Breaking Down The Kansas City Chiefs Draft Needs By Position

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ArmchairAddict1

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2014 NFL Draft is now officially less than two weeks away. At this point the draft hysteria has hit an all time high. In previous years the draft would have been this past weekend and we would now be discussing the Chiefs selections and scouring the internet for information on these new players. However, thanks to the NFL wanting to squeeze every last bit of media attention out of the event we now have two extra weeks to wait. I’ve already begun assembling my final Chiefs mock for next week leading up to the draft, but first I thought it would be good to take one final close look at the current roster to see exactly where KC needs to make additions before the start of the season.

So this week I’m going to break down the Chiefs roster position by position. In order to determine the likelihood of KC using one of their coveted six draft picks on a position I’m going to answer three questions:

Would the Chiefs be okay if they started the season with just the players they currently have at this position?

Would the Chiefs prefer to get an upgraded starter at this position?

Are the Chiefs in need of adding depth or a long term replacement player at this position?

After answering those three questions I’ll assign a draft need score from 1-10 with “10″ meaning that KC absolutely must add a player at that position in the draft and “1″ meaning there is essentially no need for a player at that position.

Let’s begin with the most important position of all………

QUARTERBACK:

Oct 6, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) makes adjustments at the line against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field. The Chiefs beat the Titans 26-17. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Players Currently On The Roster:

Alex Smith (starter)
Chase Daniel
Tyler Bray

Would the Chiefs be okay if they started the season with just the players they currently have?

Yes. Not all KC fans are 100% sold on Smith as the long term QB for the Chiefs but he had arguably his best season ever in the first year in Kansas City working under Andy Reid. They have a backup with some NFL experience in Chase Daniel and a possible long term project in the strong armed Tyler Bray.

Would the Chiefs prefer to get an upgraded starter at this position?

No, while some fans aren’t sold, I believe that both Andy Reid and John Dorsey are all in on Alex Smith.

Are the Chiefs in need of adding depth or a long term replacement player at this position?

Maybe. Chase Daniel is fine for a short term fill in, but if Alex Smith were to miss substantial time I don’t think KC would feel all that optimistic about it’s chances with Daniel at the helm. Tyler Bray offers some promising long term upside, but he did go undrafted last season so its not as if he’s an elite prospect. While upgrading the back up QB situation is not a must it is an option. Quarterback is such an important position that if Reid sees a prospect that he really likes in the mid to late rounds he may scoop them up. If nothing else they could provide trade value down the line (i.e. Kevin Kolb).

Draft Need Rating: 3

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Kansas City Chiefs

  • berttheclock

    Lyle, the one position where I disagree with you is corner. The biggest need at corner is a tough tackling, quick to pick up slots and fast enough to drop outside when needed nickle corner. It is not a throwaway position. The Chiefs need a new nickle back. I believe for some reason you under value that position, when, it is one of the most important positions on any NFL team. What the lack of a solid nickle back against the Colts did was to expose the flaws in Demps and Lewis, but, remember, they had to pick up run away express trains who had not been stopped by the nickle back.

    • Tyler Alexander

      Isn’t that what we picked up Chris Owens for?

      • berttheclock

        Not really. I believe he is a backup for the other corner needs, but, he is not the nickle we need.

    • Calchiefsfan

      Flowers was shutting down Hilton in the slot until he got hurt and then you’re absolutely right Bert, Lewis got exposed. I’m wondering if the Chiefs will keep Flowers at the nickel position, now that he has some experience there, and put Cooper and Smith as the outside corners.

    • Lyle Graversen

      I think you’re right if Cooper isn’t up for manning the outside and letting Flowers play the nickel. If Cooper can play outside I think Flowers is perfect for the nickel at this stage in his career. An option to consider too is safety Jimmie Ward out of N. Illinois. He could play FS in the base defense and has cover skills to move to nickel in the sub package and then Abdulah or Commings could come in to play the safety spot on those downs. Something to consider…..

    • Andy

      I agree. When we play Denver and San Diego twice, plus NE, Seattle, SF, just to name a few, the nickel back could be part of our base defense.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Good work, Graversen!

    I’d really like to see the team draft Hali’s successor this year. They should really consider trading down a couple times in the middle rounds to add a few more picks.

