Taking Stock: Chiefs midseason scouting report

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Sep 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas City Chiefs huddle during the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive line

As the offensive line has struggled to protect Smith early in the 2015 season, a number of impending changes are now on the horizon. Donald Stephenson has played his way out of starting at either tackle position. John Dorsey cannot justify spending the money to bring him back in 2016. Jah Reid has been a solid backup since joining the team and could serve in that same capacity on a new contract next season.  Much-maligned Jeff Allen has shown well since his return in 2015.  His injury history is a concern, but he has earned a second contract in Kansas City.

Bottom line for future:

Despite re-signing Allen, there are still two position on the offensive line that need new starters. Fulton’s progression has slowed and he is only a backup at this point. Duvernay-Tardif continues to improve, but would best serve in a backup role as well. The team will need to draft a starter at tackle and guard in 2016. Depending on their draft position, the offensive line should see two linemen selected in the first three rounds.

Defensive line

Dec 7, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Jaye Howard (96) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Chiefs 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dontari Poe will be playing 2016 under his fifth-year option that the team exercised in April 2015.  His injury has allowed Jaye Howard to see much more of the field in 2015. In fact, he has outplayed Mike Devito 351-to 140 snaps in 8 games. Howard also has the most total pressures on the Chiefs defensive line. With both Howard’s and DeVito’s contracts expiring, the writing is on the wall for the elder defensive end.

Bottom line for future:

Together with Poe and Allen Bailey, Howard would be a formidable 3-man front. Dorsey should put his re-signing on high-priority to get done prior to the off-season. DeVito’s time in Kansas City is likely at an end and the Chiefs have backup in Rakeem Nunez-Roches. Letting Howard get away would be a major lapse for Dorsey

Next: Changes for 2016?