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Saccopoo Memorial Draft Forum>Secondary?
Direckshun 10:49 AM 01-04-2022
How badly do you guys think we need to make investments in the secondary?

Here is our secondary depth chart in 2022 right now:

CB: Sneed, Fenton
S: Thornhill, Zayne Anderson

That's it. That's who we have under contract.

Surely there will be some people we sign to futures and bring back from this roster in places, like DiCaprio Bootle, but none of them move the needle.

Mathieu, Ward, Sorensen, Hughes, Baker, and Watts are all free agents.

There's been some debate as to whether we bring back Ward, who we all really like, though I do think we agree his uppermost limitation is against Jamar Chase. I think Ward played his ass off against Chase, but just couldn't hang with him. To say nothing of the fact that Fenton was clearly outmatched on the other side, and may not be a full time starter anyway.

That being said, what kind of resources should we explore in the secondary? The Bengals are clearly not going anywhere.

Just goes to show you, you need to be a flexible defense to win it all in the NFL. Some teams like to space you out and air it out, like the Bengals. Other teams like to pound you up front.
[Reply]
CatfishBob2 09:33 AM 01-05-2022
Ward has pretty much cemented himself as a starter on one side. We haven't seen the other outside corner position locked down. As well as we've done with bargain bin talent. I would love to see what we can do with a premium talent, we took CEH round one. There's no argument not to take a CB within the first 3 picks
[Reply]
Direckshun 10:08 AM 01-05-2022
Originally Posted by kccrow:
I thought Ward played well in terms of assignment sound football and was even pretty good with his spacing on Chase but that's a tough cover for every CB in the NFL. I thought Ward's biggest failure was not using the sidelines well enough to his advantage; he needed to push Chase further outside on his routes. Ward's failures got compounded by Spags' insane approach of not providing any over-the-top bracket coverage to keep Chase from winning deep.

Call that performance what you want, I suppose, but I'm still a strong proponent of bringing Ward back on a long-term deal. He's a really good CB and, no, I'm not convinced Fenton is in the same stratosphere. Fenton has played well for less than 50% of snaps. That doesn't mean I feel 100% on him being a full-time starter. That said, I could see it if I'm looking at something else I'll discuss in a minute.

If the Chiefs don't invest in Ward, I don't see how you can't invest a higher pick there. There isn't another Ward/Sneed on the roster right now that can truly take over as an outside CB sans maybe Fenton but is Fenton up to the task?

And as for the rest of the secondary, you have to take a very long and hard look at the safeties and not feel comfortable. Mathieu, he's a good player. I think he's declined this year and his Twitter business leaves much to be desired. I'd cut bait there and look for youth. That decision would be much easier, though, if it weren't for the Sorensen situation.

Ahhhhh... Dan Sorensen. Everyone's favorite guy to hate, then love, then hate again. It's time to move on.

The way I see the safety situation is that you move the NFL's normal. The league has played around with special guys like Mathieu that can play in the box and can cover in the slot. They've played with guys like Sorensen that can play in the box and be a LB hybrid. But then there is this shift to the two-deep shell, and it's HIGHLY effective when done right.

So, I foresee more of a two-deep shell with dual free-safety types. Thornhill with Marcus Williams anyone? Williams is a guy that can step down and cover like a corner when needed and then fill out as supreme center-fielder. The same goes for Jessie Bates, although Williams is more likely to be available. I think a Williams/Thornhill back end gives you a lot of flexibility to not only play the two-deep shell but also morph out of it into other looks without substitutions.

And I'll say it again, I really, really like Sneed to replace Mathieu's role in the box. He's bigger and faster and tackles with more authority. Between he and Williams, they let you take a CB off the field to go LB heavy, take Thornhill off the field for even more coverage, or just morph in and out of any variety of coverages from a nickel look without doing anything from a sub standpoint.

My issue is, if I have Sneed in this hybrid role with dual FS's over the top, then what the hell to do at CB? Surely you'd have to put Fenton on the outside and draft a CB relatively early.

Conundrum. Do you play the shell game and get a Williams, keep Sneed out at CB with Fenton and look for the next Sneed (A reason I'm kinda high on Kyler Gordon)? Do you ditch the hybrid safety gameplan Mathieu and Sorensen brought to the table and go for a more traditional look and add a more athletic LB to the mix? Do you draft a couple of CBs?

