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Chiefs plan to use DT Chris Jones as edge rusher in 2021

The Kansas City Chiefs are looking to boost their pass rush by moving star defensive tackle Chris Jones around the D-line.

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said the plan is to get Jones some snaps at defensive end to exploit matchups.

"He is an imposing player inside," Spagnuolo said, per ESPN. "We all know that. ... Hopefully, we will gain something on the edge. When somebody changes a position, obviously the first part of it is the mental part of it. Chris is working through that. That's important when you change a position. It's just not that easy to pick up a whole new spot. There are some different things with a defensive end.

"He'll play out there a little bit. We'll move him back inside when we have to."

Jones has compiled 40.5 sacks in his five-year career, mostly playing from the interior. He's a game-wrecker from the inside, able to push the pocket into a quarterback's lap, disrupt passing lanes and snuff out the run.

The Chiefs are hoping to get the two-time Pro Bowler on the edge more in 2021 to give the defensive line more variety.

"Maybe it will come down to who we're playing and where maybe we can find a weakness and expose that weakness in the five offensive linemen," Spagnuolo said. "We've just got to get him used to playing the two spots right now and figure out the rest of it."

The addition of Jarran Reed in the interior gives the Chiefs the ability to move Jones around more without fear of losing push from the D-tackle spot.

According to Next Gen Stats, Jones lined up on the "EDGE" on 42 snaps in 2020, including 30 pass-rush opportunities. He averaged a 16.7% QB pressure rate on those snaps with an 0.81 get-off. Compare that to Aaron Donald, who moves around a bit more for the Los Angeles Rams. Donald took 151 "EDGE" snaps last season (124 pass rush) and earned a 23.4% QB pressure rate on a 0.84 average get-off.

With a question mark opposite Frank Clark on the edge, K.C. is wise to move Jones around more than the previous seasons. Creating mismatches is the name of the game. If an opponent is strong inside on the O-line and weak outside, expect to see Jones on the edge more in those games.

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