The Chiefs bolstered their defensive line by selecting Joshua Kaindoh in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. Kaindoh has ways to go before he is ready to be a starter on the edge, but he has all the potential in the world.
The Kanas City Chiefs are in winnow mode and should be a surprise to no one. As the team that came up short in the Super Bowl, they have spent most of this offseason looking to add ready-to-play talent to their roster. This being so that they can continue to be a championship-caliber team that will once again in 2021 have a shot to compete for the Super Bowl.
Having such a loaded roster gives them an excellent shot to go back once more, but it also gives them the flexibility to take “project players” at certain positions.
This is exactly what they did with the 144th pick of the draft, taking Joshua Kaindoh from Florida State University.
Kaindoh entered Florida State as a five-star recruit, and one of the most highly touted players in the entire 2017 recruiting class. He played as a true freshman for the Seminoles, but his career was much quieter than his recruiting ranking would have indicated.
His first two seasons at Florida State were pretty average, he recorded 7.5 sacks between his Freshman and Sophomore year, but an injury-riddled 2019 season saw him play in just three games where he only recorded a single sack. During the 2020 season, his final at Florida State, he didn’t record a single sack and at times struggled to create a pass rush, relying mostly on his physical gifts to win plays, rather than an established pass rush move as well as technique.
Not many players would still be on radar’s with numbers like that, but the physical gifts possessed by Kaindoh made him a player worth taking a shot on.
Kaindoh looks every bit of the part at 6’7″ and 265 pounds, and when you see his athletic ability in the open field it appears that the Chiefs will have something to work with.
Even though he doesn’t have the career production, he does appear to be a pretty smart football player, and his pursuit to the ball shows a guy with a hot motor who is going to give effort play in and play out. It’s one thing for a top-notch recruit to not live up to expectations due to effort and attitude issues, but another entirely if he is putting out the needed effort to play at the next level.
This is where the Chiefs coaching staff will come in and play a crucial role in developing Kaindoh. Defensive line coach Brendan Daly is one of the best in the business, and we saw the production the team was able to get out of project players like Tershawn Wharton, and Taco Charlton. Both are highly athletic players, and both when on the field made an impact for the Chiefs in 2020.
Kaindohs size will also give him the versatility to come in and play as a classic defensive end, but also give him a chance to compete for reps as an interior pass rusher, and also play in some sub-package looks. His size and length could make him a mismatch nightmare on certain downs as an interior rusher.
The important thing to remember when it comes to Kaindoh in 2021 is that this is going to be a learning year for him. The team will rely on some rookies to come in and play right away, but Kaindoh will likely not be one of them. The defensive line is deep, and there will be plenty of competition for the starting end opposite Frank Clark.
Kaindoh will have a chance to compete, but players like Mike Danna, Taco Charlton, Tim Ward, and maybe even Taco Charlton will have a chance to earn the spot first. This is fine, and a “redshirt” year might not be the worst thing in the world for Kaindoh as he looks to adjust to the NFL game. The Chiefs have some of the best coaches in the NFL, and they will get a chance to coach up Kaindoh. He has all the potential in the world, and it will be up to them to bring it out of him.