It's a tough one, but in a predominately passing league I'd err towards having the best coverage setup I can and I think a two-deep shell with a box slot guy that can function as Sneed and Mathieu does is the best of all worlds. In other words, continue to live in that nickel base but you better be damned sure your front four is strong.

All of that text to say I'd be thrilled if I could snag Marcus Williams and retain Ward.
Do you even need talented guys to play that two-deep safety role? You're just providing a lid. You need fast guys who aren't idiots.

That two-deep safety role, if it becomes prominent, could become a bargain position in NFL defenses, like cornerback was in that Tampa Two scheme.

Also, while I respect your opinion on where NFL defenses might be headed, we have Spags. And you need to make personnel choices based on Spags, not what you wish Spags would do.
[Reply]
RunKC 10:11 AM 01-05-2022
Originally Posted by OKchiefs:
Just saying, sure would have been nice to have Tee Higgins from the 2020 draft
Fixed
[Reply]
Toad 03:50 PM 01-05-2022
Does anyone remember the debate years ago here on CP around what should be a higher priority: pencil neck QB bone crushers or cover guys? While both are obviously important, where is the best place place to invest the highest resources?

With how the DPI is called in todayís game (as Mr Meck pointed out), my humble opinion would be to priority invest heavy in edge rushers then secondary. Further, I donít believe in spending premium resources on Corner and I just think Ward may be cost prohibitive.

Safety is a bit different in Spagís defenses. We all know he loves versatility at that position. Matthieu brings both versatility and leadership (less the Twitter rant). Iím not 100% sold on resigning him, but who else (FA or draft) will fill that role day 1 starting the 2022 season? In other words, Badger is a bird in the hand.

My humble opinion is to resign Badger, spend premium resources on an edge rusher or two and get a middle tier corner to replace Ward if he price out of range.
Crush the pencil neck and there is less of a need for a top tier corner.
[Reply]
kccrow 07:11 PM 01-05-2022
To be fair with the "draft CB late" thing, Veach has had the benefit of being able to let guys sit and learn a year or two under already established players. That same approach isn't going to work well if there isn't at least some veteran placeholder. Could he let Ward walk and get a cheaper vet CB? Sure, and I'm not opposed.

I think there is a lot of versatility with several of the safeties in this FA class. The only versatility there, really, with Mathieu is he can both cover quicker slots and tackle well. Most slot corners can't tackle worth a shit. There are a handful of those guys this year that could hit the market. Veach would be smart to shop it, not hand another payday straight to Mathieu. That or put Sneed there.

And I don't necessarily agree with you Direckshun on the safeties in the shell. Speed is valuable, I agree, but I think the ability to make plays on football is a bigger deal. You want playmakers back there. The only real deviation I want Spags to make is to go away from having the 3rd safety be a LB hybrid type to more of a coverage/shell guy. It's not a huge difference, but I feel like the plays that have hurt KC the most are when you're trying to have that hybrid guy (Sorensen) play a deep half because he doesn't take Mathieu out of the box/off the slot to do it. I'm advocating for Marcus Williams because he's only 5 pounds lighter and 1 inch shorter than Sorensen yet can play like a CB when you want him to.

Edit: And yes, I'm one of the biggest fans of building up your front 4. It's the most critical of all. I think it's time to dump some major draft resources into the edge. The FA class is kinda blah. I think you take a stronger group, like safety, in FA and go get your boys to collapse the pocket with day 1 and 2 picks.
[Reply]
Chris Meck 07:54 PM 01-05-2022
Originally Posted by kccrow:
I thought Ward played well in terms of assignment sound football and was even pretty good with his spacing on Chase but that's a tough cover for every CB in the NFL. I thought Ward's biggest failure was not using the sidelines well enough to his advantage; he needed to push Chase further outside on his routes. Ward's failures got compounded by Spags' insane approach of not providing any over-the-top bracket coverage to keep Chase from winning deep.

