One of the Kansas City Chiefs' more exciting free agent additions this offseason is off-ball linebacker Drue Tranquill, who joins Kansas City after spending his first four years in the league playing for the AFC West division-rival Los Angeles Chargers.
2022 was a breakout year for Tranquill, who started 16 out of 17 regular-season games and racked up 146 combined tackles — including 5.0 sacks, four passes defended and an interception.
Tranquill's athleticism and ability to play in space are two of the biggest assets to his game. During a Zoom call with reporters on Monday, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid spoke about Tranquill's versatility.
"He's a good football player," said Reid. "He's a smart kid. He's got great size. He's got good strength. He can cover, you know, in other words, run and cover. So we just had an opportunity to get him. And I sure liked the way he plays."
It's not just Reid who is excited about the added explosiveness at the linebacker position. Starting middle linebacker Nick Bolton also weight in on his new teammate.
"When you put on the tape, man. You can see how intelligent Drue Tranquill is," said Bolton. "He'll help us in terms of adding more ability to pass coverage — blitzing, runs — he does it all, man."
Bolton added that he is thrilled about the added experience and leadership Tranquill brings to the linebacker room.
"We got a lot of young guys in the room," said Bolton. "And so having that guy and having that experience to kind of bounce off ideas with, he's seen a lot of football. That'll be beneficial for me, especially just me not playing a lot of football... I played two years, but I still have a lot of football ahead of me, and I'm still learning and still trying to evolve.
"I've texted with [Tranquill], had conversations with him and had the ability to kind of pick his brain a little bit, and you can tell his IQ is off the charts."
The Traquill signing raises a key question, considering Willie Gay Jr., Nick Bolton and Leo Chenal are all in the fold: who is the odd man out?
But Reid doesn't see it that way. In his mind, there are more than enough snaps to go around in defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's defense.
"He'll add great flexibility to Spags' group," said Reid of Tranquil. "You know how Spags does it with different personnel groups, and there's plenty of room for all of them."
We'll just have to wait and see how all of the pieces fall into place, but if we take what Reid says at face value, the Chiefs already have a role in mind for Tranquill heading into 2023.