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2017 KC Chiefs Roster Analysis - The Defensive Backs

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:05 am    Post subject: 2017 KC Chiefs Roster Analysis - The Defensive Backs Reply with quote

The little chart below is a depth chart excerpt from the 2017 KC Chiefs Skeleton Depth Chart linked in the database. Throughout the analysis we will use that (continuously updated) chart as a reference point for our considerations.

Color Codes:

black: 2016 player
bold: under contract through 2017
violet: 2016 Practice Squad player
red: Free Agent
green: Draft Pick
orange: UDFA

CB - Peters, White
NB - Nelson
CB - Gaines, Acker, Mitchell

Other Players: J. Wilson

FS - Parker, Murray, V. Harris
SS - Berry

Other Players: Sorensen, Hall

A General Look at the Unit:

The Guys Under Contract:
Marcus Peters is the guy everyone raves about. A true ballhawk who may have developed into a shutdown corner. Stats indicate QBs started avoiding him last season - is there anything else you need to know about this guy?
Phillip Gaines provides a ton of talent, however, he needs to stay healthy first. His injuries may have also slowed down his development cas well. Nevertheless, I think he'll get another shot as a starter if he can beat out Terrance Mitchell. 2017 may be a make or break season for him.
Steven Nelson is the jack of all trades and may be considered anything between the #2 and #4 CB. He'll hold down the slot but could go outside as well in the midst of a series. I think he still has room for development and may become a really good one.
Kenneth Acker is a mid season pick-up who didn't really show that much. I consider him a deep backup and primary ST guy.
Terrance Mitchell is another one of those Dorsey finds from the street. Signed when injury struck he made the best of his opportunity and really impressed in the second half of the season. Unless he pulls a Marcus Cooper he's at minimum valuable depth.
D.J. White seemed overwhelmed when being called upon. His injury didn't help much. Right now he's not much more than deep depth and a ST guy.
Julian Wilson is an absolute unknown for me. I'm happy I remembered he's on the team.
Eric Berry is considered the heart and soul of the defense, if not the overall team. Locking him up for the long term will help the team immensely. It remains to be seen if he can maintain the level of play he demonstrated over the past two years. The team's betting he will.
Ron Parker is a great complement to Eric Berry. Their familiarity with one another is nothing than a little extra on top.
Eric Murray was named one of the top ST players last year, but assumed a larger role on defense as well. He's still developing but definitely is a solid #5/6 DB already today. Whether, with the little experience he gained so far, he'd be able to take over in case of injury to Berry or Parker remains to be seen.
Vernon Harris was an addition last offseason but spent the year on IR after a pre-season injury.
Jimmy Hall spent last year on the Practice Squad.

The Guy in Red:
"Dirty Dan" Sorensen really left his mark on the field last season. Another Dorsey scrap heap pick-up he became a destroyer in the backfield with a knack on prying the ball lose. As a RFA he should be back (I'd consider a 2nd round tender at approx. 2.6 M$) at least for 2017. Whether the Chiefs are able to lock him down long term remains to be seen. The price and the emergence of Eric Murray may dictate otherwise.

Cap Considerations:
This is an extremely young and cheap unit. Only Eric Berry and Ron Parker own big contracts, everyone else is either still on his Rookie deal or on a veteran minimum contract. This will not last forever, starting in 2018 a bunch of significant extensions will be due, putting the Chiefs in a tricky spot. (Gaines, Mitchell, Sorensen in 2018, Peters, Nelson in 2019). Thius will require proper cap management with a long term vision as well as a closer look at the draft to prepare for the departure of a couple of guys in the not to far future.

Overall Assessment:
This is a young, solid unit with proper depth. The only concern I have right now is the lack of eperience of the backups in case of injury of the starters. The weakest spot may be the corner opposite of Peters[/b] dependent of the availability of Gaines and Mitchell's ability to repeat his 2017 performance. With a look to the draft the Chiefs should not aim at 2017 performers but more towards longer term replacements in the later rounds, because keeping this unit together will be unsustainable in the longer term.

Emmitt Thomas and Al Harris form a great duo. I hope they'll stay forever. I love the idea to have Harris develop under Thomas and take over once the senior retires.


CB - Peters, White
NB - Nelson
CB - Gaines, Mitchell, late round pick

Other Players: J. Wilson, Acker

FS - Parker, Murray
SS - Berry, Sorensen, late round pick

Other Players: Hall, V. Harris
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

God forbid Peters gets hurt. That nightmare is enough to make me want a high DP pick at CB. Not impressed with Gaines, Acker and couple others. Even Parker at Safety. He's a mistake prone FS in coverage and questionable tackling DB, IMO.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

we have 3 great young CBs. I would like to see a 4th added in FA or the draft

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