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The Chiefs’ role players who will have the biggest impact in 2020

Two veterans and a rookie immediately come to mind.

NFL: AFC Championship-Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

On the Monday mailbag edition of the Arrowhead Pride Laboratory, we were asked to name non-starters that will make the biggest impact on the Kansas City Chiefs#RunItBack tour. In asking this question, our pal Kristian Gumminger cited players like Mecole Hardman, Matt Moore and Stefen Wisniewski as key players last year’s Super Bowl run. Interestingly enough, two of those three weren’t on the roster at the beginning of the year.

Here are three non-starters we thought could make a big impact in the coming season.

Wide receiver Mecole Hardman

Hardman is competing for opportunities as the third wideout in the Chiefs’ elite offense — and certainly was an impact role player in 2019. He is primed to take a step forward, continuing to impact games — perhaps even more of them — in 2020. It will take an injury for Hardman to see a high volume of targets in the Chiefs’ offense, but he found a way to make several big plays throughout last season. During his rookie year, Hardman’s playing style was a little bit feast or famine — you never knew in which game he would generate a big play. He’ll find the opportunities this year, but a more consistent game-to-game output could mean huge things for him in 2020.

Safety Daniel Sorensen

The third safety in Steve Spagnuolo’s Chiefs defense played a key role down the stretch — and on special teams, too; Sorensen had fantastic showings in the AFC Divisional and Championship games that cemented his cult-hero status. Sorensen is best when he’s not forced to be the second safety — as evidenced by his rough time in the Super Bowl. But he was able to play at a high level for a good stretch of the most critical games of the season. The BYU product will be a key role player behind Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill this season.

Linebacker Willie Gay Jr.

The rookie appeared to be playing primarily with the second unit at the Saturday practice that the Chiefs broadcast online. Don’t sleep on Gay’s ability to impact this football team in a real way — and possibly very soon. Gay is big and physical — and has the talent to be the team’s clear-cut best linebacker in just about every facet of his position. He is more athletic and fluid in coverage than any Chiefs linebacker in competition for legitimate playing time. Don’t be surprised if Gay is starting soon, improving the second level of the defense both in coverage and against the run.

Poll

Which of these role players will have the biggest impact for the Chiefs this year?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Mecole Hardman
    (472 votes)
  • 5%
    Daniel Sorensen
    (81 votes)
  • 54%
    Willie Gay Jr.
    (794 votes)
  • 7%
    Someone else
    (115 votes)
1462 votes total Vote Now

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