Defensive tackle Chris Jones may see some time at defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs.
After flourishing in the trenches at defensive tackle, the Kansas City Chiefs are exploring the possibility of playing Chris Jones at defensive end.
Jones is one of the most dominant interior defensive linemen in the NFL today. He is seventh in the league in sacks in the last three seasons with 32. All but one of them coming from his natural position of defensive tackle. Here is what his defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said about potentially moving Jones around along the defensive line for the Chiefs this upcoming season.
“He is an imposing player inside,” said Spagnuolo. “We all know that. … Hopefully, we will gain something on the edge. When somebody changes a position, obviously the first part of it is the mental part of it. Chris is working through that. That’s important when you change a position. It’s just not that easy to pick up a whole new spot. There are some different things with a defensive end.”
Jones has the rare combination of speed, power and leverage to star anywhere on the defense.
Kansas City Chiefs: Why Chris Jones is moving to defensive end this season
This move is all about creating potential matchup advantages. The Chiefs know they can generate pressure inside with Jones all day, every day. However, if he can make a few plays further outside on the edge, then this gives Spagnuolo another tool in his toolbox to have some fun in his defensive scheme. Given that Spagnuolo is adept at generating a pass rush, Jones should flourish.
Overall, Kansas City should be one of the very best teams in football again. The Chiefs are the presumptive favorite to represent the AFC in Super Bowl 56 in Los Angeles. While Kansas City is right in its competitive sweet spot with Patrick Mahomes just entering his prime at quarterback, having balance on both sides of the ball remains crucial. Jones’ versatility will certainly help there.
The more techniques Spagnuolo can comfortably line up Jones, the better his defense will play.