As we are halfway through the season, it’s time to take stock of the Chiefs and look at needs for the 2011 draft.
Right now, the Chiefs are a mediocre team. Our record may be a bit inflated, but this is a mediocre team. This is an achievement. We have risen from terrible to mediocre. How do we take the next step and become a solid playoff team? Player development is critical. The 2010 draft class looks excellent, so we should expect continued development there. As your local draft guru, I am always keeping an eye on the next draft.
Let’s go through the defense in this article. Later, I will cover the offense. For this review, I will divide needs into four categories. A high need reflects the needs for a starting caliber talent. Secondary needs are for positions we need backup talent. Tertiary needs are for positions where we could use some talent, but it’s not as high of a need as the first two tiers. No need reflects just that. We don’t have a need at that position.
No doubt about it. Ron Edwards had played well this year. However, nose tackle is a position that gets beat down a lot. Therefore, good teams need a stud NT or two good starting caliber nose tackles. This is a high need.
For a long time, I had this down as a no need. Dorsey, Jackson, Smith and Gilberry looked like a nice quartet of players. Jackson’s slow return from injury has caused some reevaluation. I still have this down as a no need, but I am wavering. The rest of the season should prove critical for this unit and Jackson in particular.
Hali is having a great year. The question is on the other side. Vrabel is at the end of his career. Many outside analysts look at the Chiefs, see a lack of sacks and project a OLB to the Chiefs high. That is, I believe, to simplistic an analysis. With Studebaker and Cameron Sheffield, we have some talent in the pipeline. The big question is, can Studebaker be the player we want him to be? For now, I have this as a tertiary need. I would like to see Studebaker getting more playing time in the second half of the season.
Derrick Johnson just got a big extension. Jovan Belcher has come along nicely. I see this as a secondary need. Williams and Mays could be upgraded.
Flowers have moved into elite category. Carr has played well, but is maligned. Arenas is OK as a nickel CB. We could use a dime back, but it’s not a huge need. This is a tertiary need.
Skill set wise, the Chiefs don’t really use a strong safety. It’s another tertiary need. We could use another free safety for depth.