The Kansas City Chiefs have not had the best defense over the last few years, despite having some big-name players on that side of the ball.

Of course, there is Chris Jones, who is a top-five player at his position, maybe top three, and there was Tyrann Mathieu last season, who might have been the best at his position. However, the defense still wasn’t great.

This year the defense has a ton of potential. The Chiefs have signed Carlos Dunlap and drafted several players on that side of the ball who will be of immediate help in Trent McDuffie and George Karlaftis.

They also have some underrated players on the defense. There is one, in particular, that does not get talked about enough.

Chiefs’ Thornhill is listed as underrated

Cynthia Frelund of NFL.com recently came out with an article where she listed the top-10 most underrated players in the NFL, and listed Chiefs’ safety Juan Thornhill as the seventh player.

Here is why Frelund listed Thornhill at seventh:

“I like that Thornhill has All-Pro-level expectations for himself this season, but I love that it seems like all he needs to get back to top-end safety status is consistent with his straight-line and change-of-direction speeds — like what we observed from him prior to his ACL tear late in the 2019 campaign. From the training camp footage, I have measured thus far, Thornhill’s change-of-direction and hip-adjustment speeds are closer to what we saw in his rookie year, as opposed to 2020 or last season. Yes, it’s only camp — and a teeny sample size, at that — but I’m looking for clues here! I do think the logic is sound, though, because we saw an up-and-down play from him last season that lined up with when his speeds were and weren’t at 100 percent. The pairing of him with Justin Reid this season reflects a smart strategy for how to best implement two-safety shells.

I can agree with Frelund’s stance. I think Thornhill has not and does not get a lot of love. I think you can blame Mathieu being ahead of him on the depth chart for that, but also his play at times.

However, he has learned so much in the last few years, The Chiefs drafted him with the 63rd overall pick in the 2019 draft. They saw something in him, or they would not have drafted him so high. I think he takes a huge leap this year, and definitely becomes one of the more underrated players in all of the NFL. Justin Reid will only help with that as well. They will play off of each other, and only help make the defense better as a whole.

We need the Chiefs’ defense to be great again. Thornhill can help with that this season. His presence will make him an underrated player, and the team an underrated defense.

And honestly, the Chiefs need him to have a big year. If he doesn’t we could see vast similarities to the same defense that took the field in 2021.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Featured Image Via Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports