For the first time in the past three seasons, the Kansas City Chiefs will have a new leader in an important defensive stat.
Tyrann Mathieu led the Chiefs’ interception leader each year since he arrived in Kansas City back in 2019. Mathieu, of course, joined the New Orleans Saints in free agency this offseason. Departures of players like Charvarius Ward and Daniel Sorensen also take away some players who’ve been right up there with Mathieu on the interception leaderboards in each of the past three seasons.
So which player will have the honor of leading Kansas City in picks in 2022?
The favorite will likely be third-year CB L’Jarius Sneed, who had two interceptions in 2021. He’s expected to take a big step up next season with Ward’s absence. Rookie CB Trent McDuffie is sure to be a popular option too, but he only had two career interceptions with Washington. His success in college was more about his lockdown coverage and not allowing quarterbacks to throw in his direction.
The safety group contributed six total interceptions for the Chiefs in 2021, so they’ll likely be expected to make some big contributions as well. Juan Thornhill had three interceptions his rookie season, but only one in each season since. Could he end up as the team’s interception leader in his fourth season with the club? Justin Reid was the team’s big signing in free agency this offseason and likely has some expectations attached to that. He has seven career interceptions and only one season where he didn’t record a single pick.
Let’s not forget that a linebacker could lead the team in interceptions this season. Despite missing some games in 2021, Willie Gay Jr. tied for the second-most interceptions on the team with two on the year. With a larger role expected in 2022, Gay could have more opportunities to get his hands on the ball.
Who do you think will lead Kansas City in interceptions in 2022? Be sure to vote in our poll at the top of the page. Also, share your thoughts with us in the comment section down below or on Facebook and Twitter.