3 Defensive Linemen the Chiefs Need to Sign After Missing Out on Calais Campbell
By Larry Rupp
The Kansas City Chiefs struggled to get anything going from a pass rushing perspective during the 2021 NFL season. In fact, they ended up with the fourth-fewest sacks in the league (31.0). However, the front office has still not done much to address the issue through free agency this offseason.
Another target can be wiped off the board after Calais Campbell re-signed with the Baltimore Ravens. The Chiefs had reportedly been in talks with the veteran. Options are clearly dwindling as the 2022 draft nears closer, so let's take a look at three defensive linemen Kansas City needs to sign.
Kansas City Chiefs Free Agency
1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE
The Chiefs would be smart to draw Jadeveon Clowney away from the Cleveland Browns and onto their roster. The 29-year-old bounced back in a major way last season by logging 19 quarterback hits, 9.0 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. He has also posted at least 30 pressures in three of his last four seasons. Keep in mind Frank Clark has yet to do that once as a member of the Chiefs. Clowney excels at getting in the quarterback's face and could be seen as a stopgap option if Kansas City decides to draft along the d-line. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo could work wonders with a weapon like Clowney at his disposal.
2. Akiem Hicks, DT
Kansas City lost starting defensive tackle Jarran Reed to the free agent market this offseason, but have done almost nothing to replace that production. Yes, the Chiefs did recently sign Taylor Stallworth. Bringing in Akiem Hicks would provide the defense with an elite run stopper, though. The Pro Bowl talent has tallied 84 tackles (13 for loss), 35 quarterback hits and 8.0 sacks over his last three seasons (29 games). Hicks is likely best utilized as a rotational piece at this point in his career and that bodes well for what Kansas City has going on with its depth chart. If anything, Hicks' ability to mentor the younger players makes a short-term deal worth it.
3. Jerry Hughes, DE
Another veteran that seems to have some gas left in the tank is Jerry Hughes. The former TCU standout has been a model of consistency throughout his NFL career. Hughes has played in at least 12 games in each of his 12 seasons and logged at least 4.0 sacks nine different times. He has also showcased an ability to create turnovers by racking up 7 forced fumbles over the last four years. The 33-year-old could split time with defensive ends like Clark and Chris Jones while providing a spark on pass rushing plays. After all, it likely wouldn't take much for Hughes to sign given Kansas City's strong Super Bowl chances.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.