NFL Draft Needs: Chiefs By Evan Silva 54 minutes ago Rotoworld
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.
for a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by team draft preview schedule.
No. 1 Team Need: Offensive Line
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.
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 a 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
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.
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
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.
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.