Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko: "It Will Probably be the Number One Defense in the NFL"

Klemko shared his thoughts on the Chiefs defense and its newest playmaking receiver

It's easy for Kansas City Chiefs fans to get excited about Jeremy Maclin and all that he could potentially bring to the offense this season.

The same can be said for the defense, which will see the return of defensive lineman Mike DeVito and linebacker Derrick Johnson.

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But if you want an unbiased view of the Chiefs newest target and the defense as a whole, Robert Klemko of MMQB and Sports Illustrated recently shared his feelings on these areas.

"I think what they love about [Maclin] wherever he goes is what a great route runner he is," Klemko said. "He's very special at finding those passing lanes for his quarterbacks. When you ask cornerbacks around the NFL, "Who are the better route runners?'

"They will say Jeremy Maclin."

The ability to separate from defenders and give his quarterback an open target should help the Chiefs passing game this season.

Maclin signed a multi-year deal this offseason to be one of the focal points of the Chiefs offense, which has plenty of talent surrounding him with running back Jamaal Charles and tight end Travis Kelce, among others.

On the defensive side of the ball, Klemko points to the linebackers group of Justin Houston, Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali, who he believes make up one of the best groups in recent NFL history.

"You'd have to probably go back to the early 2000s Ravens linebacker group when they first got Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis was in his prime," Klemko said of finding a group on that level. "That's the only one that really compares to it. You could make a case for the Seahawks, but that might just be because their defensive line makes those guys look so good.

"When you watch the Chiefs, you can tell that that's the heart of their defense."

Klemko believes the return of Johnson and DeVito this season to a defense that finished No. 2 in the NFL a year ago by allowing just 17.6 points per game might push them over the top.

"Now that they have all of the pieces back, it probably will be the number one defense in the NFL."

Klemko said it would ultimately be the offensive line and quarterback Alex Smith who will determine how far this Chiefs team can go, but that they're in a prime position to overtake the AFC West division in 2015.

"I would think this year more than any year would be their best chance to win the division." Here's to hoping he's right about all that he said.

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