Replacing Lost Snaps on Defense

With so much player turn over on defense, I thought a look at snaps lost and gained would be interesting. I couldn't help but think that Veach, Reid and Associates didn't draft like they had in the past -- no 1st round luxury pick, no big gambles, etc -- they drafted with a decided purpose to plug holes on defense. So with the draft over, and cap space for only one or two more decent FAs, here's an overview of how 2021 snaps from departing FAs and my guess for how they may be replaced. Most of the data is from

Snaps Lost on Defense
2021 player 2021 snaps Expected 2022
replacement player
Expected change (upgrade/even/downgrade)
998 Reid Downgrade-Even
Ward 753 McDuffie (R) Even
Ingram 592 Karlaftis (R) Downgrade
Hitchens 598 Chanel (R) Even-Upgrade
Reed 713 Stallworth Downgrade
Sorensen 698 Cook (R) Even-Upgrade
Okafor 463 ? None (Downgrade)
Neiman 557 Carter Even-Upgrade
Hughes 508 Williams/Watson (?, R) (Downgrade)

Obviously, the replacement players or how well they play may not be what I expect, but the fact remains that these 5,880 snaps need to be replaced, and many of them will be replaced by rookies. So the early part of the coming season may be pretty rough on defense as the unit gels and rookies improve. (I do think this draft ultimately gives Spags better "ingredients" to work with, we just may not see the impact until 2023).

It also looks to me like resigning Melvin Ingram III is the best way to use the remaining cap. I like Karlaftis for the overall player he his, but expecting him to replace Ingram's pass-rush impact from the edge is a big ask. With Ingram back on-board, considering Karlaftis as an Okafor replacement (or upgrade) is a win-win.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.