    • Lyle Graversen

      I would LOVE to trade back and pick up picks. I think SF with all their picks is an option, or one of the early second round teams that passes on a QB in the first moving up to get someone like Bridgewater or Carr before someone else snatches them up. I tweeted this last week, but the math adds up perfect on the trade chart for Jax to send us their early 2nd and 3rd round picks to move up to #23.

  • freshmeat62

    If I were just reading what you wrote w/o looking at your grading, I would have assumed the biggest need would be someone to rush the QB, which I would agree with. While I think WR is also a huge need, I think someone putting pressure on Manning/Rivers/Luck/etc. would have the biggest impact for the Chiefs.

    • berttheclock

      Preyer Meetings atop the opposing QBs are the corners best friends.

    • Calchiefsfan

      That’s why I think O line and D line are the two biggest needs and then depth everywhere else, (especially safety). If the Chiefs can get a DE that can put pressure on the QB consistently that would totally change the effectiveness of this defense. We also face Brady, Kaepernick, Rothlesberger, Wilson, Bradford and Palmer. The Chiefs better have their pass rush going against these guys.

  • Kisersosay

    Nice breakdown Lyle, I would move OLB (Specifically pass rush specialist) way up the chart and move CB up as well. We saw what happened when we had injuries late in the season at both positions. To me depth at those positions is way more important than improving starters or depth at the other positions. They would come in right behind WR and S.

    • Nick the Kick

      You 3 up top hit the nail on the head. We could line up and play with the olbs we have now but the biggest need is edge rusher. You can’t run a 3-4 pressure with only 2 viable outside guys even if the 2 are studs. Our defense just doesn’t work without pressure. Seattle’s secondary would have looked snake-bit with the rush we got after Hali and Houston went out.

    • Lyle Graversen

      I agree that KC needs one more pass rusher (plus Catapano stepping up) in order to be good on defense. I disagree on CB though. Flowers and Smith are NFL caliber starters, Owens is good depth, and Cooper and Parker are promising developmental guys. To me that’s a solid core group to work with. Would I be upset if they got an upgrade there? No, but I don’t think it’s an essential need. Just my 2 cents.

  • CaliChief57

    Can anyone clarify if Catapano will be playing as a OLB or a DE? I can’t quite remember if I saw a past article on here saying he will be playing at 260-270, instead of last yrs 290, as a back up to Hali to keep him fresh. Is it true? Does anyone know how much he is weighing in at now?

    • Josh Landers

      I read that he plans on playing around 290-295 this year. I think he was only about 275 last year. If that’s true, he’ll be playing de and he could be our pass rushing de opposite walker on passing downs.

      • CaliChief57

        Ok thanks bro

      • Brian Dempsey

        Catapano has the pass-rushing skills, so if he can play a bit heavier this year, it could be a big help.

        • berttheclock

          I still have that vision of Houston and Catapano coming at Luke Joeckel and Joeckel tried to split himself in two parts to try to block them. Houston hit Gabbert a split second before Catapano arrived.

    • Lyle Graversen

      I believe the plan is for him to contribute as a pass rushing DL, as opposed to OLB. If he can be a key rotational pass rusher on the interior, that would be a huge help. I’d love to see him on the field over Bailey this season.

  • Randall Miller

    With all do respect Lyle,I must disagree with the Right Guard rating…I would give it an 11. Left guard would give a 9. I foresee ( unless we trade down) getting OL in 3rd round. Wideout, RG, FS, depth at OL my top 4 needs.

    • Brian Dempsey

      To be honest, I believe it’s going to take both the 2014 and 2015 draft to cover all the bases listed in this article, unless they can trade down and get extra picks and they hit on all those picks.

      But, I do agree with the 4 needs that you listed and I’ll add a 5th and 6th — a 3-4 DE that can attack the QB and another prime-time off the edge pass-rusher, as Hali isn’t getting any younger and everybody saw what happened when he and Justin Houston got hurt last year.

      • Randall Miller

        100% agree Brian….what blows is we have so few picks this year….BUT like you said 2015 we will have mega from the bonus from loosing our starters this year. The kid from Oakland will help and love his attitude…I can see that DE pick next year with our #1 pick!

    • Calchiefsfan

      I agree Randall. I’m hoping that Allen and Stephenson attending LaCharles Bently’s training camp for offensive lineman will help both but especially Allen. He has the skills but seems to lack the technique. He was out of position and got beat a lot last year.

