Chiefs Undrafted Free Agent Named Possible Willie Gay Jr. Replacement

Willie Gay Jr. had 233 tackles in four years with the Chiefs
Willie Gay Jr. had 233 tackles in four years with the Chiefs / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs have an exciting class of undrafted free agents and one such player is already being named as a potential Willie Gay Jr. replacement at linebacker.

Gay Jr. was an important part of Kansas City's defense over the last four years after being selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. However, Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report thinks former Penn State star LB Curtis Jacobs might develop into a long-term replacement.

Jacobs projects well with great speed and experience leading the Nittany Lions on defense and contributing to special teams.

Undrafted Rookie Curtis Jacobs Named Possible Willie Gay Jr. Replacement

Sobleski explains, "Today's NFL is about defenders being able to work in space. Teams want second-line defenders who won't be exploited when they're on the field for obvious passing downs. The Kansas City Chiefs might have something that fits well with undrafted linebacker Curtis Jacobs."

During a four-year career, three of which came as a starter, Jacobs had 171 tackles, 9.5 sacks, four fumble recoveries, three deflected passes and a pair of interceptions. He's capable both against the run and pass, making him a logical fit on the defense.

"The 6'1", 240-pound linebacker is fluid and explosive, but he can be a hindrance against the run," Sobleski continues. "Still, he can be developed similarly to when the Chiefs drafted Willie Gay."

Willie Gay Jr. is the most important and experienced piece on the defense to replace aside from L'Jarius Sneed, so Jacobs has an opportunity to step into a large role at some point. Leo Chenal will get the majority of the snaps alongside Nick Bolton and Drue Tranquill but having depth at linebacker is still vital as the Chiefs proved last year with Bolton's injury.

If Jacobs can develop into a quality linebacker while playing special teams as well, he'll be another example of Brett Veach finding contributors late in the draft and in free agency.

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