Another free agent visited the Kansas City Chiefs and came away with a deal.
The Chiefs have signed defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth to a one-year deal, according to his agent, Brett Tessler.
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Stallworth, 26, entered the NFL undrafted out of South Carolina in 2018. He made the New Orleans Saints’ initial 53-man roster that fall but would be waived not long after that. Stallworth then re-signed with the Saints practice squad on September 20, per Pro Football Reference.
Stallworth would remain in New Orleans for the remainder of the 2018 and 2019 seasons but was cut on August 4 of 2020. The veteran defender signed with the Indianapolis Colts on August 10 and would play in 32 games over the next two seasons in Indy. During the 2021 regular season, Stallworth recorded 12 quarterback hits and three sacks, according to Pro Football Reference.
Last season, Stallworth played a total of 331 defensive snaps, 217 of them being “pass rush” snaps and 114 being “run defense” snaps, per PFF. That speaks to his ability within a strong Colts defense to be a helpful asset in the run and pass game.
Stallworth is a Potential Jarran Reed Replacement
One of the top needs ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft for Kansas City is adding talent to its defensive tackle room.
Last offseason, the Chiefs signed former Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed to a one-year deal worth up to $7 million. Kansas City got what they paid for with Reed, as he accumulated 29 tackles, eight quarterback hits, and three sacks, per PFF. However, now Reed is a free agent and has not re-signed with the Chiefs. Instead, he signed with the Green Bay Packers.
Stallworth isn’t an upgrade over Reed. However, adding Stallworth as a depth piece and plugging a rookie draft pick alongside Chris Jones on the defensive line would be an upgrade over the Chiefs’ 2021 defensive tackle room.
Kansas City’s current defensive tackle room consists of Stallworth, Jones, Khalen Saunders, Derrick Nnadi, Tershawn Wharton, Lorenzo Neal Jr., Darius Stills, and Cortez Broughton.
Chiefs Take Pass-Rusher in Jeremiah’s Latest Mock
Along with the 30th overall pick, Kansas City also owns the 29th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, which was one of the five picks they were given in exchange for Hill going to the Miami Dolphins. Seeing that the defensive line needs to be addressed in more ways than one, NFL Draft expert Daniel Jeremiah has the Chiefs selecting Penn State edge defender Arnold Ebiketie with their first of two first-round picks in the latest iteration of his one-round mock draft.
“The Chiefs need more pass-rush pop. Ebiketie can win with speed or power,” Jeremiah wrote.
In 12 games last season, Ebiketie recorded 62 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks, per Sports Reference.
In this mock draft, Ebiketie is the seventh edge rusher taken off the board. The edge rushers taken in front of him, along with where they went, were Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson (No. 1, JAX), Georgia’s Travon Walker (No. 2, DET), Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux (No. 3, HOU), Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson II (No. 7, NYG), Purdue’s George Karlaftis (No. 14, BAL), and Minnesota’s Boy Mafe (No. 19, PHI).
Here’s what NFL analyst Lance Zierlein wrote about the Big 10 pass-rusher in Ebiketie’s draft profile overview on NFL.com:
“Purposeful rusher with good length. Ebiketie is quiet to the edge with accurate, active hands and a pressure percentage worthy of projection. He’s not bendy and loose but uses body lean and skilled hands to grease the edge and access the pocket.
“He will need to keep adding to his bag of tricks as a pocket hunter, as he lacks the base and body type to hold his ground and plug up run games on a consistent basis. Ebiketie could see action as a sub-package pass rusher early in his career. He has the potential to find starting reps as a 3-4 rush linebacker in the future.”