The Kansas City Chiefs are a few weeks away from training camp so we thought we’d take a look at five players that must step up in 2013 for the team to have success.
Let’s do this.
1. Jonathan Baldwin
The Chiefs picked up Donnie Avery in the offseason but he has been sitting out with a high ankle sprain. Baldwin is too big and too athletic to not be an asset in the passing game. If Baldwin can finally being to live up to his potential the Chiefs could be extremely tough to stop on offense. If he continues to struggle, however, QB Alex Smith could have trouble moving the ball down field.
2. Tyson Jackson
It appears as though the Chiefs want to keep Jackson on the field more in passing situations. Should they decide to go that route, Jackson has absolutely got to improve his pass rush. With Tamba Hali and Justin Houston applying the bulk of the pressure, if Jackson can even become an average pass rusher, it could help make the Chiefs dominante on defense.
3. Nico Johnson
It may not be fair to ask a rookie to step up but the Chiefs need Johnson to step in and start right away if he can. Should Nico not be up to the task, Derrick Johnson could suffer. DJ needs Nico to keep him clean on first and second down so he can flow to the ball carrier. If Nico whiffs, DJ could get swallowed up by blockers, leading to more big runs up the gut.
4. Knile Davis
Another rookie. The Chiefs need a durable back to spell Jamaal Charles. Davis has the speed and the bulk to get the job done. He should be able to step in an contribute right away. A strong running game will be very important to Alex Smith’s success. Running backs are often able to step in and contribute at a high level right away. Davis could pair with Charles to make the KC ground game nearly impossible to stop.
5. Rodney Hudson
Hudson got injured last season and missed most of 2012. The center position is probably the biggest question mark the Chiefs have on the offensive line. Hudson needs to shake off the rust fast and show he can perform at an NFL level.
All right, Addicts. Those are my five players who must step up in 2013.
Who are yours?