Stock Up, Stock Down: Defense

 12 replies

Frank Clark: Stock Down

Frank’s my guy. I love him, and I think he’s prime for another strong postseason run. But his regular season wasn’t good enough. Simply. His first four weeks were fantastic, but for about a 10-week stretch, he was pretty poor. He did have three straight good outputs before Week 17, so if that’s an indication of his postseason, I’ll feel great, but he simply didn’t do enough in year 2 compared to where he left off last year.

Alex Okafor: Stock Up

Okafor played better this season (more consistent pressure), and stayed healthier (somewhat). He’s actually healthy going into a postseason. 2 straight games with sacks before the postseason. Similar to last year, but healthy this year, so I feel pretty confident in Okafor.

Tanoh Kpassagnon: Stock Down

Woof, was I wrong about Tanoh. I expected a big leap this year (around 7-9 sack range), and was I wrong. He regressed. He lacked any type of juice off the edge, couldn’t consistently play the run, and lacked any type of pass rush technique and has looked way worse in year 2 than year 1. He was replaced by Mike Danna as a player. A rookie. In the 5th round. That’s seriously disappointing, and I hope the Chiefs don’t bring him back.

Mike Danna: Stock Up

Speaking of Danna, I really liked him! He’s a smart, technically sound defensive end who’s good against the run and can collapse the pocket well. Danna lacks that consistent pass rush juice to really improve a ton, but as my 4-3 base defensive end? Yeah, that’s a great fit for Danna. He’s been a gem, considering many pundits put an undrafted grade on Danna.

Taco Charlton: Stock Up

Charlton’s pressure rates were pretty good this season. He showed a ton of juice before his injury, which really hurt our pass rush. His cross-chop move is superb. I hope the Chiefs can bring him back, I’m all aboard the Taco Truck.

Tim Ward: Stock Up

I was really intrigued by Tim Ward. He’s long and super explosive, and plays with a lot of juice. His technique is terrible right now, but we’ve seen Brendan Daly fix that for a lot of players (Charlton, Danna, even Wharton). The Chiefs have been super intrigued with Ward in the past, and I’m perfectly fine with replacing Okafor’s roster spot with Ward if he continues to progress.

Mike Pennel: Push

He’s basically been the exact same player for me. He’s still a steady, solid run defender, who can’t rush the passer. Solid agility, great anchor, and nice rotation piece next to Nnadi. He didn’t really improve or regress this season.

Derrick Nnadi: Stock Up

Nnadi’s one of my favorite players. He’s improved every single season. His agility, play recognition, and anchor are some of the best in the NFL. He even improved some (granted, not much) as a pass rusher. Nnadi is extension eligible this offseason, and the Chiefs should try and get him on a favorable number this offseason.

Chris Jones: Stock Up

I talked myself into stock up and down at the same time. I think Jones had a long period where he wasn’t really playing well, especially against top-level teams. But he also had spells of dominance (see first four weeks, Atlanta), and I think he played better than his 2019 output. So I put his stock up, but you could talk me into either one.

Tershawn Wharton: Stock Up

Nothing but stocks up for Wharton. He went from UDFA, to rostered rookie, to a consistent player on pass rushing downs. Wharton’s super explosive, which gives him an advantage on the interior. He overtook Khalen Saunders…as a rookie. His technique and pass rush plan will need development, but for a UDFA, you have to be ecstatic for how he has played.

Khalen Saunders: Stock Down

Saunders went from a really raw but intriguing rookie to…the inactive list? Saunders hurt his elbow in week 1, and was active twice from that point on. Tershawn Wharton, an undrafted rookie, overtook Saunders, who was a top 100 pick. He’s not a nose tackle. I’m not sure Saunders makes the 2021 roster, unless he has a good camp.

Anthony Hitchens: Stock Up

Anthony Hitchens…was really good! He was awesome at aligning the fronts again this year, and you could hear him on the broadcast calling out plays. His play understanding and IQ are very good, which allowed him to play faster. He was physical, got downhill well, and rarely was out of his gap. The Chiefs run defense progressed all the way to 18th this year, and a lot of it has to do with Hitchens.

Damien Wilson: Push

To me, Wilson is pretty much the same player he was a year ago. A solid linebacker, who can stop the run, sit in a curl zone, and is a pretty solid blitzer. I like Wilson a lot and can see another team starting him, but I wouldn’t bring him back. It’s Willie Gay time, and if Wilson is around, then it stunts Gay’s growth.`

Ben Niemann: Stock Down

I don’t think I really need to explain why. We all have eyes.

