If there’s one thing we all learned of the Denver Broncos’ recent championship run, it’s that there’s nothing that will take over a game more than consistently getting after the opposing quarterback.
That is what carried their success.
So when NFL Network’s Charles Davis spoke about what he thinks the Kansas City Chiefs might do in the upcoming NFL Draft, the one player he currently likes for them at No. 28 is Eastern Kentucky’s Noah Spence.
An edge rusher with an affinity for making plays, Spence finished last season with 22.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks.
“What just won the Super Bowl?” Davis explained. “Defensive guys and edge pressure—getting people in the face of the quarterback. When the Giants won their Super Bowls, what did they do?
“They overwhelmed you with people who could rush the passer, right?”
It’s the recipe for success, and it’s not like the Chiefs didn’t find success in that department last season. They finished with 47 sacks, which was fourth-best in the NFL.
“You can never have enough of that on defense,” Davis said of pressure. “[Spence] is another guy that can do that and (defensive coordinator) ([Bob] Sutton would really love to have that I'm sure.”
The top 6 teams in the NFL last season in sacks all made the playoffs, the Broncos, who won the Super Bowl, led the NFL with 52.
Finding players who can put pressure on the quarterback is paramount to the overall success of your team, and the numbers back that up. So there’s a certain level of investment that has to be made into that position.
The Chiefs have
It’s an area worth fortifying, particularly when you find yourself in a situation like the Chiefs had last season when Houston went down with an injury, and they didn’t have as much success getting after the quarterback off the edge without him down the stretch.
There are plenty of players in this draft who could provide more pass rush help for the Chiefs, whether they’re coming off the edge or creating pressure up the middle with a deep and talented group of defensive linemen.
It’s an area worth watching as we get closer to the draft.
Besides draft talk, Davis took the time to talk about a couple of Chiefs players he’s admired for a while, and both are scheduled to become free agents when the new league year begins on March 9.
Davis, a former University of Tennessee football player, spoke about
“I'm a Tennessee guy, so we're VOL's for life—VFL baby,” he said. “To watch what [Eric Berry] has done as not just a super-talented young man—but an incredible young guy. To battle what he had to battle to come back and play at that level—a pro-bowl, all-pro level. He is something else. He's a Tennessee legacy. His dad was a great ball player for us, James Berry. A little bit before me. And he's got brothers now there at Tennessee. Whatever that DNA is, it’s really good.
“But it’s not just DNA. These are some really quality human beings. I'm so happy for Eric that he made it back and there's really no good words for it.
Davis also spoke about linebacker
“I use to do his games in college,” Davis explained. “So I guess I'm kind of dating myself, but Derrick was an outside linebacker who was an ‘invade, sip, and make plays’ guy. They couldn't block him in college. He was too quick for them. A lot of head fakes, slip the block, get in the back, and make the play.
“If you would've told me that down the road that he was going to be an all-pro inside linebacker taking on big people, I would’ve said I don’t know what world you're talking about, and that's exactly what he's done. To come back from a town Achilles and still play at that type of a level.
“[Johnson and Berry] have my admiration.”
Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said on Thursday that he’s recently been in contact with both Berry and Johnson’s agents. For more information on that, click here.For more from Davis and other top NFL analysts at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, check out the video above.