The Kansas City Chiefs spent the off-season adding immediate impact additions to the roster. The biggest focus was on their top flaw; the offensive line. After seeing Patrick Mahomes run for his life in Super Bowl LV, general manager Brett Veach made it apparent that he never wanted Mahomes and the offense in that situation again. Veach added three All-Pro offensive linemen to the team as well as spending two draft picks on the offensive line.
On the other side of the ball, pass rush and run defense were concerns all season long. Veach signed the best defensive tackle on the market to give the defensive line more versatility. The linebacker group has been a liability for years but Veach has made it a point to upgrade the group and drafted arguably the best run defending linebacker in the 2021 NFL draft.
With numerous big time roster upgrades, who are the top four Chiefs impact additions?
Chiefs Impact Additions: Offense
Joe Thuney| Left Guard
In eight seasons under head coach Andy Reid, the Chiefs have had a total of 13 players take snaps at left guard. None of the players have ever played a full 16 games. The team has had no consistency at the position and it has led to mediocre interior line play. That makes the addition of Joe Thuney an immediate impact addition.
In his five-year career, Thuney has never missed a game. He has played 500 more snaps than any other left guard in the last five years, making his health record even more impressive. Thuney is also an incredible technician and has only been called for three penalties over the last two seasons. He has allowed a total of three sacks over the last three seasons. Thuney was arguably one of the biggest immediate impact additions among all teams this off-season.
Orlando Brown Jr.| Left Tackle
The Chiefs have had solid left tackle play with Eric Fisher. Following his injury in the 2020 AFC championship game, however, the team decided it was time to move on. That made the Chiefs left tackle position one of the biggest question marks in the NFL. The team addressed it by trading for one of the most promising tackles in the NFL in Orlando Brown Jr.
According to Pro Football Focus, Brown is rated as the fifth-most valuable offensive tackle since 2018. Brown has played 100 percent of the offensive snaps(2,133) in the last two seasons and was only called for two penalties. Fisher was a solid player for the Chiefs in his eight-year career, Brown is a star. Brown is a huge upgrade and is an immediate impact addition for the Chiefs.
Chiefs Impact Additions: Defense
Nick Bolton| Inside Linebacker
The Chiefs drafted Nick Bolton in the second round of the 2021 NFL draft. Bolton is an impact addition and should be named the week 1 starter. The Chiefs linebacking group has been non-existent in the run defense. Enter Bolton, who had 77 run stops, 17 more than the next SEC defender, in the last two seasons. Even though Bolton is a rookie, his leadership will also make an impact on the defense. He brings energy and leadership that will be infectious and cause everyone around him to play better. Bolton is an immediate impact addition not just on the field but off of it as well.
Jarran Reed| Defensive Tackle
Jarran Reed adds more pass-rushing ability to the Chiefs front. Reed has 19 sacks in the last three seasons which ranks as the seventh most among defensive tackles. Reed will be re-joining Frank Clark for the first time since 2018. In that final season together in which they both played all 16 games, one of the two accounted for a sack in 13 games. That was also Reed’s best season as he created 55 quarterback pressures and 10.5 sacks. Reed being paired with Clark once again could provide immediate dividends for the pass rush.
The signing of Reed was somewhat of a surprise considering Chris Jones and Derrick Nnadi form arguably the best defensive tackle duo in the NFL. This could make Reed an even bigger impact addition. The Chiefs now have the option to move Jones to the outside and put the best four defensive linemen on the field. Reed is another impact addition that will be twofold; his play and schematically.
Thanks for reading my Four Instant Impact Additions: 2021 Kansas City Chiefs. Follow me on Twitter @Hobby_Connect for more content and NFL talk!