Willie Gay: Stock Up

I wanted to say push, but we got some positive indicators in flashes of what he could be. I still think Gay’s a long way away from being a great 3-down linebacker, but for a base linebacker who was sometimes thrust into BUCK, he flashed high-level upside.

Dorian O’Daniel: Stock Down

Hey, at least he got some regular season snaps!

Darius Harris: Stock Up

He looks like a NFL linebacker. Good lateral agility, stack and shed. Limited athlete, but I could see the Chiefs putting him at SAM linebacker in 2021.

Charvarius Ward: Stock Down

I wasn’t buying Ward’s 2019 campaign or his metrics, and I think I was right. Ward took some major regression at points. He still struggles with locating the ball at all, and he was getting attacked more vertically this year. Tougher receivers didn’t help, but some metrics don’t love him as much this year. I’d still keep him on an RFA tender, but Ward’s ceiling lowered this season.

Bashaud Breeland: Stock Up

Breeland, on the other hand, improved his play this season. Breeland had some rough patches in 2019, but was pretty consistently good this year. I would love bringing him back next year, but I think he may have priced himself out. If he puts together another good postseason run, I hope Breeland gets the money he finally deserves.

L’Jarius Sneed: Stock Up

L’Jarius Sneed played both boundary and slot this year. As a rookie. And he looked like an absolute stud at both. His athleticism is on another level, he can cover nearly any type of player. Sneed’s physical, long, and super fast. Great ball skills. I’m looking forward to year 2 Sneed.

Bopete Keyes: Stock Up

Keyes has some intriguing traits. He’s long, physical, and fast. The mental side of the game looks bad right now, so he needs a lot of reps to slow down mentally, but he looks pretty good physically. I like some of the things we’re seeing from Keyes.

Deandre Baker: Stock Up

Baker hurt his femur this week, unfortunately, but he looked good in his first game as a Chief. There were reports that he was in the building the next day and had a clean break, so if he comes back healthy into 2021, he could compete for a starting spot opposite Sneed.

Rashad Fenton: Push

Fenton showed strong capabilities on the outside, even if it was against bad competition. His role got overtaken by Sneed in the latter half of the season, but he still has experience both in the slot and boundary. I’m still cool with Fenton on the roster, and he’s a great backup.

Antonio Hamilton: Stock Down

Hamilton was asked to play slot and boundary at times and…woof. He was awful. He’s not terrible on special teams and I see his value there, but he doesn’t belong on an NFL defense at all.

Tyrann Mathieu: Stock Down

Mathieu had a good year, increasing his interception total by two. That being said, his play regressed some, which was expected. Mathieu played at a Defensive Player of the Year level in 2019, and he was due for some regression. Still a very good player, but his slot coverage this year wasn’t as strong, and some tackling issues hurt his stock.

Juan Thornhill: Stock Down

There may not be a player on the Chiefs with a stock more down than Thornhill. After looking like a potential star and a top free safety in the NFL, he looks like a shell of himself. It’s understandable with the injury, but his athleticism and mental sharpness as a football player just looks poor. Want any indication of how the Chiefs currently feel about Thornhill? They had him play most of the game vs the Chargers. Daniel Sorensen didn’t.

Dan Sorensen: Push

He either is below average or makes some clutch INT to seal a game. No in-between, it’s been the same way for years.

Armani Watts: Stock Down

The Chiefs cut Tedric Thompson for Watts to get juked out of his shoes by Donald Parham. I’m still angry.

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01/12/2021 11:56 am

Not on the Breeland Train at all … HB feels like a Push IMHO …

Reply to  KCChef
01/12/2021 1:24 pm

HB needs to grow a pair and make a hit. I’ve never seen a safety play so much patty cake In my life. It’s like Peters is back and he’s now playing safety

John Doerty
John Doerty
Reply to  Stuckinpackland
01/12/2021 2:28 pm

Definitely feels like I’ve seen a lot more “business decisions” from HB compared to last year.

01/12/2021 11:23 am

I don’t agree on Harris, he’s slow weak and usually either chasing the play or out of position. Not a fan

Reply to  Nate Christensen
01/12/2021 1:23 pm

Agree with the rosterable linebacker at best line. He and Niemann are only rosterable for Toubs unit.

Reply to  Stuckinpackland
01/12/2021 1:34 pm

Really hope Niemann is playing his way out of KC. Need a better LB.

01/12/2021 10:34 am

So I put his stock up, but you could talk me into either one.

that sounds like a push to me

John Doerty
John Doerty
Reply to  Leaf
01/12/2021 2:27 pm

That definitely sounds like a push. Personally, I’m easily a stock down. Not because he is terrible or anything. It’s because his performance was not as good as last year, but his pay exploded. That isn’t a great sign from a player on the first year of their first superstar contract.

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