid-19 leading to roster expansion, it will give a lot of UDFA’s like Wharton a chance to make rosters and practice squads when normally they may not be given the chance.
Wharton is a high energy player and gives tremendous effort nearly every snap, it is easy to see why the Chiefs want to have him around for the upcoming season.