At this point everyone remembers when the K.C. Chiefs brought in free agent defensive end Melvin Ingram on a visit in hopes of signing him while he was on the visit. However, the two sides couldn’t come to a deal and at that moment Chiefs fans were wondering what the heck was going on. Why was K.C. whiffing on so many free agents? Fast forward several weeks later and the Chiefs were able to salvage the offseason pretty well by bringing in names like Austin Blythe and Jarran Reed and put together a solid draft class.
Of course, one of the positions addressed in the draft was defensive end as the Chiefs drafted Florida State defensive end Joshua Kaindoh in the fourth round. Even though there are reasons to like the pick, it is a relatively low investment in the position. Fourth round picks are far from a sure thing.
The current depth chart at defensive end for the Chiefs still looks pretty weak or rather still has a lot of question marks. Let’s take a closer look at who the Chiefs currently have at the position:
Frank Clark has been a frustrating player since he’s gotten to Kansas City there’s not really any denying that. Sure, he broke out in the 2019 postseason but beyond that it’s been pretty disappointing. There’s just no way you can say Clark is worth the $100 million he’s being paid when you look at his production compared to his peers. Clark will have some stepping up to do and assuming he even does, the Chiefs obviously need more production from the position.
Taco Charlton flashed his pass-rushing potential with Kansas City in limited playing time but a broken ankle ended his season barely even halfway through the year and while bringing him back on a one-year deal to see what else you can get is nice, it is worth noting Charlton has never played a full 16 games since entering the league and is still the furthest thing from a proven commodity.
Mike Danna had an impressive rookie season for a 5th round pick in 2020 despite dealing with injuries and also showed potential as a rotational edge-setter but do we seriously think he can be anything more than that? It’s possible but not very likely. The Chiefs need pass-rush help at the position and more of a speed rusher which isn’t Danna.
I like the Joshua Kaindoh selection in the 4th round of the draft. Kaindoh was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and has an insane athletic profile. However, he never really developed into that guy at FSU and his production was closer to middle of the road. His development will largely rely on what the Chiefs coaching staff can get out of him and while he could turn out to be a very good pass-rusher in the NFL, he could also completely bust as well. Kaindoh is a boom or bust option.
The KC Chiefs should still sign Melvin Ingram
Taking all of that in, it’s pretty clear that outside of Frank Clark (Even though Clark has issues too) there isn’t really a ton to work with. That’s why the Chiefs should still be pursuing free agent defensive end Melvin Ingram. Sure, Ingram wouldn’t come here and be a three-down starter but he’s at least someone who is taken seriously by offenses and can come in on 3rd downs and be that fastball speed rusher you can throw at offenses. In fact, Ingram posted a 76.3 pass-rush grade in 2020 according to PFF which ranked better than any defensive end on the Chiefs roster last season. Ingram simply gives you something you don’t currently have in any of your other defensive ends.
In order for this signing to happen, though, Ingram would need to come down enough on his price. The most likely reason Ingram didn’t sign initially on his visit is because he didn’t like the offer from Kansas City and simply wanted to keep his options open. Matt Verderame of FanSided even went on to say that the visit between K.C. and Ingram “went well” which should make fans feel better that Ingram is still open to the Chiefs.
At this point, it would be a great signing that would bolster the Chiefs pass-rush and give the Chiefs a pretty good front seven when you consider all the other additions they’ve made this offseason. It will be interesting to see how Ingram’s market progresses.