NFL Draft 2015: Kansas City Chiefs’ most pressing needs

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Inside Linebacker

A few things come into play here. For starters, the Chiefs utilize strong- and weak-side inside linebackers; Derrick Johnson belonging to the latter group.

In most of today’s 3-4 defenses, the role of strong-side inside linebackers is pretty straightforward. They’re typically stout, aggressive run specialists who occupy lead blockers in order to free up their weak-side peers. And since they’re usually not known for their pass defense, they tend to slide into later rounds.

On the other hand, if the Chiefs are looking to draft a weak-side replacement for Johnson—remember that he’s rebounding from a torn Achilles and entering a contract season—they can’t afford to cross their fingers and play the waiting game. (Also, before anyone types “Josh Mauga” and “breakout” in the same sentence, keep in mind that he’s two months away from his 28th birthday.)

Fortunately, only one inside linebacker, Clemson’s Stephone Anthony, has been plucked from the board thus far.

Best Available: Eric Kendricks, Benardrick McKinney, Paul Dawson

Next: Andy Reid talks Marcus Peters pick

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