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The Chiefs pass rush should be better because of Justin Houston

The Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker situation basically comes down to how Justin Houston performs. If he’s elite once again the Chiefs will have an excellent pass rush. If he’s not ... they won’t. Pretty simple, right?

We’ve been reviewing the Chiefs position groups as it relates to the roster locks and the position battles. The Chiefs outside linebackers are as important as any position group on the team not named quarterback. The Chiefs pass rush was not good in 2016; it has to be good in 2017.

The Chiefs kept five outside linebackers on the first depth chart last year. That leaves two spots after our three roster locks.

Roster locks

Justin Houston: I’m optimistic Houston has a big season coming in fully healthy. The Chiefs are tied to him for 2-3 more years so they need production out of him.

Dee Ford: The Chiefs have already picked up his 2018 option.

Tamba Hali: What can we say here? It looked like Tamba was done last year. I’m not sure what to expect this year. But his contract makes it so that the Chiefs likely won’t cut him.

Roster bubble

Dadi Nicolas: I’m not sure if he’ll be healthy enough to play or not. He ruptured his patellar tendon late last year. That’s a tough injury. I’m not counting on much from him.

Frank Zombo: The ‘ol steady veteran. Is this the year the Chiefs finally find someone who can beat him out?

Victor Ochi: It would be impressive if Dorsey uncovered a gem from Stony Brook.

Tourek Williams: The Chiefs cut Ochi and signed Williams on Monday.

Reshard Cliett: The Chiefs claimed him last week after cutting another linebacker.

Earl Okine: He’s been on and off the Chiefs practice squad since the start of last season. I’m not completely sure where the Chiefs are playing him. 6’6, 290 pounds is defensive line size.

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