The Kansas City Chiefs’ secondary has been underwhelming this season. That’s a large part of the reason why Kansas City’s defense is ranked 24th in the NFL in PFF coverage grade (49.5) and are fourth in passing yards allowed (296.4) through five weeks of the regular season, per ESPN.
Adding some defensive pieces by way of trade would make plenty of sense for the defending AFC champions, as cap restraints would make it difficult for them to sign a talented veteran in free agency, leaving the opportunity to move around money via trade as a more viable option. That’s why trading for a talented NFC cornerback on a rookie contract is the perfect move for Kansas City.
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Trade: Dantzler for 4th Rounder
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report dished out six trades that could still take place in the NFL prior to the trade deadline and in wake of the move that sent New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore to the Carolina Panthers. No. 2 on his list send Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler — a 2020 third-round selection — to the Chiefs in exchange for a 2022 fourth-round pick.
Here’s what Knox said about the potential trade:
After starting in 10 of his 11 appearances last year, Dantzler has played only 34 percent of the defensive snaps this season. He’s been strong in coverage, though, allowing an opposing passer rating of only 41.7.
Kansas City could get a defensive boost with a player who’s still on his rookie contract, while Minnesota would get something back for someone whose long-term future is cloudy at best.
Chiefs Kingdom should be in favor of this trade if it were to ever be presented to Kansas City in real life. Danzler may not be a starter in Minnesota right now, but his coverage numbers are undeniable.
To add more perspective to Dantzler’s ability, here are his PFF numbers:
Run Defense: 89.8
Dantzler has only been on the field for a total of 88 snaps this season — 39 run defense snaps and 49 coverage snaps — which could skew his grades a bit due to a limited sample size. However, his coverage grade is better than Chiefs cornerbacks Deandre Baker (61.4), L’Jarius Sneed (43.2), and Charvarius Ward (42.9).
Mathieu: We’re Beating Ourselves
After Kansas City’s Week 5 loss to the Buffalo Bills in which the Chiefs gave up 38 points to Josh Allen and the Bills offense, safety Tyrann Mathieu addressed the fact that he believes Kansas City is beating themselves defensively.
“To be honest with you, I think we are beating ourselves. If you look back on it, go back to the Raven’s game, it was missed communication, blown coverages,” Mathieu said. “In the Charger’s game it was kind of the same thing. Tonight, I think most of their explosive pass plays were guys running wide open down the field. Obviously, we don’t practice that. Our coaches don’t teach that. You’ve got to find a way to dig deep, man. Every team we play wants to beat us. They want to beat us bad. I think we have to understand that coming into these kind of games.”
Whether it’s poor play by individual players, poor coaching, or a mixture of both, the Chiefs need to make some major adjustments on that side of the football if they want to make an extended playoff run yet again this January.