There is a lot of talk right now about what the Chiefs will do during this off season. Starting this weekend with the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, moving through the free agency period which beings March 11 and into the NFL Draft in May, the Chiefs will have plenty of opportunity to start filling holes on their roster. But where are those holes? Wide receiver and free safety are two areas that have been repeatedly named as areas requiring improvement this off season. But are they the only ones? What other holes do the Chiefs have on their roster?
In breaking down the Chiefs final depth chart from last season, we can a lot of holes that are developing…some not where many expected.
Offense Depth Chart
|WR||Donnie Avery||A.J. Jenkins|
|LG||Jeff Allen||Rishaw Johnson|
|C||Rodney Hudson||Eric Kush|
|TE||Anthony Fasano||Sean McGrath||Travis Kelce*|
|WR||Dwayne Bowe||Junior Hemingway|
|QB||Alex Smith||Chase Daniel||Tyler Bray|
|RB||Jamaal Charles||Knile Davis||Cyrus Gray|
*Ended the Season on Injured Reserve
Everyone who has a voice has said that the Chiefs need to bring in talent on the offensive side of the ball. As I said earlier, the wide receiver position is one place where many think the Chiefs need to invest some money or draft picks. I’m not disagreeing with that. I’m not thoroughly convinced that Donnie Avery is the team’s answer at the receiver position across the field from Dwayne Bowe. But if you look at the names that are crossed out, those are the players currently slated to hit free agency and haven’t been re-signed by the Chiefs.
With both Branden Albert and Geoff Schwartz scheduled to hit the open market the team is left with last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick Eric Fisher and third-year man Donald Stephenson at the tackle positions. That’s it. There is no longer any depth behind them. The team needs to have at least three tackles. With Albert gone, they will no longer have the luxury of having a guy like Stephenson in the “swing tackle” position to step in if someone gets injured, because he’ll likely be starting. That means the Chiefs will probably have to spend some money in free agency or target one of their six picks to take a tackle at some point in the draft.
At the same time, with Jon Asamoah hitting the market, the team is down to Jeff Allen at the guard position along with Rishaw Johnson and Rokevious Watkins: two guys who were inactive most of last year on the 45-man game day roster. That’s far from confidence-inspiring.
The Chiefs offensive line took time to gel and become a solid unit last season, but once they did they played pretty well. When it comes to the O-line, Reid’s mantra has always been “play the best five guys” at any given time. Down the stretch last season with Albert injured, the best five were clearly Stephenson, Allen, center Rodney Hudson, Schwartz and Fisher.
If I’m making predictions — hopeful or otherwise — I’d like to think the Chiefs bring back both Schwartz and Asamoah. In doing that, it would allow Schwartz to play the right guard position where he excelled last season and have Allen and Asamoah battle it out for the starting left guard spot. Depending on Fisher’s progress during the off season, he will likely move to the left tackle, sending Stephenson to the right side.
By doing this, it maintains the integrity of the offensive line when they were at their best last season. Anything else would be really be forcing this unit to start from scratch and the Chiefs just can’t afford that at this point.
What are your thoughts on the O-line situation, Addicts? Sound off below.