There is still one clear concern on this Kansas City Chiefs roster heading into training camp — the defensive end position, which will obviously be relied on for pass rush.
Several journalists covering the team still believe that general manager Brett Veach will add some competition on the edge before Week 1. Although the likely scenario would see a veteran join this young group led by Frank Clark and rookie George Karlaftis, KC media member and managing editor of Chiefs Wire Charles Goldman suggested more of a diamond in the rough.
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Potential Is There
With the first-ever USFL season coming to a close on July 3, Goldman noted that NFL teams would be free to pursue any standout performers from the newest independent league. No one fits that description more than USFL Defensive Player of the Year Chris Odom.
According to Goldman, Odom led the entire league “with 12.5 sacks and six forced fumbles over 10 games” with the Houston Gamblers. He continued: “[Odom] was the only player in the league to record double-digit sacks during the inaugural season, and he also added 8.0 tackles for losses on the year.”
With an obvious depth need at defensive end, Goldman concluded that the “former Arkansas State product fits the bill” at 6-foot-4, 260 pounds.
The journeyman pass rusher has bounced around the football community since going undrafted in 2017. After failing to make the Atlanta Falcons roster as a rookie, Odom was claimed by the Green Bay Packers — but that brief stint didn’t go anywhere either with zero sacks over seven appearances.
He then left the NFL for the AAF and the Salt Lake Stallions, but had less success there than he did in Houston with 2.5 sacks and eight quarterback hits.
After another attempt with Atlanta, Odom finally made his NFL impact in Washington in 2019. During a game against the Carolina Panthers, the pass rusher had a career day with two sacks and a forced fumble.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to save his job as he then ventured to the CFL in 2021 and eventually, the USFL in 2022. After an incredible campaign with the Gamblers at age 27, this could be Odom’s final chance to earn a consistent role at the NFL level during his prime football years.
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Can Someone Step up at Edge Rusher?
A shot in the dark like Odom may not be the answer but he’s another bullet in the chamber of possibility. The Chiefs need someone to step up at edge rusher in 2022 and the more options, the better.
FanSided contributor KC Proctor detailed the depth behind Clark and Karlaftis.
“Mike Danna, who played the second-most snaps for the Chiefs on the edge in 2021, and the development of last year’s fourth-round pick, Joshua Kaindoh, are in the spotlight right now,” he wrote. “Danna spent the majority of last season splitting time with Alex Okafor as Clark’s counterpart. He only made six starts, but appeared in all 17 games and compiled three sacks. Kaindoh appeared in just three games in ’21, spending almost the entire season on the practice squad.”
Kaindoh appears to be motivated this offseason, joining Karlaftis at Von Miller’s pass-rushing summit in June. With Clark’s production trending south, Kansas City currently has a lot riding on the success of a Danna or Kaindoh.