The Green Bay Packers beat a few other teams to the punch by signing linebacker Jaylon Smith. Which teams had the most to lose from missing out on the deal?
The Dallas Cowboys may have been set enough at linebacker to release Jaylon Smith, but most NFL teams aren’t so lucky. Several teams that were in the running as potential landing spots for Smith have ambled along decently without depth at the position, while others have noticeably suffered on primetime.
Smith is now off to begin a new life in Green Bay, and there are three NFL teams that this move hurt the most: the Kansas City Chiefs, the Los Angeles Rams and the Tennessee Titans.
Kansas City Chiefs
If Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu are all on one team together, there are going to be some weak spots that these superstars cannot cover.
One of those spots would be the linebacker position group, which Arrowhead Addict’s Grant Tuttle recently described as “a very inconsistent mess.”
Tuttle goes into detail as to how the Chiefs linebackers fail to offer consistent coverage:
"“One play, Nick Bolton will make an excellent tackle as they stop a ball carrier for a short gain. The next play, Bolton will get burned on a short out-route that costs the defense 20 yards. While Bolton has been the occasional bright spot, there have been very few good things coming from Anthony Hitchens or Ben Niemann.”"
According to PFF, Bolton is ranked No. 54 amongst linebackers in the league. Hitchens is ranked No. 53, and Niemann is ranked No. 56.
Smith’s PFF grades have steadily declined since 2018, but the commanding middle linebacker could have greatly improved his fellow linebackers. Smith has proven he is capable of great play, although the same can’t be said of what would have been his Kansas City teammates.