Call that performance what you want, I suppose, but I'm still a strong proponent of bringing Ward back on a long-term deal. He's a really good CB and, no, I'm not convinced Fenton is in the same stratosphere. Fenton has played well for less than 50% of snaps. That doesn't mean I feel 100% on him being a full-time starter. That said, I could see it if I'm looking at something else I'll discuss in a minute.

If the Chiefs don't invest in Ward, I don't see how you can't invest a higher pick there. There isn't another Ward/Sneed on the roster right now that can truly take over as an outside CB sans maybe Fenton but is Fenton up to the task?

And as for the rest of the secondary, you have to take a very long and hard look at the safeties and not feel comfortable. Mathieu, he's a good player. I think he's declined this year and his Twitter business leaves much to be desired. I'd cut bait there and look for youth. That decision would be much easier, though, if it weren't for the Sorensen situation.

Ahhhhh... Dan Sorensen. Everyone's favorite guy to hate, then love, then hate again. It's time to move on.

The way I see the safety situation is that you move the NFL's normal. The league has played around with special guys like Mathieu that can play in the box and can cover in the slot. They've played with guys like Sorensen that can play in the box and be a LB hybrid. But then there is this shift to the two-deep shell, and it's HIGHLY effective when done right.

So, I foresee more of a two-deep shell with dual free-safety types. Thornhill with Marcus Williams anyone? Williams is a guy that can step down and cover like a corner when needed and then fill out as supreme center-fielder. The same goes for Jessie Bates, although Williams is more likely to be available. I think a Williams/Thornhill back end gives you a lot of flexibility to not only play the two-deep shell but also morph out of it into other looks without substitutions.

And I'll say it again, I really, really like Sneed to replace Mathieu's role in the box. He's bigger and faster and tackles with more authority. Between he and Williams, they let you take a CB off the field to go LB heavy, take Thornhill off the field for even more coverage, or just morph in and out of any variety of coverages from a nickel look without doing anything from a sub standpoint.

My issue is, if I have Sneed in this hybrid role with dual FS's over the top, then what the hell to do at CB? Surely you'd have to put Fenton on the outside and draft a CB relatively early.

Conundrum. Do you play the shell game and get a Williams, keep Sneed out at CB with Fenton and look for the next Sneed (A reason I'm kinda high on Kyler Gordon)? Do you ditch the hybrid safety gameplan Mathieu and Sorensen brought to the table and go for a more traditional look and add a more athletic LB to the mix? Do you draft a couple of CBs?

It's a tough one, but in a predominately passing league I'd err towards having the best coverage setup I can and I think a two-deep shell with a box slot guy that can function as Sneed and Mathieu does is the best of all worlds. In other words, continue to live in that nickel base but you better be damned sure your front four is strong.

All of that text to say I'd be thrilled if I could snag Marcus Williams and retain Ward.
And if Ward had pushed Chase towards the sideline and so much as bumped him a tiny bit, out comes the flag.

I'm telling you it doesn't matter if Fenton isn't as good as Ward. It just doesn't. Fenton will not be utter shit. As long as that's true, then keep drafting developmental guys like we have and get on with your life.

I send Sorensen packing and draft or sign a safety to play his role and do so at a better level than completely shitty. Sorensen is terrible. Horrible. maybe the worst in the NFL at his job that still gets significant reps. I cannot possibly imagine how bad Watts must be at practice to not be able to snag some of that game time.

I re-sign Mathieu, and keeping Baker and Hughes to go with Sneed and Fenton I feel alright about that.

And I'm putting my high draft capital and free agent resources at D-line. Pass rushers, pass rushers, pass rushers.

It really doesn't matter which boundary corner is running downfield alongside the WR.

All that matters is getting to the QB before he can deliver the ball or at least making him rush the throw. The secondary's only option really is to confuse him and be sure tacklers.

It's just the way it is. It's not what I'd prefer, but I don't know how many times we have to watch flag after flag after flag in crucial situations for ticky-tack DPI and defensive holding before we just recognize that the difference between a great cover corner and a decent cover corner is...functionally nothing under the current rule emphasis.

Pass rush, pass rush, pass rush. Pressure, rush the throw, sack, hit the QB. Confuse the pre-snap reads, disguise coverage. You need stud pass rushers and versatile secondary pieces like Mathieu, and yeah, like Sneed. He's a corner I'd pay because he's another swiss army knife. We needs guys like THAT.

