On this week’s mailbag edition of the Arrowhead Pride Laboratory, we were asked to name a Kansas City Chiefs player who we thought was a sleeper for 2020 and also a player who we thought might take a step back this year.
Sleeper candidate: CB L’Jarius Sneed
A player I see primed to make a contribution this season comes from the 2020 draft class. If Louisiana Tech cornerback L’Jarius Sneed had not moved to safety for the betterment of his college team, I firmly believe he would’ve been drafted on day two of the draft.
In fact, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said if they had the first pick in the fourth round, Sneed would have been the pick. If that’s true, there weren’t many players on the board separating third-round pick Lucas Niang and Sneed.
Sneed is physically capable of contributing right away. He boasts a better athletic profile than anyone currently on the roster. If he’s allowed to play at the line of scrimmage and get his hands on receivers, he should be able to compete sooner than people think. With questions about Bashaud Breeland’s availability early in the season, Sneed could catch up to the likes of Rashad Fenton and Antonio Hamilton for early playing time.
Step-back candidate: CB Charvarius Ward
A player I could see take a step back is in the same position group. Charvarius Ward played only a handful of games his rookie year and just finished his first full season as a starter. His sample size more closely resembles a second-year player with a little over 20 games and only one full season. If you go back and watch the playoffs, he struggled mightily in all three games. Teams are going to attack the undrafted free agent out of Middle Tennessee State similarly to the way the playoffs teams he faced did, and if he isn’t ready for it, we could see more production against him.
This wouldn’t be uncommon if we were to consider 2020 more of his second campaign — it’s called a “sophomore slump.” The NFL is about adjustments and improvements, and it will be up to Ward to fix the mistakes that ailed him in the playoffs so that teams can’t challenge him similarly.
We talked about these two players in detail and answered more questions on the mailbag edition of the AP Laboratory.
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