KANSAS CITY – The Chiefs are a team that usually finds players with talent very easily. Whether it be diamond in the roughs, or just drafting a high pick for a great return on investment. However, there is a player that they possibly missed out on a big opportunity.

One big ‘what if’ moment from last season, happens to fall on the defensive side of the ball. If special teamer, and safety Armani Watts got more opportunities on defense, he and Tyrann Mathieu could have been special.

Watts is now on the Indianapolis Colts. In the small amount of time he played with the Chiefs on defense last year, Watts was incredible. He possibly could have made himself a bigger name had the cards fell more his way.

Chiefs 2021 safety showed major promise

Watts played in just four games last year on the defensive side of the ball. He was a constant player on special teams, however, as that was his primary role. In those games, he graded out excellent on the defensive side of the ball, especially when you consider what he was doing the three seasons previous to last year.

Per Pro Football Focus, Watts finished with an overall grade of 46.6 in 2018, his rookie season. 2019 was a bit better, as he posted a grade of 56.0, and in 2020, a 63.6.

Even in the 47 total defensive snaps, he played last season, Watts showed a lot of potential. In those 47 snaps, 43 were coverage snaps. No, it isn’t much, but hear me out.

Of all safeties that played at least 40 defensive snaps last year, Watts finished with the 28th highest grade defensively at 80.3. His run defense grade was 70.1, as he showed he can stop the run in that short amount of time. 

Watts tackle grade was listed at 85.8 with nine tackles, four of those being stops. As far as coverage goes, Watts posted a 73.9 grade in that area of defense. All of these grades were improvements upon the years prior.

Yes, the sample size is small. However, the snap counts aren’t much smaller than what he was doing the years before.

In 2020, Watts played 102 defensive snaps. 41 were run defense snaps, and 57 were coverage snaps. In 2019 Watts played 57 coverage snaps as well, and in 2018 he played 49 coverage snaps.

Watts was definitely improving, and possibly on his way to becoming a regular contributor on defense. However, now that he is on the Colts, we may never know what could have been in Kansas City.

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