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ForeverChiefs58 05-01-2014 03:39 AM

Rotoworld's Top draft needs for Chiefs
NFL Draft Needs: Chiefs
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in May's draft.

No. 1 Team Need: Offensive Line
Silva's analysis

Left tackle Branden Albert, right guard Geoff Schwartz, and top interior reserve Jon Asamoah all left in free agency. Left guard Jeff Allen struggled mightily for a second straight season, while C Rodney Hudson is entering a contract year. 2013 No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher was a letdown as a rookie, and swing tackle Donald Stephenson is best suited for a backup role. Beyond Fisher, the Chiefs have little settled long term on their offensive line. They may use multiple draft picks here.

Norris' options

First day option: G Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA - The top pure guard in this class, Su’a-Filo is extremely agile for an interior offensive lineman. He easily gets to the second level and can reach laterally when needing to seal off opponents. Despite his pear shape, Su’a-Filo is an extremely strong and aggressive blocker. He is always looking for an uncovered defender when left open at the snap.

Second day possibility: G Dakota Dozier, Furman - Dozier is another prospect making the move from left tackle to guard, but he looked very comfortable in tight spaces at the East West Shrine Game and when covered by a tight end at Furman. He can bend at the knees to absorb in pass protection or drive block with an athletic lower half.

Third day flier: C Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma - Ikard will struggle to hold up against face up nose tackles at this point in his development, but he is a move center with mobility. His game is all about reaching and getting in front of defensive linemen or linebackers. Ikard is an occupier.

No. 2 Team Need: Safety

Silva's analysis

The Chiefs predictably let incumbent FS Kendrick Lewis leave without a fight, and salary-cap constraints prevented them from replacing him before the draft. Converted cornerback Sanders Commings is currently penciled in at free safety. It's a position at which Kansas City figures to use a high draft pick, perhaps as early as No. 23 overall. As SS Eric Berry is at his best playing close to the line of scrimmage, Bob Sutton's defense could use a rangy safety to roam center field.

Norris' options

First day option: Jimmie Ward, NIU - I think I have mentioned Ward more often than any other prospect in these previews, but for good reason. After Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Ward is the next best safety in this class, but could be the third one selected. Ward played man coverage at the line of scrimmage, in the box and in the deeper portions of the field. He has some Kenny Vaccaro in his game.

Second day possibility: Brock Vereen, Minnesota - There just are not enough true free safeties in this class. Vereen has played more in the box and in man coverage as a nickel corner. Many teams are moving towards three safeties in nickel situations rather than three corners. Vereen can fill this role.

Third day flier: Ed Reynolds, Stanford - Reynolds is at his best keeping the pass and the run in front of him. He loses ground when opening his hips and transitioning. He can read the quarterback’s eyes in the hopes of getting a jump on the intended target.

No. 3 Team Need: Wide Receiver

Silva's analysis

The Chiefs were the only team in the NFL in 2013 whose tailback led them in targets, catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns. Andy Reid deserves a lot of credit for expanding Alex Smith's willingness to pull the trigger over the course of the season, but Smith won't continue his growth without better weapons. Kansas City also lost Dexter McCluster's 53 receptions in free agency.

Norris' options

First day option: Marqise Lee, USC - Lee had a down 2013, specifically due to a drop rate of over 12 percent. He was mainly used on inside and outside breaking routes in the short to intermediate levels of the field. This is where Alex Smith is at his best. Lee is a fluid mover with body control, which allows him to separate on the ground or create a sliver of space when adjusting for the catch.

Second day possibility: Jarvis Landry, LSU - Landry is a thick slot receiver who wins with little wasted movement, timing and the best hands in this draft. He’s not a straight-line speedster, but Landry would help Smith in the short and intermediate levels. He can also win in contested situations.

Third day flier: Michael Campanaro, Wake Forest - You all might think I’m stereotyping, but Campanaro does his best work in the slot. With that said, he did flash a few vertical catches.

spanky 52 05-01-2014 05:25 AM

Maybe before I die the Chiefs will take the BPA instead of taking a player of need. Get ready for OG, WR and DB in the first three rounds.

milkman 05-01-2014 08:05 AM


Originally Posted by spanky 52 (Post 10596935)
Maybe before I die the Chiefs will take the BPA instead of taking a player of need. Get ready for OG, WR and DB in the first three rounds.

