7 Chiefs who could make their first Pro Bowl in 2021

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The Kansas City Chiefs have their eyes on a bigger prize, but the Pro Bowl is always a nice consolation, with a lasting impact on player’s individual legacies. The Chiefs had two players earn first-time Pro Bowl selections in 2020, with DT Chris Jones and DE Frank Clark being selected for the game. Of course, they both appeared in Super Bowl LV instead and didn’t play in the annual all-star game.

If the Chiefs want to get to Super Bowl LVI, they’ll need some Pro Bowl-caliber performances out of their players during the upcoming season. Here are the seven Chiefs with the best chance at making their first Pro Bowl in 2021:

CB L'Jarius Sneed

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

The Chiefs haven't done much to address the loss of CB Bashaud Breeland in free agency and a lot of that seems to do with the emergence of L'Jarius Sneed during the 2020 NFL season. By Week 3, the rookie corner had the NFL's lead in interceptions. An injury would stifle his midseason, but when he returned in the second half of the year, he emerged as a threat playing in the slot as well as the outside. It looks like Kansas City will be relying much more on Sneed in Year 2 and a performance worthy of the Pro Bowl would hardly be a surprise for this standout.

LG Joe Thuney

AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann

Regarded as one of the most consistent left guards in the league, Thuney has never once been recognized for Pro Bowl honors. He's earned selections to the PFWA's All-Rookie Team in 2016 and second-team All-Pro in 2019. He also was named to the New England Patriots' All-Decade Team for the 2010s decade. This season is the first change of scenery in Thuney's career. Perhaps after the Super Bowl LV offensive line fiasco for Kansas City, Thuney's play with the Chiefs will stand out enough for him to earn a trip to the Pro Bowl.

LB Anthony Hitchens

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Hitchens is three seasons removed from his 135-tackle campaign that kicked off his Chiefs career, but he's never been recognized for Pro Bowl honors. He should have all the motivation in the world to put together a standout campaign in 2021. In back-to-back seasons, the Chiefs have selected a linebacker in the second round of the draft. It's only a matter of time before he can no longer fend off the young guns and cedes some playing time. He's also approaching a key point in his contract, with an out year for the team in 2022. A Pro Bowl season would do a lot to propel his career forward, whether he remains in Kansas City or otherwise.

DT Jarran Reed

AP Photo/Larry Maurer

Reed should have been a Pro Bowl selection in 2018 when he posted 50 total tackles, 10.5 sacks and 24 quarterback hits. Unfortunately, the NFC was loaded with defensive tackle talent that year and his performance was overshadowed by Aaron Donald, Fletcher Cox and Gerald McCoy. Working alongside Frank Clark and Chris Jones, Reed should have an opportunity to generate those types of eye-popping numbers again. That should make him a prime candidate to earn his first trip to the Pro Bowl.

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Edwards-Helaire's rookie season didn't quite meet the expectations that many had for the rookie rusher out of LSU. He still finished the season with 1,100 yards from scrimmage, earning recognition as the Chiefs' Mack Lee Hill Award winner. Many are expecting a sophomore surge for Edwards-Helaire in 2021, rushing behind a brand new offensive line and contributing more in the passing game. If he can emerge as the third option in an offense headlined by Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, he could have a good shot at earning Pro Bowl honors this year.

DE Taco Charlton

AP Photo/Peter Joneleit

Charlton played less than 100 snaps in 2020 and posted 8 total tackles, one tackle for loss, two sacks, 12 total pressures and a forced fumble. If he can manage to stay healthy, he should see more opportunity and not just as a dime-package rusher for Kansas City. If the former first-round pick can put together a healthy season, the sky is the limit for him and a Pro Bowl selection wouldn't be out of the question.

K Harrison Butker

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Butker was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate in 2018 and 2019, but he hasn't yet made the Pro Bowl outright. Butker owns a dozen Chiefs franchise records. He owns the NFL's rookie record for most field goals made (38) without even starting the full season. He also has the second-best career field goal percentage of any player in the history of the league. 2021 may or may not mark Butker's first trip to the Pro Bowl, as the fifth-year specialist had his struggles in 2020. Rest assured, it's only a matter of time before he gets the nod.

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