Meet the Chiefs 2022: Inside Defensive Linemen Edition

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With training camp underway, let’s continue our overview of Kansas City’s roster of leaders with a look at the interior defensive linemen.

One of the most underrated areas of competition on this year’s Kansas City Chiefs roster is the rotational defensive tackle position. Chris Jones and Derrick Nnadi will almost certainly be the two starters, but below there is a competition between three athletic tackles for the key rotational spot.

Who will be the player who will take over after the departure of Jerran Reed? Who are the guys competing for his position? Let’s talk.

#95 Chris Jones

College: Mississippi State
Years Pro: 7 (28 years)
Chance to make the list: Lock

The oldest and most explosive defensive lineman is back for his 7th season with the Chiefs. Chris Jones returns with a new understanding of defense and a healthy bill of health. Jones spent much of last season with a wrist injury and out of position. Now Jones will have the opportunity to show his dominance again. The alarm has been raised over the Chiefs’ lack of top-tier passers. Jones has a chance in 2022-23 to silence all of his critics and those of his teammate.

#91 Derrick Nnadi

College: State of Florida =
Years Pro: 5 (26 years)
Chance to make the list: near the lock

After a few weeks of uncertainty, Derrick Nnadi has finally re-signed with the Chiefs on a one-year deal. Nnadi is known around Kansas City as a key part of the defense. Although he is not a flashy player who racks up a lot of stats, he is a very effective lineman. Nnadi constantly eats double teams and occupies the blockers. In what could be his last chance at a lucrative contract, Nnadi will play this season on a ‘prove it’ deal.

#99Khalen Saunders

College: Western Illinois
Years Pro: 4 (25 years)
Chance to make the list: On the bubble

Khalen Saunders was one of the players who intrigued fans the most when he was drafted by the Chiefs in the 3rd round of the 2019 draft. With tremendous athleticism, Saunders wowed scouts with his ability to move in a 324 lb frame. Now, in fourth grade, Saunders has another opportunity to put his career back on track. He has struggled with injuries so far but will have a real opportunity to play a real role in defense this season. Keep a close eye on where Saunders receives the majority of his reps during camp.

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