The Kansas City Chiefs are looking for new starters on their defense. Some of those new starters came, during the offseason, in the forms of people like Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark. Others, such as Juan Thornhill came from the draft.

In the case of the talented rookie, the team wasn't sure he was going to be able to step into the starting role, right away. It appears he is rewarding the team that took him in the second round. After what was reported to be a good start to fall camp, he had a nice showing in the team's first preseason game. On Monday morning, he was reportedly working with the first-team defense almost exclusively.

While that doesn't necessarily mean that the rookie safety has taken over the starting job all on its own, local radio host Brandon Kiley made the case for why he should now be considered the starter for the Kansas City Chiefs. "It looks like Juan Thornhill has taken over as the starting safety. We’ve seen instances of Thornhill getting reps with the ones, but Sorensen has rarely (if ever?) taken reps with the #2 defense in camp. Sorensen is in with the 2’s today."

Chiefs rookie shows off speed

Not long after it was noticed that Thornhill started taking the bulk of the snaps at first-team safety, he showed observers one of the major reasons why he got the job. During one particular coverage drill, the safety ran step for step with the player widely considered one of, if not the fastest players in the NFL.

Tyreek Hill was going one-on-one with the safety for 60-yards downfield according to Kiley.

The man, known as "Cheetah," wasn't able to lose his target. This would be impressive if you were talking about a cover corner. It's doubly impressive that it's a safety getting that kind of job done. There's a reason the Kansas City Chiefs drafted Juan Thornhill in the second round and it appears he's showing them enough in every practice and exhibition to believe he is going to juice up the defense from week one.

Kansas City excitement paying off

Even though the team is still looking at bringing in veterans, players like Morris Claiborne still won't be able to play for four weeks. There is also quite a bit of talk that the Washington Redskins could soon be willing to part with Josh Norman. While Juan Thornhill doesn't wipe out the need to make sure the team's cornerbacks are as solid as they can be, having a safety that can help out in coverage, the way he showed against Tyreek Hill on Monday, could change things.

The team is going to be looking to beef up its defense from a year ago any way it can. If the team's top defensive rookie can really step up and do the job she's shown capable of doing so far this fall camp, the defense, in general, could be a big, positive surprise in 2019.