Last week, we told you about an NFL.com article in which five Kansas City Chiefs were named to the “best team money can buy.” On Tuesday, the league’s flagship website released another all-star team — this one consisting only of players under 25 years of age. (And yes... Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is now too old for this list). But one Kansas City player did make Nick Shook’s young roster.
L’Jarius Sneed • FLEX • Kansas City Chiefs • Age: 24
Sneed was a weapon for the Chiefs in his first season, one capable of being deployed in a variety of situations and producing a positive outcome. Line him up on the line and watch him register a QB pressure. Move him into the slot and wait for him to make a play on a pass over the middle. Move him outside if you need to, and he might just haul in an interception. He did so three times as a rookie while recording seven passes defensed, 41 tackles, two sacks and three quarterback hits. The guy can do it all — including shutting down the passing attack. He allowed the third-lowest completion percentage (46.5%) among all defenders (minimum 30 targets). And to think, 2020 was just his first season.
Even outside of Kansas City, Sneed — who was selected in the fourth round (138th overall) — is widely seen as one of the steals of the 2020 NFL Draft. So his appearance on this particular all-star team isn’t that surprising. And in the coming season — in which the Chiefs are expected to move Sneed from slot cornerback to outside cornerback at least some of the time — he will have a greater challenge than he faced in 2020.
Still... he should be up for it. Shook failed to mention the most impressive thing about his rookie season: he accumulated those statistics in just nine games.