When the Kansas City Chiefs announced that Quinten Lawrence was officially switching from wide receiver to cornerback, it didn’t seem like it would increase his already-slim hopes of making the final 53-man roster. After two seasons of shuffling between the active roster and practice squad, Lawrence certainly couldn’t pick up the new position quick enough to make an impact.
Now I’m not so sure.
Lawrence had seven tackles in Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as one of the few bright spots and held his own in practice — including an INT for a touchdown on Sunday.
A couple weeks of practice and one preseason game isn’t enough to put him on the roster yet, but he’s a lot closer than I thought he would get at any point in training camp.
Lawrence has said that he prepared for both sides of the ball this offseason, but the new position took some time to really sink in.
“You’re never ready until you get on the field and actually start doing it. First day I was a little off. Second day I was a little off. But now I’ve started to learn the defense and where my help is at and where it’s not.”
From a numbers standpoint, Lawrence is on the right side of the ball.
With the Chiefs drafting Jonathan Baldwin in the first round, signing free agent Steve Breaston and Jerheme Urban returning from an injury, there isn’t much room for error with returning wide receivers after Dwayne Bowe.
Corner is very top heavy with Brandon Flowers, Brandon Carr and Javier Arenas, but it wide open after that. When Flowers or Arenas were down last season, it was quickly revealed how important depth is no matter how good your No. 1 or 2 corners are in the increasingly pass-happy league.
He’ll still need to keep getting better at corner and not make any more terrible decisions like the one in Friday’s game to return a kick when he caught it deep in the endzone, but he’s headed in the right direction.