Cleat Geeks

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: Defensive Line Competition Breakdown

The Chiefs drafted two defensive linemen in the 2016 NFL Draft that will improve an already great defense. Chris Jones was drafted in the second round out of Mississippi State and Dadi Nicolas was drafted in the sixth round from Virginia Tech. Chris Jones is a defensive tackle that will likely see playing time as a defensive end in his rookie year. Dadi Nicolas is a defensive end but is undersized. He will be a project player for the Chiefs and will probably turn into an outside linebacker.ChrisJones

 

The Chiefs return a lot of talent on the defensive line in 2016. Jaye Howard, Dontari Poe and Allen Bailey are the returning players who made the biggest impact for the Chiefs last year. Howard signed a two-year contract in the off-season and adds valuable depth to the nose tackle position. Last season he had 5.5 sacks and one forced fumble. Dontari Poe’s numbers were not as good in 2015 as they had been in previous seasons but he was still valuable to the Chiefs. He had surgery for a herniated disk during the 2015 off-season and his numbers will likely be better in 2016. Allen Bailey had a great season in 2015 causing two fumbles and 4.5 sacks. Allen Bailey will likely play opposite Chris Jones as the strong side defensive end.JayeHoward

The biggest question for the Chiefs defensive line is who will be the starters. Chris Jones and Allen Bailey will likely be the starting defensive ends for the Chiefs. The competition for nose tackle will be interesting during training camp and the preseason. Howard and Poe will both play a lot of time for the Chiefs but the competition is important for the future of the Chiefs. Poe’s injuries could be concerning and the Chiefs may start Howard because of the consistency he showed last year.

The rest of the Chiefs defensive linemen are very inexperienced and will not have a large role in the defense. It will be important for the Chiefs to find out which players fit into their 3-4 scheme. Depth on the defensive line will be important to the Chiefs because they are not very deep and will need someone to step up if any of the starters suffer an injury.

ChiefsDlineThe Chiefs will have a very good defensive line in 2016. They return three players that made a big impact in 2015. Allen Bailey will play defensive end and given his consistency and experience he will probably play on the strong side. The biggest competition on the defensive line will between Jaye Howard and Dontari Poe. Both players will see a lot of action but the winner will likely be the future for the Chiefs at nose tackle. The Chiefs second round pick Chris Jones will see a lot of time in his rookie year. He will be a good fit as the Chiefs weak side defensive end. Overall the Chiefs defensive line is very talented but not very deep. They will have a very good season as long as their star players stay healthy.

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