Alex Okafor has been a good player for the Chiefs over the last two seasons, but he has not been amazing. The eight-year veteran defensive end has by no means been dominant on offense, and that is okay. In fact, the Chiefs have not always needed him to be that with Frank Clark and Chris Jones also playing his position.
However, the production could be intensified this season. With the Chiefs now signing Okafor to an extension, he will need to step it up just a bit to prove his worth. He may have other things to prove, seeing as many people didn’t think the Chiefs needed him with Derrick Nnadi on the roster. Not to mention the free-agent market was solid as well, but that may be why he was extended.
Alex Okafor Chiefs Second Best Option?
This year’s free-agent class for the defensive end position was not a bad one at all. Many teams were interested in Melvin Ingram and Bud Dupree, who can play on the inside or outside.
With Dupree and the Tennessee Titans agreeing on a deal, Ingram was the only all-pro type of defensive lineman left. That is until he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. There are rumors that the Chiefs really wanted Ingram, especially because of the way Kansas City’s defense has changed.
This season, we could be seeing Chris Jones take some snaps on the inside and outside, which would change the way teams plan drastically. There are some thoughts around the Chiefs organization that they initially wanted to sign Ingram, which would have been great upfront for Kansas City.
While Ingram is not light years better than Okafor, it is who the Chiefs initially wanted. With him being off the market, Kansas City felt Okafor was a right fit.
With the issues surrounding Frank Clark at the moment, there is a possibility he may not play later in the season. If Alex Okafor starts playing well, we could see him get the majority of Clark’s snaps.
In 2020, the former Texas defensive end played only 26% of the defensive snaps. The year before, he played 38% of all defensive snaps, and played one less game than 2020. With more time, Kansas City could see more production from the newly extended Chief.
Featured Image Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports