Free Agency Mock Draft: The Seven Most Impactful Free Agents For The Kansas City Chiefs

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Dec 7, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Josh Mauga (90) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Chiefs 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Round Six: Josh Mauga

Kansas City struggled mightily stopping the run after Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito went down with injuries in week one. Add Eric Berry’s injury and health issues (GET BETTER SOON, ERIC!) and the team simply could not stop the run between the 20’s.

Good news is things are looking good for both Johnson and DeVito when it comes to their recovery. Further, Allen Bailey showed improvement against the run and is under contract for the next four years. Dontari Poe struggled against the run this season as the season went on but it seems clear with some of the Chiefs’ early moves that they are determined to find a quality back up for Poe so that he can stay fresh throughout the season.

But even with those developments, the Chiefs need some more help against the run and with depth. Johnson isn’t getting younger and his long-term future is in doubt as he’s scheduled to be a free agent after 2015. DeVito, too, will be a free agent a year from now.

Mauga may not be the long-term answer to Johnson but he’s a quality player who could add much needed depth to the inside linebacker position. Mauga came into the league in 2009 as an undrafted free agent and played a total of 235 snaps on defense from 2009 to 2013. In fact he missed the enter 2013 season due to injury.

This season the Chiefs relied on Mauga for 1,028 defensive snaps, over four times the amount of defensive snaps he had played in his entire career. And to his credit, he played pretty well after being thrust into the starting lineup.

From September to November Mauga had a cumulative +0.1 PFF grade, which means he was basically an average player. But by the time December came it was clear he hit a wall, positing a -14.1 PFF grade in the final five games of the season. The dude was simply gassed.

Next season the Chiefs won’t be asking him to play 1,000-plus snaps as a starter, but they may ask him to fill in from time to time. Kansas City needs a player like Mauga to match up with a draft pick to solidify the inside linebacker position while DJ is getting some rest. Mauga isn’t the future, but we know what we’re going to get from him when he’s rested – unspectacular, quality play. That’s a very valuable thing.

Next: Round Seven