Sorensen is woefully miscast as anything but a blitzing box safety. There are more athletic guys that could do that job, and do it better. Get one of those guys.

And get more pass rushers. I'll take 2 vets for Clark's salary, and I'll take one in the first as well, thank you very much.
[Reply]
CatfishBob2 08:43 PM 01-05-2022
To me the diffence between a great cover corner and a decent cover corner is turnovers forced, and it's significant....yea Ward and Fenton do well being in position. But for once,, give me a corner that will burn you for trying him over and over again
[Reply]
Chris Meck 09:30 PM 01-05-2022
Originally Posted by CatfishBob2:
To me the diffence between a great cover corner and a decent cover corner is turnovers forced, and it's significant....yea Ward and Fenton do well being in position. But for once,, give me a corner that will burn you for trying him over and over again
and I think more turnovers come from the pass rush. Forcing the QB to throw before he's ready, and getting inaccurate throws, too early in the route throws, or poor decisions.

The days of shutdown CB's is over.

And even the best corner might average an INT every other game.

it's not worth it. Pass rush, baby. And versatile guys who can line up anywhere and do anything on any given snap. Confuse and crush.
[Reply]
Chris Meck 09:32 PM 01-05-2022
Originally Posted by kccrow:
To be fair with the "draft CB late" thing, Veach has had the benefit of being able to let guys sit and learn a year or two under already established players. That same approach isn't going to work well if there isn't at least some veteran placeholder. Could he let Ward walk and get a cheaper vet CB? Sure, and I'm not opposed.

I think there is a lot of versatility with several of the safeties in this FA class. The only versatility there, really, with Mathieu is he can both cover quicker slots and tackle well. Most slot corners can't tackle worth a shit. There are a handful of those guys this year that could hit the market. Veach would be smart to shop it, not hand another payday straight to Mathieu. That or put Sneed there.

And I don't necessarily agree with you Direckshun on the safeties in the shell. Speed is valuable, I agree, but I think the ability to make plays on football is a bigger deal. You want playmakers back there. The only real deviation I want Spags to make is to go away from having the 3rd safety be a LB hybrid type to more of a coverage/shell guy. It's not a huge difference, but I feel like the plays that have hurt KC the most are when you're trying to have that hybrid guy (Sorensen) play a deep half because he doesn't take Mathieu out of the box/off the slot to do it. I'm advocating for Marcus Williams because he's only 5 pounds lighter and 1 inch shorter than Sorensen yet can play like a CB when you want him to.

Edit: And yes, I'm one of the biggest fans of building up your front 4. It's the most critical of all. I think it's time to dump some major draft resources into the edge. The FA class is kinda blah. I think you take a stronger group, like safety, in FA and go get your boys to collapse the pocket with day 1 and 2 picks.
Sneed played as a rookie. Fenton got significant snaps as a rookie. Ward played late in the year and into the play-offs as a rookie-even snagged the game ending INT except, derp, Dee Ford.
[Reply]
kccrow 09:44 PM 01-05-2022
Originally Posted by Chris Meck:
And if Ward had pushed Chase towards the sideline and so much as bumped him a tiny bit, out comes the flag.
My position on this all...

I'm saying to run him towards the sideline, rub him just enough with the body to make him take a little bit sharper line. CBs are taught to take that line to force the WR to either run further towards the boundary or cut the route inside towards more defenders. Ward just needs to hold a better line, which means keeping tighter to Chase on that boundary.

Fenton failed twice and Ward failed a few, and they were big.

1st catch is just a bad situation with Niemann having to cover him underneath on a broken play.

2nd catch they run him out of the slot and 3 guys can't decide who has the coverage.

Chase's 3rd catch, Fenton didn't hold tight to his assignment and it allowed Chase to come back in and make a catch he should have never made. Keep position with Chase on the sideline and that's incomplete.

His 2nd and 4th catches, terrible, terrible tackling when he was forced inside.

5th catch is exactly where Ward fails to run him towards the sideline or force Chase to come back through him for the ball.

6th catch, Sorensen is an idiot.

