Kansas City Chiefs sign DE Vance Walker

Vance Walker has been one of the most underrated interior defensive linemen in the NFL over the past 2 seasons. He’s been an above average starter in both Atlanta and Oakland over the past 2 seasons, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 17th ranked defensive tackle and 36th ranked defensive tackle in the past 2 seasons respectively. Despite his strong 2012 in Atlanta, he was only able to land a one-year deal in Oakland last off-season and after another strong season in Oakland in 2013, he was still only able to land a 3-year, 10 million dollar deal with the Chiefs (with another 3 million available through incentives)

Obviously this was a great deal for the Chiefs, who needed another starter on the defensive line after losing Tyson Jackson to the Falcons. Walker isn’t as good of a pure run stopper as Jackson, but he’s a much better pass rusher capable of playing all 3 downs if need be, which wasn’t true of Jackson. Considering Jackson landed 25 million over 5 years in Atlanta, with more money guaranteed (11 million) as the total value of this contract, it’s a bargain for the Chiefs. The only minor concern is that Walker has never played in a true 3-4 and at 6-2 305, he’s not an obvious fit at 5-technique defensive end.

Grade: A-

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