Theoretically, they did that last year.

OldSchool 05-01-2014 08:21 AM

Chiefs fans don't want to admit it, but Rotoworld is actually correct on this one.

ForeverChiefs58 05-01-2014 08:33 AM

If we actually were able to find good players at those positions from this draft I would rank it an A

jd1020 05-01-2014 08:37 AM


Originally Posted by spanky 52 (Post 10596935)
Get ready for OG, WR and DB in the first three rounds.

milkman 05-01-2014 01:32 PM


Originally Posted by OldSchool (Post 10597029)
Chiefs fans don't want to admit it, but Rotoworld is actually correct on this one.

They have them in the wrong order.

No way in hell that safety isn't #1.

Chief Roundup 05-01-2014 02:11 PM


Originally Posted by milkman (Post 10597473)
They have them in the wrong order.

No way in hell that safety isn't #1.

I am not sure if they are in the wrong order for our current roster or not. I am not talking about drafting OL in the first. Just about team need.
Last season absolutely that was the case. We have a lot going on with the OLine right now. As of right now both tackles switching spots, we are going to have a new RG our LG has not shown to be all that. We lost 3 starters off of our OLine from last year.
Yes we lost one safety, which was actually an addition by subtraction kind of thing, as well as a couple of others.
But overall I think it is the 3 holes to 1 kind of a thing as far as making the OLine a greater need. I did not say we need to draft OL in round one.

planetdoc 05-01-2014 02:31 PM

profootballtalk chiefs draft needs
the Chiefs enter the 2014 draft as a prime trade-down candidate. They have just six selections: one first-rounder (No. 23), one third-rounder (No. 87), one fourth-rounder (No. 124), one fifth-rounder (No. 163) and two sixth-rounders (Nos. 193, 200).

Here are the Chiefs’ top draft needs:

Wide receiver: The Chiefs have a viable go-to receiver in Dwayne Bowe, whose eight-catch, 150-yard performance in the January wild card loss at Indianapolis was a reminder of what he can do on his best. However, Bowe will be 30 in September, and the Chiefs need a second outside target capable of consistently stepping up when their No. 1 wideout is well-covered. They also could look to add a replacement for the quick, versatile Dexter McCluster, too. Given their depth chart at the position, and given the sheer number of good receiver prospects available, the Chiefs seem likely to add to their pass catching corps.

Interior offensive line: Like wide receiver, it’s hard to see the Chiefs not bolstering their options between the tackles after losing guards Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz in free agency. What’s more, starting left guard Jeff Allen and starting center Rodney Hudson can test unrestricted free agency after the season.

Offensive tackle: 2013 No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher will move to left tackle to replace the departed Branden Albert. With a season of experience, Fisher could show improvement in 2014, but he will be coming off of shoulder and hernia surgery. At right tackle, third-year pro Donald Stephenson appears to the top option. At a minimum, the depth behind Fisher and Stephenson is in need of reinforcement.

Safety: Starting free safety Kendrick Lewis signed with Houston, leaving the Chiefs with at least one depth chart spot to fill at the position. Also, star strong safety Eric Berry can reach unrestricted free agency at season’s end; given his skill and the increasing premium on safeties that can cover, he will be expensive to retain long-term. No matter how the Chiefs proceed with Berry, bringing in another safety that can hold up in pass coverage would be a good idea.

Outside linebacker: Pro Bowler Justin Houston enters the final year of his deal. He is poised to receive a second contract that should place him among the higher-paid 3-4 outside linebackers in the game. The Chiefs’ other outside linebacker, Tamba Hali, has two years left on his deal, but he will be 32 years old when his contract expires. The depth behind Hali and Houston is serviceable, but the Chiefs could use an edge-rushing prospect to serve as an apprentice behind the starters.

