The Chiefs fell short in the Super Bowl, so they will need some players to step up and become stars next year. Here are some of the key candidates that may become key parts of the Chiefs next season.
After opting out in 2020, next season will basically be Lucas Niang’s rookie season. He was drafted last year in the third round and had an impressive college career. Since 2017, Niang has had 975 pass-blocking snaps, but he has allowed 0 sacks in that span. Along with that impressive stat, 2021 DROY Chase Young called Niang his toughest opponent in college.
If the Chiefs are going to come back from their Super Bowl loss, they need their OL to play better. Obviously, most people would like the Chiefs to take an OL early in the draft, but Niang might help improve it for next season. If he plays really well next season, also look for Clyde Edwards-Heleire to have an amazing season as well.
With it looking like Sammy Watkins will not be a Chief next season, Byron Pringle is a prime candidate to step into a starting WR role next season. His snap count seemed to increase going into the playoffs this year, and he showed some outstanding flashes. He has appeared to improve a lot since last season and he may be ready to be a starter next year.
If he were to become a starter, he might shine and become the Chiefs second-best WR behind Tyreek Hill. He has the skills and speed to be a weapon for the Chiefs, and Mahomes will definitely give him the opportunity to do so. He just might be the next big Chiefs standout WR.
L’Jarius Sneed already broke out a little bit in the latter part of this year. He was all over the field making plays, but I expect that to continue, if not improve, next season. He is already probably the Chiefs best CB, so he is going to have to take a role of leadership in his early career. Next season, the Chiefs are going to be all about redemption and coming back from the Super Bowl loss. Sneed is a guy that could push that mentality and become a superstar.
His most surprising ability last season was getting to the QB so often. He had 4 sacks in his last 5 games last year (counting the playoffs). This is likely due to him switching to Safety in his last year at Louisiana State Univerity. That college switch gives him a lot more versatility than most CBs in the NFL today, and it could make him one of the Chiefs’ best players.