Chiefs' Rising Star Poised to Succeed CB L'Jarius Sneed

Chiefs' roster changes spark intrigue in defensive lineup.

by Abdullah Magsi
Chiefs' Rising Star Poised to Succeed CB L'Jarius Sneed
© Jamie Squire/Getty Images

As the Kansas City Chiefs gear up for another NFL season following their back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, they face the challenge of filling a significant void left by cornerback L'Jarius Sneed. The 27-year-old, who had been a critical part of the Chiefs' defensive lineup, was recently traded to the Tennessee Titans.

In return, Kansas City received a 2025 third-round draft pick, along with a swap of seventh-round picks between the two teams. This strategic move has sparked considerable speculation about who will step up to claim Sneed’s position on the boundary.

Emerging as a promising candidate to take over is Joshua Williams, whose potential breakout season has been highlighted by Pro Football Focus. According to PFF, Williams is well-positioned to help the Chiefs mitigate the loss of Sneed.

The 2022 fourth-round draft pick from Fayetteville State University showed impressive skills last season, achieving a 74.4 overall PFF grade and successfully breaking up four passes while missing only 4.2% of his tackle attempts.

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, known for his ability to develop standout corners from under-the-radar beginnings, sees Williams as the next in line to rise.

Williams' Season Snapshot

In the previous season, Williams participated in 16 games, starting two, and recorded 18 tackles, including one for a loss, and defended five passes.

His performance last year earned him a 73 overall grade from PFF, with a specific 72.6 in pass coverage. Of his 624 total snaps, 286 were played as a "wide corner," the position he is likely to assume in Sneed’s absence.

Standing 6 feet 3 inches and weighing 193 pounds, Williams has the physical attributes necessary for an outside cornerback, a critical role in Spagnuolo’s defensive scheme. With the regular season still some time away, the Chiefs have not sought to add a veteran cornerback through free agency, signaling a vote of confidence in Williams' capabilities and potential.

As the Chiefs continue their preparations, all eyes will be on Williams to see if he can translate his potential into performance, stepping into Sneed’s shoes and helping the team maintain its competitive edge in the fiercely contested NFL landscape.

This transition marks a significant test for both Williams and the Chiefs' strategic planning as they aim to sustain their championship-caliber performance without a key defensive player.