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Juan Thornhill named to Pro Football Focus’ All-Rookie team

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The Chiefs’ second-rounder earned high praise from the football analytics website.

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Oakland Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill was the sole Chiefs player named to Pro Football Focus’ All-Rookie team, which can be found here.

Here is what PFF had to say about Thornhill, whom the Chiefs lost for the postseason last week against the Chargers:

Thornhill’s torn ACL is a big blow for the Chiefs as they prepare for their Divisional Round matchup. He spent the majority of his time lined up deep at free safety for Kansas City, and when looking at the lack of success opposing teams had targeting the Chiefs 20 or more yards downfield, it’s easy to see his impact. On those passes against the Chiefs this year, opposing quarterbacks combined for a 40.9 passer rating. That was the third-best rating of any team in the league, behind only the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots.

The Chiefs selected Thornhill, 24, with the 63rd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. During training camp, he earned the right to start next to newly-acquired veteran Tyrann Mathieu. Thornhill started all 16 games, finishing his rookie campaign with 57 tackles (41 solo), five passes defensed, three interceptions and a touchdown.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has suggested defensive backs Kendall Fuller and Armani Watts will fill in Thornhill’s void in the postseason, which begins a week from Sunday at Arrowhead.

“Armani was a real good college football player,” said Reid on Monday. “He has done a nice job for us on special teams. You take advantage of opportunities. Kendall still has his thumb wrapped up. Sometimes, those things set you back and another guy gets an opportunity, then you stick with it. That’s a tribute to (General Manager) Brett (Veach) for bringing in the guys that he has brought in. You kind of go with whichever has the hot hand. If a guy steps in, you don’t want to disrupt that either. You’ve seen that over time here. We have confidence in the other two guys to step up and do a good job.”

Meanwhile, Thornhill remains in good spirits.