Center: Eric Kush
I’m not in favor of Eric Kush starting when the season rolls around. However, if he is the Center of the future, or at least of the season, Ben Grubbs will likely be be giving him lessons on line calls as they approach the los after breaking the huddle during games. If Kush is the Center for the Chiefs there’s nothing to know or say about how good… or bad… he’ll be in 2015 or thereafter. While Andy Reid is hard to predict, using a player with no experience at the crucial Center position seems unlikely.
How likely is it that Eric Kush is the juggernaut answer at Center? Not very.
Center: Stefen Wisniewski
I agree with WaterFootball.com in the case of Stefen Wisniewski v. Rodney Hudson. WF says,
"“Stefen Wisniewski has been a key cog in Oakland’s line front for four years now. One of the top, young centers in the NFL, he’ll be just 26 in March. Rodney Hudson was just above average in 2013, but he was coming off a leg injury. He had to fend off competition to become the starting center, but held the job. He took a big step in 2014, playing as one of the top centers in the NFL. Just 26 in July, Hudson should continue to improve.”"
More importantly, WF ranks Wisniewski as the #1 FA Center and Rodney Hudson #2. One year does not a career make and while Hudson had a very good year for the Chiefs in 2014 he was rewarded by the Raiders like he was a 5th year pro bowler.
If John Dorsey is able to talk Wisniewski out of his Hatfield-n-McCoy style family grudge against the Chiefs it should be considered a minor miracle of sorts. Tampa Bay, Chicago and Seattle are said to be pursuing Wisniewski but every time they mention him there’s the caveat “it must be for the right price.” That’s probably why he hasn’t signed with any of them yet.
Wisniewski said during the season, in anticipation of free agency, that he would be looking for 3M per year. Since the season has ended it’s reported he’s wanting something in the 4M range. If John Dorsey can dump a contract like Chase Daniel, and his expensive probably never going to see the field again back-up QB contract, he’d be able to entice Wisniewski with a little more than what the Bucs, Bears of the Seahawks are going to eek out for him.
I do not have a sense that Wisniewski signing with the Chiefs is going to happen. Wisniewski’s father Leo played for the Colts. His uncle Steven, known as the Wiz, not only played for the Raiders for 8 years but served as an offensive line assistant for them 4 years ago and remains an ambassador for Oakland today. However, if by some long shot his signing with the Chiefs does happen, Stefen Wisniewski could fit the juggernaut mold needed to make the Chiefs O-line special in 2015. PFF gave Wiz an overall – 2.5 in 2014, + 13.2 in 2013, + 8.1 in 2012, + 0.5 in 2011. I believe Wisniewski is an ascending player and his NFL genes will see him through 7 or 8 more good years.
Maybe Wisniewski would like some payback for the Raiders signing Hudson. I wouldn’t mind that one bit. Most importantly, by signing him John Dorsey would reduce the offensive line needs down to 2 positions, which would be a huge advantage going into the draft. Huge. Did I say huge? I meant to say huge.
Center: Cameron Erving
Many have linked the Chiefs to Cameron Erving from Florida State in the upcoming draft. At 6-6 and 311, Erving is experienced at all the line positions and has the size and athleticism to play them all well. That alone could be a reason for Reid and Dorsey to be enticed by him.
R & D love flexible multi-talented players.
Erving was the best lineman on one of the best teams in the past ten years of college football. Florida State was 13-1 in 2014 and won the National Championship in 2013 at 14-0 while Erving was protecting the blind side of eventual Heisman trophy winner QB Jameis Winston. Florida State was also 12-2 in 2012, so a record of 39-3 is not a bad resume for a lineman to carry into the NFL.
Rob Rang and Derek Stephens of CBSSports says this about Erving,
"“Easily reaches and dominates at the second level. Pulls smoothly, showing impressive initial quickness and acceleration for a man his size. Equally effective sealing off defensive tackles at center or mirroring pass rushers as a left tackle. Smooth athleticism in his kick-step to handle speed off the edge. Strong hands to latch on and control the opponent… (his) weaknesses are correctable with NFL coaching”"
Whether the Chiefs draft Cameron Erving as a Center or a Left Tackle I’m in favor of them targeting him as I believe he is one of the best bets in this draft. If Erving ends up in red and gold and he ends up at Center for the Chiefs, he would qualify as a juggernaut possibility for sure.
~ ~ ~
Tomorrow we’ll look at the Right Guard and the Right Tackle positions to see who could step up and serve in the Chiefs new juggernaut offensive line.
What do you say Addict fans? Do you think the Chiefs need to go all in on re-making their offensive line back into the juggernaut it once was? Is there any one out there, free agent of draft choice, who you believe could fill those shoes?