When discussing what player the Chiefs should consider taking with the 5th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft we need to consider the talents of the other AFC West teams. After all, the Chiefs play 6 of their 16 games against the Raiders, Chargers and Broncos. If the Chiefs can beat those teams they will greatly increase their chances of making the playoffs.
Right now the San Diego Chargers, for all their flaws, are head and shoulders better than any other team in the division. They have an elite QB in Philip Rivers and two big, physical receivers in Malcom Floyd and Vincent Jackson. They have also spark plug RB with Darren Sproles in the backfield. The Chargers are built very well and they are going to be a force for some time to come, especially on offense.
The Chiefs have got to find a way to stop Philip Rivers. If I were Scott Pioli, I would be watching tape of the Jets victory over San Diego in last year’s playoffs over and over again before I drafted a single defensive player. The Jets used a combination of solid coverage in the secondary and exotic blitz packages to harass Rivers. This gave him very little time to throw the football and forced him into making some mistakes. When Rivers is given too much time, he can be deadly.
As for the Raiders and the Broncos, the Chiefs split their games with them last season, proving that they can be competitive with those two squads. KC can’t afford to rest on their laurels, however, because the Raiders and Broncos both won more games than the Chiefs and KC finished in the AFC West basement again.
With Philip Rivers and the dynamic San Diego offense at the top of the division and former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels leading the Broncos, the AFC West is likely to have some pretty potent offenses in the coming years. Even the Raiders have a plethora of lightening fast receivers that could be dangerous if they ever learn how to catch the ball or if the Tom Cable gets a QB that can actually throw it to them.
Looking around the league, with teams like the Colts, Patriots, Saints and Packers and their gun slinging QB’s throwing the ball all over the field, upstarts like the Chiefs need a defense that can slow down the aerial attack.
Brandon Flowers is a fantastic start. He had 23 passes defended last season and is poised to make the Pro Bowl leap in his 3rd year. Brandon Carr got picked on a lot last season due to playing across from Flowers but he has held his own pretty well.
After Flowers and Carr, however, the Chiefs have a significant drop off in corner back talent on their roster. With so many teams running 3, 4 and even 5 receiver sets, the Chiefs need better players with better coverage skills than have been flashed by the likes of Donald Washington and Maurice Leggett.
Just because the Chiefs have Flowers and Carr doesn’t mean they won’t take a corner back in the first round of the draft and it might be a smart move. With the way teams are throwing the football these days, the Chiefs may find themselves in their nickel package more often than not. If NFL teams are going to keep airing it out, the Chief need to play better defense and they also need to be able to score points. That may not be a problem with Todd Haley and Charlie Weis onboard. With KC’s talented offensive minds, Josh McDaniels in Denver and the Rivers/Jackson/ Floyd trifecta in San Diego, the AFC West could be the Wild, Wild, West again very soon.
What do you think, Addicts? Do the Chiefs need more help at CB? Is Haden a possibility in the first round for KC? Sound off!