The safety position was an area of weakness for the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2018 season. They must address it in the 2019 NFL Draft and it needs to be addressed with one of their first three selections.
When looking back at the 2018 season, Kansas City Chiefs fans would probably be okay with the team drafting any kind of defensive player in the early rounds of this year’s draft. Their defense was atrocious and in the end, cost them a trip to the Super Bowl.
One of the positions that needs a lot of attention in the draft is at safety.
This past season, the Chiefs had five safeties on their roster: Eric Berry, Jordan Lucas, Eric Murray, Daniel Sorensen, and Armani Watts. Out of these five, only two are sure things to be on next year’s roster (Berry and Watts, though Lucas deserves another season). Let’s look at all five of these guys and what they contributed in 2018.
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We’ll start with the youngest guy, Armani Watts. Watts was a fourth round pick by the Chiefs last year and from the moment he got drafted, fans had high hopes for him. Unfortunately, Watts was injured after only five games, so the jury is still out on what kind of player he’ll become.
Jordan Lucas was a player that fans started to notice about midway through the season. He appeared in all 16 games and started four, recording 32 tackles and one interception.
The other three guys have been with the Chiefs over the last few seasons. Daniel Sorensen had a good game in the AFC Championship Game, but for the most part, has been hit or miss. He’s not great in coverage, but has been a reliable player for the organization during his time in Kansas City.
Eric Murray was a fourth round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and after three seasons hasn’t looked the part of a starting safety. He totaled 55 tackles, two defended passes, and one interception during the 2018 season.
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Lastly, there’s Eric Berry, who is beloved by Chiefs Kingdom. The injury situation wasn’t handled great this year, as Berry missed nearly the entire season. He appeared in just three games this season, which were the first three he played in since getting injured in week one of the 2017 season.
When Berry did play, he looked fine, notching at least four solo tackles in each of his three games. Berry’s contract makes it difficult for the Chiefs to part ways with him plus if he is healthy, he’s still the best safety on the roster.
The Chiefs currently have four picks in the top 100 of this year’s draft and they’ll need to use at least one of those on a safety. KC has been linked to Deionte Thompson out of Alabama in Mel Kiper’s mock draft and that’d be someone they could likely land with the 29th overall pick.
Other realistic safeties the Chiefs could possibly land would be Juan Thornhill out of Virginia, Taylor Rapp out of Washington, and Nasir Adderley out of Delaware. This is assuming they do indeed address the safety spot in the first two rounds.
The Kansas City Chiefs will have some decisions to make this offseason, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see the organization move on from Murray and/or Sorensen. If they part ways with both of those guys, drafting two safeties will be a must come April.
What do you think, Chiefs fans? Is safety at the top of the list for you as far as team needs go?