On the Monday edition of the Arrowhead Pride Laboratory podcast, we started the show by discussing the Jarran Reed signing and all it does for the Kansas City Chiefs. How does it change the Chiefs’ approach to the 2021 NFL Draft?
Reed is a big addition to the defensive rotation. He’s a player who is stout against the run but has also had some significant pass-rushing productivity along the interior. He can strengthen the Chiefs on early downs — and providing some passing rush ability is a huge plus that helps fill some needs.
As it is, the Chiefs likely weren’t looking too hard at what is a weak draft class at defensive tackle — but they certainly are looking at the EDGE class to identify a player they can add to their front. Depending on what the Chiefs do at tackle in the month leading up to the NFL Draft, you can make a case that they could go EDGE in the first round. In fact, if it’s the right player, I’d still support the idea.
The Chiefs will still need help up front over the long term. Both Reed and Derrick Nnadi will be free agents in 2022, and outside of Frank Clark — who is coming off a poor, inconsistent season — the depth chart at EDGE is far from strong. Mike Danna and Taco Charlton are fine rotational players, but the latter is also a free agent after this season — and is coming off an Achilles injury.
So it still makes a lot of sense to invest early in a defensive end. The good news is that with the addition of Reed, there would be a little less pressure on a rookie EDGE. Production-wise, the Chiefs will take anything they can get from a 2021 draft pick — but it may not be a necessity. Whoever the Chiefs take can develop and be ready in 2022, when they will need quality depth — and hopefully, an impact rusher alongside Clark.
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