      • Randall Miller

        Calchiefsfan, I am digging about Bently’s camp and if Allen attended…..your right Allen needs everything to improve his skills, athletic enough and size but his technique was lacking….he would get it right maybe 60% of the time. That is why I am so passionate about Schwartz….when he took over mid season at guard he lifted everyone’s play and the OL finally really did some good things and the offense was more efficient. It all starts up front and I think we take it for granted Jamal can run behind anyone, but Alex began to throw the ball down the field. We need a damn guard in the draft…..early!

    • Josh Landers

      Allen sucked last year. I’ll give you that. He and Stephenson trained with lecharles Bentley in the offseason, though. That’s the same guy that Schwartz trained with. While it may or may not make a difference, I think Allen did show enough improvement towards the end of last season to push the need down a little.

    • Lyle Graversen

      I’m not sold on Allen either, but the team seems to be so I guess we’ll see what happens. My secret hope is that they draft someone who does well AND Rishaw Johnson plays so well that Allen gets pushed to the bench.

  • Nick the Kick

    I also think as long as we get a match-up difference maker to catch passes it doesn’t matter if he is a wr or te. If we can trade back our 1 for a 2 and a 3, than Amaro or Stefarian-Jenkins would be just as valuable in Reid’s system as a #2 receiver.

  • tm1946

    After a little thought on such a good article, can the needs be met in one draft and what is left on free agency or cut just prior to the season starting. I am guessing, no. Just to few picks and if some do not work out, it seems to me we will be short talent for at least this season.
    Can Dorsey take a flyer on a potential type with no value until late in year 2 of his contract or does he go a safer, guy can play special teams and backup. This draft will be interesting, when you consider needs, the upcoming season, and lack of picks and the always looming bust.

    • Josh Landers

      With the huge number of underclass men entering the draft this year, there should be a large amount of udfa rookies that I’m sure Dorsey is planning on bringing in. There should be more than enough to fill up depth that was not filled in the draft. I know that probably doesn’t sound encouraging but there is a pretty large number of udfa’s that make it in the nfl as starters and backups. With Dorsey’s eye for talent, I think he’ll be able to make some good signings.

    • Lyle Graversen

      If you’re asking if I think we’ll have a complete, top to bottom, Super Bowl contending roster coming out of this draft, the answer is no. I do think that with 2-3 good picks and a couple more guys added in free agency after roster cut downs again that we can compete for a wild card and possibly even make a run at Denver if they stumble.

      • tm1946

        Seems to me you are asking a lot. 2-3 guys with this draft and the number of Chiefs picks available, Dorsey can do it, but we all marvel at the old Steelers pics from the ’70s, does not happen every day. Cap room would indicate we will get one year loans from last veteran cuts. I think Denver would have to do more than stumble for us to make a run, more like fall of a cliff singing Rocky Mtn High. Maybe we can get them to roll some doobies now it is legal there.LOL

  • Bigtexjayhawk

    Fatten up Hali. Move him inside. Draft Dee Ford OLB and Christian Jones ILB. WR in 4th Huff or Herron. Exum for CB/S. 6th round best DT and OL. UDFA Lucas and Zimmerman KSU. Washington and Britt MU. Brown Pitt St.

    • Lyle Graversen

      Interesting, not sure Hali inside takes advantage of his best ability which is to “bend” around the outside of OTs. Plus, I think drafting an ILB with one of our first two picks when you have a pro bowl ILB and a solid starter already on the roster is kind of a waste when we have greater needs elsewhere. I do like a lot of the other names you mentioned though.

      • Stan Colbert

        Something to think on. The Chiefs were so dominate in their base defense that. opponents primarily 3 and more WR sets. Without the DE and other ILB they were able to be successful. ILB would strengthen against run and add variable to coverage making Defense more unpredictable.

      • Bigtexjayhawk

        Ok so I pegged the draft pick. I also read that Hali had put on some weight!! My plan may be right. Anyways about the next pick you mentioned we have an ILB. We have a person to play not a playmaker. Christian Jones is who we need. Tall, athletic can play inside and out. Can cover the tall TEs and WR. He had a diluted urine sample so he may fall. I remember we drafted Houston too due to similar situation. Then grab Exum and our D will be awesome!!

  • Gumby

    Draft day 1 starters, regardless of their position. No need to draft backups like Commings and Hemingway.

