Kansas City Chiefs: L’Jarius Sneed could have a huge impact in 2020

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images /

L’Jarius Sneed could wind up being an X-factor for the Kansas City Chiefs defense.

The Kansas City Chiefs are riding on cloud nine heading into the 2020 NFL season.

The Chiefs are fresh off of their first Super Bowl victory in seemingly forever. They have the best player in the NFL signed to a record long-term contract and already with NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP accolades.

Even when no one thought they could, the Chiefs also managed to keep their best defensive player — defensive lineman Chris Jones — around on a long-term contract.

The Chiefs also managed to somehow keep wide receiver Sammy Watkins around when he appeared to be maybe the likeliest cap casualty of any player on any team in the NFL, and they’ve kept almost every starter from last year’s Super Bowl team while adding a first-round running back in Clyde Edwards-Helaire to the mix.

What could possibly not be good in Kansas City right now?

There’s very little to complain about if you’re a Chiefs fan, that’s for certain. The Chiefs have a pretty well-rounded roster and players on both sides of the ball who are capable of raising the other boats.

With that said, the Chiefs’ cornerback position has been and remains a pretty substantial area of concern for the team now and looking forward to the 2020 season.

That is, unless someone steps up.

One player to keep an eye on is rookie L’Jarius Sneed, a fourth-round pick out of Louisiana Tech who blew up the Scouting Combine with his athleticism.

Sneed an ideal athlete for the CB position

Although Sneed played safety in his final season at Louisiana Tech, he’s a much more natural fit at the cornerback position.

Big surprise here — the Chiefs took one of the most supremely gifted athletes at his position in this draft class, and now they simply have to hope that with a weird offseason like we’ve had in 2020 that Sneed is not going to have his growth stunted by the lack of on-field reps.

One of the most telling statistics about Sneed’s upside at the next level?

He had three pick-sixes at Louisiana Tech, the most in FBS over the past four years.

The transition back to cornerback should not be a problem for Sneed, who can use his size, speed, length, and athleticism to help him excel in man coverage while he works on developing the rest of his all-around game.

There’s no doubt that the Chiefs need a jolt or even a bit of a surprise at the cornerback position. There won’t be any unfair expectations laid on Sneed because he’s a fourth-round pick and not a first- or second-round pick.

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Because of the lack of unfair expectations, Sneed should be able to learn as he goes and his versatility having played both safety and cornerback should help him see reps early on for Steve Spagnuolo’s defense.