Kansas City Chiefs
Division: afc west
Team Record: 9 - 7
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1/3/2016, Raiders @ Chiefs
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Chiefs Offseason Workouts Preview: Checking Out the Linebackers
Kansas City Chiefs | 1 week ago

The Kansas City Chiefs are going to have a new look at the linebacker position in 2018.

For the first time in more than a decade, the Chiefs won't have the franchise's all-time leading tackler in Derrick Johnson roaming the middle of their defense, or Tamba Hali, who ranks second in franchise history with 89.5 career sacks, coming off the edge.

Those duties are now handed over to a multitude of young talented players, who will try to carry on a rich tradition that goes back to the days of Pro Football Hall of Famers like Willie Lanier, Bobby Bell and Derrick Thomas.

On the inside, it'll be up to guys like third-year player Reggie Ragland, who is entering his second year with the team after coming over in a trade with the Buffalo Bills at the end of the preseason last year, and Anthony Hitchens, who was a priority free agent signing by Chiefs' general manager Brett Veach earlier this offseason.

Individually, Ragland graded as one of the Top 10 linebackers in the AFC last year against the run, per Pro Football Focus.

And Hitchens' ability to stop the run was a reason he was such a coveted player by Veach and company this offseason.

The Chiefs also have second-year player Ukeme Eligwe, third-year player Terrance Smith, and a few new additions looking to add depth to the position with this year's third-round pick Dorian O'Daniel, and a couple of priority college free agents in Ben Niemann (Iowa) and Raymond Davision (California)

On the outside, the Chiefs still possess one of the league's elite edge rushers in Justin Houston, who ranked fourth in the league last year among 3-4 outside linebackers in pass rush productivity, according to Pro Football Focus. He finished with 37 quarterback hurries and 9.5 sacks last year.

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