Mar 13, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey (right), quarterback Alex Smith (center), and head coach Andy Reid pose for photos during the press conference at The University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs Rank 14th In ESPN Futures Rankings

ESPN released their futures power rankings today two weeks ahead of the start of training camp. You can read the full rankings on their site but you should know that Insider access is required to read the link.

Kansas City ends up being ranked 14th on the list, good enough for a third place finish in the AFC West. Denver is ranked fourth in the entire future rankings and first in the AFC, which seems odd given the age of Peyton Manning and how important he is to their overall performance. San Diego is second in the division and ninth in the rankings, while Oakland finished dead last.

Here’s a bit of what ESPN had to say about the Chiefs:

Kansas City dropped only two spots overall from the past offseason, despite falling an average of 9.3 in non-QB roster, drafting and the front office. If the Chiefs’ decisions to let veteran free agents such as Branden Albert and Geoff Schwartz depart pan out, GM John Dorsey and the front office will appear to have been a disciplined bunch. If the Chiefs fall off precipitously, the team will likely be faulted for inaction. Has the Chiefs’ outlook improved? QB Alex Smith remains without a contract extension for now, but an extension for him probably wouldn’t move the needle much. Kansas City came in 19th at QB in these future rankings, not far off its No. 24 ranking one year ago.

There are a few things to talk about here with these rankings.

First, who in the world would associate the Chiefs with inaction under John Dorsey if the Chiefs were to fall off over the next few seasons? The Chiefs have almost completely flipped their roster in one calendar year, traded two second round picks for a quarterback, were one of the most active teams in free agency in 2013, and found pieces like Marcus Cooper at random times throughout the course of the year. So because the Chiefs didn’t have enough cap room to sign two average right guards, a disastrous defensive line fit, an overvalued Dexter McCluster, and overpaid Branden Albert the Chiefs are suddenly inactive?

It will be interesting to see what is said next season when the Chiefs have 11 draft picks (estimated), more cap flexibility, and have deals done with Justin Houston and Alex Smith. How active will they be considered then?

Second, the ranking of Alex Smith at 19th is ridiculous. No, he’s not some elite quarterback who deserves to be considered a top level quarterback. But he does have three-straight seasons of very productive football and is still in his prime. At the very least he is a top 15 quarterback who could flirt with the top 10. Quarterbacks listed ahead of Smith include Robert Griffin III, Nick Foles, Sam Bradford, and Jay Cutler.

Third, Kansas City should be in a better spot a year from now after they have settled some unanswered questions. Smith and Houston’s contracts should be done, they’ll have added a bunch of depth in the draft, we’ll have a better understanding of 2013 draft class in addition to seeing how the 2014 class fits with the team, and the Chiefs will have the opportunity to add a player or two in free agency.

One would assume much of the roster concerns with the Chiefs are based on the unknowns. We know who Albert and Brandon Flowers were but we don’t have much of an idea of what Phillip Gaines and Sanders Commings can or will be as a players. We may also come to understand how the unknown players fit better in the system the Chiefs are running than the big name players they lost. If you believe the scheme fits are better and the talent is there than the overall rankings for the roster, general manager, and draft will improve significantly.

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Travis Crouch

    Everyone loves to hate on Alex becouse he does not throw 400 yards a game but does make the smart chooses and can run ands good as Robert Griffen and does not turn the ball over witch helps a team a lot more then throwing 400 yards aka Jay Cutler

    • Mark M

      I was with you for a moment until you said he runs like Griffin. Maybe with a broken leg

      • Travis Crouch

        Your Right I Over Guessed It But He Runs Better They Give Him Credit For

        • Mark M

          I’ll buy that

      • Suzi Conger

        smith was 6th in rushing yards (15 starts) with equal yds/carry as ck7 at approx. 5.7. PFF ranked AS11 #1 QB in nfl for converting pressures/collapsed pockets into big plays. ’14 Pro Bowl Committee declared Smith a top 5 QB, which in reality, he is…. there’s much more to an excellent QB than ‘fantasy’ yardage

      • Chuck Burrell

        Griffin is not good

    • micah stephenson

      RG3 runs a 4.4. Alex prolly runs a 6.4. Lol. ASS11 has started running the ball more which is just another way for him to avoid passing and turning it over.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Get back to the postseason with this schedule and we’ll have a better ranking this time next year.

    • tm1946

      Real shame we have 16 games between now and then. Not sure but, if they have a clue about what they wrote, 3rd place in the West doubt postseason is in the cards.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        What the talking heads say never matters anyway. That’s why they play the games.

      • micah stephenson

        Third place is about right. We have the 3rd best qb(until D.Carr gets going) in the acf west so…

  • Zachary Barry

    The Chiefs have something to prove every year. AS11 will not be elite but he does a hell of a job on the field leading this team and I as a fan am very happy with his performance. I have come to the realization that KC will always have somebody above them in the rankings and always have the Raiders somewhere below them!

  • tm1946

    Everything written means nothing when the first regular season game starts. I am thinking the Chiefs will make their own fate. A mix of timely injuries to other West teams, players coming of age and great coaching, the Chiefs can have great success.

  • Nick the Kick

    This is supposed to be a futures ranking and I don’t see many teams with as many young elite players as we have, especially on D. When you have Houston, Poe, Berry, Ford, etc. who are hopefully gonna be here for years and have productive vets around them and you add in the elite level of coaching under Andy Reid, I don’t see how this team is not rated top 10.

    • micah stephenson

      We are not ranked top ten becus of our QB. If we had a better qb we would get more respect.

  • micah stephenson

    I’m not surprised at ASS11′s rankings. Outside of KC and Arrowhead Addict, noone believes that ASS11 is a top ten QB crap. He ain’t even top 15.