In the grand scheme of college football, the Wisconsin Badgers have been one of the better teams in the nation. With that, many Badgers have found themselves drafted and starting in the NFL. As it stands, there are currently 27 Badgers who saw snaps this season. While that 27 number is high, there is just one lone Wisconsin football player in this Super Bowl this year. Leo Chenal.
With Chenal’s role on the Chiefs this season, he has an opportunity to play a big factor in Super Bowl LVIII for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Leo Chenal NFL Career With Kansas City Chiefs
Playing in 34 regular season games over the past two seasons, Leo Chenal has made an impact in turning the Kansas City Chiefs into one of the best defenses in the NFL. Over the 34 games in his career, Chenal has started 18, recording 100 combined tackles. In 2023 alone, Chenal racked up 65 combined tackles. Chenal also put together three sacks, seven quarterback hits and eight tackles for losses.
With the emergence of George Karlaftis, Drue Tranquil and Willie Gay, Chenal has been a major rotation piece. Adding in the fact that Chris Jones and company have been able to generate pressure up the middle, Chenal has continued to develop quickly into becoming a player who needs to be on the field more often than not. With a Super Bowl already under his belt, Chenal is in a spot to get another ring in his short two-year career.
Leo Chenal’s Role in Super Bowl LVIII
Chenal has been running the outside linebacker position in Steve Spagnola’s 4-3 defense. While the Chiefs have been one of the better defenses in the NFL this year, they have been playing injured all season long. That has elevated Leo Chenal to playing big minutes in big spots. For the Super Bowl this season, the Chiefs have seemed to get healthy. This will probably push Chenal to the bench in the game, but that does not mean he won’t play. With Trent Williams, George Kittle and Christian McCaffrey being some of the best blockers at their positions in the NFL, it would make sense that the Chiefs need to rotate players in and out for the entirety of the game.
We all know that Spagnola wants to bring pressure all game, and that is how you are going to beat the 49ers. Make Brock Purdy uncomfortable and he is going to throw up ducks. Look what happened when the 49ers played the Packers and Lions. The only problem was that those teams’ secondaries were not coming down with the ball. I will tell you right now that if Trent McDuffie or L’Jarius Sneed have an opportunity to grab the ball, they certainly will.
With all of that pressure up the middle, there are opportunities for edge rushers and linebackers, like former Wisconsin football player Leo Chenal, to make impactful plays.