Chiefs things I think – Super Bowl 51 week
By Ryan Tracy
Even with the Super Bowl this weekend, the off-season for the Kansas City Chiefs is about to get off to a fast-paced start.
Soon we will see all kinds of Senior Bowl evaluations and predictions, combine talk and new film reviews. Then, the theories on what John Dorsey and the Chiefs’ leadership are going to do with this draft will come rolling out.
I am no different. My draft prep evaluations will be featured in this column on Thursdays. If you haven’t seen past years analytics, stay tuned. I’ll produce my functional matrices and graphics as we get closer to the draft.
Before we get to that, I’ll talk about where I think this team is this week of the Super Bowl, a game they have the talent to be playing in. We talked a bit about that with Seth Keysor this week. Here’s the show.
The difference between a Super bowl team and a team bounced in the divisional round can come down to tiny details. That list could get very long but for now, we’ll just hit the highlights.
The Chiefs top-10.
10 – Alex Smith is going to be the Chiefs quarterback in 2017, but that may be the last season. Pressure is building and it’s been reported that Smith is not unaware. If the Chiefs can find a quarterback to develop he may become a mentor sooner rather than later. (more on that below)
9 – Marcus Peters is not enough. The more I watch of this draft class the more I see big, quick and aggressive corners that could fit in the Kansas City scheme. There are a couple of corners that remind me of younger versions of Sean Smith. They are bound to catch John Dorsey’s attention. Despite better than expected play from Terrance Mitchell and Steven Nelson, the Team needs a legit #2 to pair with Peters.
8 – At this point, I’m not sure if the Chiefs have their left guard or not. Parker Ehinger was promising when he was on the field in 2016. With no updates on the severity of the injury or the progression of his recovery, it may be prudent to draft another starting-caliber guard. Luckily for KC, there are more quality guards in this draft class than tackles.
7 – One inside linebacker in the upcoming draft may not be enough. The extent of Derrick Johnson’s injury may keep him from starting the season. The team cannot afford a quality free agent like Dont’a Hightower and Josh Mauga could become a cap casualty. That leaves Ramik Wilson, a player who was cut in 2016, the best healthy inside linebacker on the roster. Justin March-Lillard did not garner much confidence when he was not able to return to the field to close the season. He still has a long way to go and competition is critical. I’d like to see the team take one ILB high and one mid-rounds as well.
6 – Tyreek Hill should be dialing Jeremy Maclin’s number. Chris Conley worked with Maclin last summer and came away as improved player on the field. If Hill can do the same he could step into a much larger role. That’s something the team wants to see happen. Regardless of whether Hill works with Maclin or not, the team must draft a receiver to push Hill and Conley for playing time at the ‘X’ in 2017.
5 – Dontari Poe is most likely going to get overpaid. And not by Kansas City. The philosophy that John Dorsey has used in bringing in a replacement before he loses a high-level player seems to be paying off. Chris Jones is ready for a starting role. If healthy, the starting defensive line should be Allen Bailey Jay Howard and Jones to start 2017.
Related Story: Ranking each position on Chiefs Roster
4 – Spencer Ware is a solid back that hit a big wall to close this season. While he was the Chiefs best back by a long shot if Jamaal Charles does not return, for whatever reason, the team needs to find 1A back and let Ware be the 1B. West and Reaves aren’t ready to be part of a premiere tandem. Ware needs some lightning to go with his Thunder.
3 – There are rumors of a possible extension for Andy Reid. But, that is only half the battle to continuity. Clark hunt and Mark Donovan should be working to extend John Dorsey. The loss of Chris Ballard removed the person who would have been the heir apparent if Dorsey does leave Kansas City. Losing Dorsey now would harm the organization in a way that would be difficult to recover from. They need to extend him now.
2 – This Super Bowl is tough to get excited about. On the one hand, Brady and Belichick could win another ring and on the other hand, so could Scott Pioli. For Chiefs fans, both of those scenarios leave a lot to be desired. At the end of the day, there are few ex-Chiefs populating the Atlanta roster. So they get my nod.
1 – Andy Reid can squeeze a lot of performance out of a less-than-elite quarterback. The upcoming draft class has zero quarterbacks that are worthy of a first-round pick on their own merits. Some will be artificially driven up the boards that will allow others to fall. A number of teams will be looking for the next Dak Prescott to fall to them. The Chiefs will be flush with compensatory picks and should be able to move around on Day 2 of the NFL Draft. In it, I think they can find some quality clay for Reid to mold.
Let me know what’s in your top-10. Enjoy the Super Bowl Addicts!