Messier 05-04-2014 04:10 AM

Every draft need evaluator that says the Chiefs need to replace TWO starting guards, I dismiss. I think Reid and Dorsey believe they have the replacement already. Reid even said a few days ago, they planned for losing OL in FA. So I just don't see them drafting OL until later in the draft.

planetdoc 05-04-2014 06:51 AM

Chiefs draft primer: Top needs, potential picks and surprise scenarios

Most important positions of need

• 1. Receiver: The Chiefs desperately need a fresh dose of youth and talent here. Dwayne Bowe will soon turn 30, and No. 2 receiver Donnie Avery offers the speed Chiefs coach Andy Reid likes but needs to be more consistent. A.J. Jenkins and Junior Hemingway are young receivers with upside, but the fact the Chiefs pursued Emmanuel Sanders this offseason makes it clear this is a position they feel they need to upgrade. Reid prefers receivers with good hands who can beat press coverage, but a player with a vertical skill set would be intriguing. A slot receiver would also be nice after the loss of No. 3 receiver Dexter McCluster.

• 2. Offensive line: As it stands, the Chiefs will have one of the youngest offensive lines in the league. The departure of last year’s starters at right guard, Geoff Schwartz and Jon Asamoah, means third-year pro Rishaw Johnson is the projected starter there. He offers some upside but is unproven, so perhaps the Chiefs will decide to upgrade there. Chances are the Chiefs will draft a tackle who has the potential to play guard but can also provide insurance for young starting tackles Eric Fisher and Donald Stephenson.

• 3. Pass rusher: Tamba Hali turns 31 this year and has cap numbers totaling $23.5 million during the next two seasons. The Chiefs could save a lot of money by cutting Hali after the season, so perhaps they will draft his replacement now. Pass-rushing outside linebackers make the 3-4 defense go, and if the Chiefs take one in this draft, they can team him with Justin Houston to form a strong duo for years to come.

• 4. Cornerback: The Chiefs have a lot of money tied up in this position, and for the money, you can certainly do a lot worse than Sean Smith and Brandon Flowers. But Flowers is coming off a down year and Smith must be more consistent. Both players’ lack of long speed hurt them at times last season. The same also can be said for Marcus Cooper, a big corner who flashed ball skills but hit the rookie wall. Chris Owens is a speedy veteran who was signed this offseason and should improve the athleticism of the group. If the Chiefs decide to move on from Flowers after the season — he has a cap number of $11.5 million in 2015 and doesn’t quite fit the scheme — perhaps it’s best they draft his replacement now.

• 5. Safety: The Chiefs are essentially set at strong safety with Eric Berry, though he spends much of his time as a linebacker in nickel situations. Veteran Husain Abdullah was impressive in limited action last season and should get first crack as the starting free safety, though 2013 fifth-round pick Sanders Commings will also get a shot. The Chiefs believe Commings has the speed and instincts to play “center field” in their system, but was hurt most of last season and must prove he can stay healthy.

Possible targets at positions of need

• WR Marqise Lee, Southern California (Round 1): Durability is the only question with Lee, a tough, competitive big-play receiver who is a perfect fit as a vertical threat in coach Andy Reid’s offense.

• WR Bruce Ellington, South Carolina (Round 4): Tough, competitive slot receiver with good hands who knows how to get open and boasts excellent intangibles.

• WR Ryan Grant, Tulane (Round 6): Possesses exceptional hands and was impressive at Senior Bowl practices. Needs to get stronger but could be an interesting developmental receiver.

• G Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA (Round 1): Needs to get stronger, but possesses the size (6 feet 4, 307 pounds) and athleticism to excel as a run blocker in the Chiefs’ zone-running scheme.

• T Billy Turner, North Dakota State (Round 3): Level of competition is a concern, and he needs to improve his technique but has the quickness and strength to develop into a starter, particularly at guard.

• G Brandon Thomas, Clemson (Round 5): Torn ACL in predraft workout could affect his draft stock, but has big hands and long arms for a guard and is athletic enough to get to the second level as a zone blocker.

• OLB Dee Ford, Auburn (Round 1): Productive rush linebacker in the nation’s toughest conference, he had 10 1/2 sacks in 2013. Lacks size (6 feet 2, 252 pounds) and has durability concerns but gives great effort.

• OLB Marcus Smith, Louisville (Round 3): The 2013 American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year, Smith racked up 14 1/2 sacks last season. Lacks bulk (6 feet 3, 251 pounds) and needs to be coached up but is an intriguing developmental player.

• OLB Howard Jones, Shepherd (Round 5): Super-productive small-college pass rusher with impressive athleticism (4.60 40-yard dash). Needs to bulk up — is only 6 feet 2 and 235 pounds — but is an intriguing developmental prospect.

• CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State (Round 1): Gilbert seems to be all over teams’ boards as draft analysts have him going as high as No. 10 to Detroit or as low as the mid-20s. If he does fall that low, the Chiefs could be hard-pressed to pass on one of the most athletic corners in the draft, someone with proven ball skills who is inconsistent and needs to improve his technique.

• CB Dontae Johnson, North Carolina State (Round 3): Big, 6-foot-2 corner with very good timed speed (4.45) and the physicality general manager John Dorsey likes in a cornerback. Also started seven games at safety in 2013. Only three career interceptions.

• CB Walt Aikens, Liberty (Round 6): Illinois transfer has the size (6 feet 1, 205 pounds) and press-man ability the Chiefs like, though his technique and eye discipline need to improve.

• S Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois (Round 1): With the top two safeties (Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Louisville’s Calvin Pryor) expected to be off the board by the time the Chiefs pick in the first round, they would have to reach to get a gifted, versatile player like Ward.

• S Marqueston Huff, Wyoming (Round 3): Smart and athletic, Huff is a cornerback who also played safety. Needs to improve his technique and ball skills but covers a ton of ground and is a willing run defender.

• S Isaiah Lewis, Michigan State (Round 5): Smart, competitive safety who has experience making calls, can tackle and can play zone coverage. Is short (5 feet 10, 211 pounds) and doesn’t have great speed or range.

Surprise moves?

1. The Chiefs take a tight end in the first round.

The Chiefs still have high hopes for Travis Kelce, an athletic tight end they selected in the third round last year whose rookie season was wiped out because of a knee injury. Coach Andy Reid knows how to use two athletic tight ends in his offense, and while Anthony Fasano and Sean McGrath are solid, they aren’t dynamic downfield threats. Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a big, athletic guy who looks the part and is projected to go in the second round. But perhaps the 4.56 40-yard dash he reportedly ran in a recent workout is enough to entice teams at the bottom of the first round (like the Chiefs) to take a chance on him.

2. The Chiefs take a quarterback in the first round.

This is a long shot because the Chiefs traded away two second-round picks for Alex Smith. But Reid loves to develop quarterbacks, and he and offensive coordinator Doug Pederson are masters at it. If an intriguing talent such as Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater falls to them at No, 23, perhaps they draft him, let him sit a year behind Alex Smith and hand him the reins if Smith walks as a free agent. Doing so would save the Chiefs millions on the cap in the next five years, which could be intriguing because money could again be tight next offseason if Smith and outside linebacker Justin Houston sign lucrative extensions. The quarterback doesn’t necessarily have to be a first-round guy, either — someone like Georgia’s Aaron Murray has the smarts and short-to-intermediate accuracy to make Reid’s West Coast offense work.

3. What about a trade?

With no second-round pick, it’s safe to say the Chiefs will entertain a trade down. Perhaps the best-case scenario is that one of the top-tier quarterbacks falls and QB-needy teams at the top of the second round try to trade up to bypass Cleveland, which could easily take a quarterback with the No. 26 overall pick. The Chiefs could also restock their supply of picks by trading a veteran such as linebacker Tamba Hali or cornerback Brandon Flowers, but with this draft being so deep, they wouldn’t fetch much in return.

That said, the best way to acquire a premium pick or two is by trading safety Eric Berry, who is young enough (25) and talented enough (three Pro Bowls) to command a nice return. Trading good, young players is always risky, but Berry has cap numbers totaling nearly $20 million the next two seasons and plays a position (strong safety) that is not as important as free safety in defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s scheme. If the Chiefs don’t believe Berry can play free safety, perhaps it’s best to trade him and draft his replacement now. Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said Friday that there are a lot of intriguing box safeties in this draft.

milkman 05-04-2014 07:08 AM

Didn't click on the link, doc.

Who wrote that tripe?

FRCDFED 05-04-2014 08:09 AM

I've mentioned it before but what is Hali's value? A second rounder perhaps? If so, I would try to move him and draft his replacement in this draft. JMO.

cabletech94 05-04-2014 08:20 AM


Originally Posted by milkman (Post 10601162)
Didn't click on the link, doc.

Who wrote that tripe?

terez paylor of your kc star.

planetdoc 05-04-2014 09:39 AM

I should do a better job putting the name of the author when I link stuff. I'll try to do that in the future.

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