There are nine games in the books — with eight more to go. The Kansas City Chiefs are taking their bye week in Week 10, so it’s a good time to dish out some midseason awards.
The Arrowhead Pride writing staff members each had one vote for our seven midseason awards. There are 17 contributors voting, so there will be 17 votes tallied for each award. In this post, we’ll reveal our defensive rookie of the year to this point of the season.
DB CHAMARRI CONNER
VOTING: DB Chamarri Conner (12), DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah (3), no-votes (2)
The 2022 Chiefs defensive rookie class carried a significant load, but this year’s class hasn’t been called upon as heavily. Nevertheless, a standout quickly emerged in the form of a 6-foot, 206-pound ball-hawking safety from Virginia Tech during training camp and the preseason. It didn’t take long to understand why defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo sang Conner’s praises: he possesses a quality highly esteemed by Spagnuolo: versatility.
Conner’s playing time has been limited this year, with only 58 snaps in the first nine weeks, primarily due to the outstanding performances of the starting defensive backs. However, Spagnuolo capitalizes on Conner’s versatility when he's on the field by deploying him in various roles. Conner has taken eight snaps from the edge of the defensive line, 20 snaps as a box safety and 30 in the slot. These opportunities have translated into eight tackles (six solo) and one tackle for loss. According to Pro Football Focus, Conner currently boasts a defensive grade of 76.4, ranking third on the team and trailing only defensive tackle Chris Jones and cornerback Trent McDuffie.
#Chiefs set up their 3rd down success vs. Miami by swarming on early downs— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) November 6, 2023
On outside runs, CBs were beating blocks and forcing runs back inside, including safety Chamarri Conner in the slot
That allowed hard-pursuing players like Tranquill, Omenihu, & Chenal to finish the stop pic.twitter.com/IU7HAy2S7o
While Conner’s current statistics may not be mind-blowing, he has proven to be a consistently reliable player who minimizes errors. He is an additional asset and will continue to serve as a valuable depth piece for the Chiefs’ defense for the remainder of the season. As he continues to refine his unique ability to blitz and attack downhill, his playing time should see an increase.
Keep an eye on Conner; he’s a player with a promising future in the making.
Who is your bye-week top defensive rookie?
This poll is closed
Nobody deserves this award