Recently Cut Chiefs Pass Rusher Claimed, Lands With NFC Team

Matt Dickerson

Getty Former Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Matt Dickerson with UCLA in 2015.

In the NFL community, the waiver wire always follows the 53-man roster cutdown.

Every franchise had the opportunity to poach prospects that were waived on August 30 and fortunately, the Kansas City Chiefs only lost one player during the initial claiming process. On the flip side, they did lose a talented piece that was able to make it to the final week of cuts.

Arrowhead Pride shared the bittersweet news about defensive lineman Matt Dickerson, who was snagged off waivers by the Atlanta Falcons.

Falcons Poach Dickerson off Waivers

The Chiefs only added Dickerson on August 8 after he spent the early portion of the offseason with the Arizona Cardinals.

During training camp, the popular journeyman made enough plays to stick around but didn’t do anything overly impressive in his three preseason outings. Dickerson did finish with three total tackles but very little beyond that statistically speaking.

For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus gave him a positive overall preseason grade (73.3) and pass-rushing grade (73.6). His tackling marks were not so strong at an accumulative 30.1 with run defense at 62.2.

Most of the positives stemmed from a power-packed effort against the Chicago Bears, with one quarterback pressure and two defensive stops. He added a second QB pressure later against the Washington Commanders.

Dickerson’s eventual cut was not a surprise. He always faced an uphill battle on a crowded defensive line and he joined the Chiefs with camp already underway.

Having said that, a potential practice squad role was not out of the question. Kansas City general manager Brett Veach brought in Dickerson for a reason and kept him around for one too. Although this loss is far from major, the Falcons might have spoiled management’s plans in that small regard.

With Atlanta’s rebuilding roster, Dickerson should have a much better shot at some playing time throughout the 2022 campaign.

Background on Dickerson

A former four-star recruit and top-25 defensive end prospect, Dickerson committed to Notre Dame before electing to stay closer to home at UCLA.

NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein described him ahead of the 2018 offseason: “Dickerson is a hard-charging defensive lineman who may be better suited to a role as a 3-4 end. He plays hard but may not have a natural position or scheme fit as a pro. His lack of pass rush will likely hurt his draft stock, but he has enough upper body strength and quality handwork to give him a shot as a replacement-level backup.”

So far, that projection has held true to form for the eventual undrafted prospect. The 23-year-old began his NFL career with the Tennessee Titans in 2018, remaining on their active roster through the 2020 campaign.

With the Titans, Dickerson accumulated 15 tackles (one for a loss) and two QB hits over 18 games — per Pro Football Reference. He has never had a sack at the professional level.

Dickerson turns 27 in November and spent last summer with the division rival Las Vegas Raiders. In the end, he did not make the 53-man roster joining the Cardinals practice squad later that season. The NFC West contender decided to release him on July 30, which led to Kansas City bringing him in for a look at camp.