    • Lyle Graversen

      That sounds good in theory, but let’s be honest, once you get into the middle and late rounds there is no guarantee that a player will be able to be counted on as a day 1 starter. I agree that KC needs impact rookies with at least their first two picks if they want to be competitive this season.

  • micah stephenson

    When did we sign Demarcus van dike? I love him on Madden. Lol

  • micah stephenson

    Buzz! Wrong answer. We do need a wr. But we also need QB, TE. We are good at safety.

    • Deadmeat

      Your so fickle.

    • Lyle Graversen

      While I’m not surprised by the QB take from you, I am a little surprised that you’d put TE over safety. I’m not sure what Abdulah and Commings have done to make you feel they are more dependable than Fasano and Kelce.

      • micah stephenson

        I just like Abdullah. I think between him and Commings we will b ok at safety. Fasano is not that great. Like the “potential” of kelce. Ass11 needs a monster TE like V. Davis so he can check down like he wants to. If they refuse to move Berry Back we might need a faster FS.

  • Daniel Mayfield

    I agree with you Lyle. I think they should get the best Safety available…if he’s good enough to fit the team. If not, go down the line that you made and draft the highest/best player with his skills that they need the most “S,WR,LB,CB” whatever position needs filled in. Draft that player.

    But anyway, I’m just agreeing with you. Good work.

    • Lyle Graversen

      Thanks Daniel!

  • OHChief

    The problem with this analysis for the draft is you don’t account for depth in the draft. Rating a OG over a pass rushing LB seeming crazy because you can find very good OL in late rounds but the chances of finding an impactful pass rusher after round 3 is unlikely. So even if you rate OL higher you really would be looking to draft a pass rushing LB or DL way before a OL or even a WR (given the depth of this draft). So I might agree with a lot of the concept of what our needs are I think this may apply more to free agency (which is used to fill wholes more) then the draft which should be best available player. Also, i think this analysis doesn’t give enough weight to cap and contract casualties (even though it does mention Houston, Hali, Flowers, and Berry). This means that the heart of our D will be in jeopardy next year. So I think pass rusher and DBs are a higher priority than any offensive position. If you look at our production at the end of the year and that we will start to have more depth at TE with another year for Alex to get use to his current WR, I don’t see the offense (other than OL depth) is a real immediate need. Maybe I trust Andy and Alex too much, but I have bought in on the offense. Sutten’s D still needs players that fit. That is obvious with the collapse of the D in the second half of the season and playoffs.

    • berttheclock

      Unless of course, you happen to find a long snapper in the 4th round who can do a bit of pass rushing. Jared Allen, but, I agree with you the odds for that are pretty pretty high against finding one.

    • Josh Landers

      Just imagine if we had a stud number 2 wr last year instead of Avery and Jenkins. I have hope for Jenkins but none for Avery. Bowe, beckham (or many other names come to mind), and a healthy Fasano and Kelce. That would really push this offense over the top, IMHO. Wr may not be as big if a need as it’s sometimes made out to be but if we want to hang with the donkeys, were going to need some help. And not just defensively.

    • Lyle Graversen

      While I think the offensive needs are a little more important than you do, I disagree with what you’re saying. I would also add that rating OG a 10 doesn’t mean that it has to be addressed with a high draft pick, just that I think it must be addressed with at least one pick, even if that’s in the middle rounds. I’m actually a big proponent of taking Ra’shede Hageman in the first round for some of the same reasons that you’ve mentioned. However, while I’d like to see them add pass rush help I stand by my position that in order to field a competitive team for next season they are in greater need of adding players at WR and OL than another pass rusher.

  • Stan Colbert

    Good article. I think WR, S, & OL, must represent at least 3 picks. Would also expect OLB, CB developmental pick. Would love a developmental pick at DL. The only question is what round and if quality is available at the pick.

  • Luke Brundage

    Great article Lyle! I agree with you on every rating except I would put linebacker at 6 over cornerback because of the depth needed with Tamba’s possible departure and how we struggled with both Tamba and Houston off the field last year. Adding a pass rushing OLB would be great but doing so while getting rookie year production could be pushing it because of more pressing needs at WR, S, OL, and DL. I would downgrade tight end drafting need without any injuries or question marks to a 1. Like you said, the main reason for low production last year was injuries throughout the year with Kelce and Fasano. I really liked McGrath so I wouldn’t like it if we drafted a TE this year. Really enjoyed reading it! Go Chiefs!