The Kansas City Chiefs made a bold move Tuesday ahead of the draft, acquiring defensive end Frank Clark in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Chiefs sent their 2019 first-round pick, and a 2020 second-round pick to the Seahawks, and that the teams are swapping third-round picks this year.
Additionally, the Chiefs will sign Clark to a long-term deal — something that was unlikely to happen in Seattle.
The big picture: The Chiefs desperately needed a dominant pass rusher to key their defensive attack. Now they have it.
Did they give up a ton to land him? Yes. They certainly did.
And some might wonder why they’d do this after trading Dee Ford to the San Francisco 49ers for far less. The answer is pretty simple — it’s all about scheme. Ford is clearly a 3-4 outside linebacker, while Clark is a 4-3 defensive end.
What Clark brings: One of the most consistently disruptive defensive ends in football the past few years, Clark fits the new 4-3 scheme Steve Spagnuolo runs to perfection.
Since becoming a full-time starter midway through the 2016 season, Clark has dominated.
- 2016: 47 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, two forced fumbles, 18 quarterback hits, one fumble recovery.
- 2017: 32 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, nine sacks, two forced fumbles, 21 quarterback hits, one fumble recovery.
- 2018: 41 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, three forced fumbles, 27 quarterback hits, two fumble recoveries.
Impact in Kansas City: Clark now joins a defensive line that should scare the daylights out of opposing offenses.
Projected starting lineup up front:
- Left defensive end: Alex Okafor
- Nose tackle: Chris Jones
- Defensive takle: Derrick Nnadi
- Right defensive end: Frank Clark
Nnadi fared pretty well as a rookie and has a high ceiling as a dominant run defender. Jones is one of the game’s best interior defenders and racked up 15.5 sacks last year. Okafor has shown promise in the past with eight sacks in 2014. Now that Clark is on board, he’ll find more opportunities for one-on-one battles.
Additionally, with the addition of Tyrann Mathieu on the back end, the Chiefs have starting-caliber (or better) talent at all three levels on defense.
The bottom line: Kansas City is going to be amazing on offense this year, because Patrick Mahomes is amazing and the Chiefs can run the ball at will. After losing Ford and Justin Houston, among others this offseason, we thought this team could experience a let-down campaign.
Now that the Chiefs have secured one of the best defensive ends in the game, they head into the 2019 season as clear Super Bowl favorites.