7th catch, Fenton again runs a couple of steps inside and is out of position on the comeback

8th catch, another bubble with terrible tackling

9th catch, not enough flow to the football and the "horsecollar."

10th catch, Ward, again doesn't force him to fade towards the sideline. Just too many yards to operate on the sideline and it's because Ward turns to find the football early, gets spun around, instead of holding the great line he started with. The same thing happens again on the 11th catch.
[Reply]
kccrow 09:47 PM 01-05-2022
Originally Posted by Chris Meck:
Sneed played as a rookie. Fenton got significant snaps as a rookie. Ward played late in the year and into the play-offs as a rookie-even snagged the game ending INT except, derp, Dee Ford.
Getting snaps and being the guy are two different things. None of them were a #1 CB and none were really a #2 either sans some injury fill-ins and so forth late in the year. They should get snaps, that's what you draft them for. They developed exactly as you hope to do. I'm just curious if Fenton has developed enough to be the next guy up so you can do it again. I will definitely not bitch if Veach follows the recent path, I just don't have as much faith in Fenton in others. Maybe it's a bias I've had since he was drafted, I dunno.
[Reply]
Buehler445 11:41 PM 01-05-2022
Sorensen just had to be gone on age alone. Guy is too old and his athleticism will degrade further undoubtedly if he is asked to do anything at all in space.

That being said run support may show up as a need more and more. The Titans aren’t going anywhere as long as Henry can stay upright, Baltimore is probably not going anywhere as long as Lamar can stay upright and Cleveland is going to be in the mix for at least awhile. The Colts seem to be committed to pounding Taylor as long as he can take it.

That’s a quarter of the AFC, all likely contenders that are committed to the run game.

A truly underrated play in the AFCCG against the Titans is the hit Sorensen laid on Henry that essentially made him quit. I felt that through the TV. That maybe something we have to find in the secondary.

Hopefully Bolton is that guy, but after Sorensen is gone (surely he’s gone. Right? RIGHT?!) we won’t have anything like that in the back half.

I honestly don’t have any good ideas here. I think in all likelihood we’re going to lean on Baker for some of this and I can’t say that excites me. I think there is a possibility for a we are cutting this guy you are cutting that guy kind of trade, and there may be a volume play in bringing a bunch of nothing in and hope if you can find something.

Spags catches some shit here, some of it from me, but the value he’s getting out of cheap ass talent in the secondary is truly amazing. Can you imagine how hamstrung this team would be if we were trying to pay a high priced CB? Woof.
[Reply]
Chris Meck 06:43 AM 01-06-2022
Originally Posted by kccrow:
Getting snaps and being the guy are two different things. None of them were a #1 CB and none were really a #2 either sans some injury fill-ins and so forth late in the year. They should get snaps, that's what you draft them for. They developed exactly as you hope to do. I'm just curious if Fenton has developed enough to be the next guy up so you can do it again. I will definitely not bitch if Veach follows the recent path, I just don't have as much faith in Fenton in others. Maybe it's a bias I've had since he was drafted, I dunno.
I just don't think the traditional concepts of #1 corner and #2 corner hold water anymore.

The NFL doesn't want corners to be physical at all, they don't let them. A lot of the star corners we grew up with wouldn't even be able to play in this NFL. You can't just line up and play press man and be physical or the refs will throw flags-and as we've seen, over and over, they will especially do it situationally.

The answer, to me, is that pass rush and scheme versatility in your back 7 is more important than any boundary corner. Giving the opposing QB no time and confusing looks is about all you have.

Rather than think of it as: Would you rather pay Mathieu or Ward, think of it as, would you rather pay a 10 sack/high pressure rate DE or Ward? Because that's the smarter decision.

Mathieu and Sneed are important chess pieces, and we need MORE guys like that.
[Reply]
RunKC 10:21 AM 01-06-2022
Spags and his staff have been really good at finding value corners. I really don’t think we need to invest one early.

Safety though…uh yeah we need a Sorenson replacement badly
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CatfishBob2 10:43 AM 01-06-2022
Spags has done a great job with minimal investment at CB imagine what he could do with a premium investment. We have all pros in every position group but LB and CB.....and well have one at LB soon. Throw a dart at CB for once, it couldn't hurt much
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