With the current uncertainty that a collective bargaining agreement will be reached between the NFL owners and the NFL player’s association, free agency is going to be at an all-time low. This places more importance on the NFL draft and every fan of the Kansas City Chiefs is hoping that NFL Executive of the Year Scott Pioli can repeat last year’s performance and learn from the whiffs of the 2009 draft (not to say that ALL the players were but that little injection of talent was received from the draft). It’s clear the Chiefs have one of the best GM’s at the controls of the team and if you’re still doubting, I don’t know what will turn the tide. I doubted him and his decisions at times but the second half showed the quality group of players Pioli had drafted.
So, the Chiefs will be looking to the draft as will most teams to better their roster. What are the Chiefs needs? In no particular order, I will list needs of all sizes that the Chiefs have. The Chiefs need a S (replace Jon McGraw), 2 ILB (depth, challenge Jovan Belcher), an OLB (depth, replace Mike Vrabel), DT, C, T, 2 WR’s, RB/FB, QB (Brodie Croyle is outskies). That’s 11 players for what should be 7 draft slots for the Chiefs.
One of the ILB’s can be found post-draft from the pool of undrafted free agents. A tackle and a running back can be taken from the same pool, especially a RB which is the most expendable position in football. A backup QB should probably be a veteran and, although the pool for suitable backups are usually thin, one can be pulled out of a tractor or whatever.
The remaining positions of need from greatest to least greatest in my opinion are as follows: OLB, WR, DT, WR, C, S, ILB. Two things: First, the order I picked doesn’t mean an OLB should be drafted with the Chiefs’ 1st pick and so on. Those are just the greatest needs. Second, I have no suggestions as far as who should be drafted because I don’t care to watch college football and so I have no basis for who should play for the Chiefs. I have had enough information and non-Mel Kiper analysis to make a fan’s decision to get Glenn Dorsey, Aaron Curry and Eric Berry according to my draft board. With the Chiefs not picking 3rd or 5th but 21st, it’s not going to be as easy for me.
Scott Pioli will most likely draft the best players available but, as we saw with Tyson Jackson, he will draft based on need as well. I would prefer that at this point but I won’t doubt him if he drafts a position the Chiefs are stacked at if he is a steal. If I were Scott Pioli and there were seven players on my draft board when the Chiefs are on the clock for the 21st pick and each player plays a different position that I noted as a need in the previous paragraph and each player were rated evenly according to common draft prospect ratings and rated appropriately for the 21st pick, I would most likely choose the OLB or the WR.
However, I would also be tempted to take the DT as well. I like Ron Edwards and I think that the Chiefs would still need him around if the Chiefs were to draft a DT but an upgrade at that position would certainly help strengthen the defense. If a repeat of the Dez Bryant situation occurs, where one team incorrectly cites a character issue with an outstanding WR/KR prospect that causes said player to fall well below where he should be taken, that would be nice as well. If the Chiefs do end up picking an OLB, he doesn’t have to be a “leader” like Mike Vrabel was; he has to be able to rush the passer and be competent in pass protection, however.
Here is my assessment of the needs the Chiefs have. Feel free to add your own input on who should be drafted or what positions are or aren’t needs. The uncertainty of next season has given us all pause but, season or no season, there will be a draft and the Chiefs still have needs. All of them will probably not be met but Scott Pioli is still going to try.