Here’s a look at the perceived draft needs of the Kansas City Chiefs, with heavy input from Matt Miller and David Gardner of NewEraScouting.com.
Left Tackle: The Chiefs claimed on waivers free agent Anthony Alabi, cut by the Dolphins, and perhaps he can supplant 2007 free-agent addition Damion McIntosh at left tackle. But is either guy really the right guy to protect the quarterback’s blind side? Solid left tackles never come available on the open market, because their teams will never let them get away.
Jake Long would be the ideal pick at No. 5 overall, but it’s unlikely that he’ll still be on the board. Ryan Clady of Boise State is a very athletic pass protector and has the talent to become a franchise left tackle, but he may be a reach at No. 5. Should the team wait until round two, they could find Barry Richardson (Clemson) or Jeff Otah (Pitt) waiting to be plucked from the board.
Quarterback: There are some who believe that Brodie Croyle is the future of this team, but he hasn’t done much in the present to justify it. The Chiefs could opt to go with Matt Ryan at No. 5.
Then again, some believe that G.M. Carl Peterson likes Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm, whose stock is sliding. Brohm could be on the board when the Chiefs use their second-round selection.
Wide receiver: Dwayne Bowe looks like a future Pro Bowler. Opposite him, the team could be relying on Devard Darling, a free agent pick up from Baltimore, who never has fulfilled his promise. Jeff Webb has shown ability, but he is not consistent and struggles to separate. Samie Parker, Eddie Drummond, and Bobby Sippio are journeymen at best; Parker and Drummond are free agents and likely won’t return.
The draft this year is deep at the position, and it would allow them to add more weapons to an offense that has a lot of young pieces in place. Looking at the third round, the Chiefs could find players such as Early Doucet (LSU) and Adrian Arrington (Michigan) on their board. Both are productive receivers who have shown up in big games against top competition.
Cornerback: Ty Law is long gone, leaving an opening at left cornerback. Patrick Surtain is on his last legs as a starter and there is little talent behind him. Second-stringer from 2007 Benny Sapp recently bolted for Minnesota. Cornerback could be the team’s first pick this year; regardless, it’s a need they’ll definitely address at some point in the draft.
Players being linked to K.C. are Antoine Cason (Arizona), a talented cover-two style corner, Patrick Lee (Auburn), Aqib Talib (Kansas), and Zack Bowman (Nebraska).
Center: Casey Weigmann left for Denver, leaving the Chiefs with no clear-cut replacement on hand. With free-agent Justin Hartwig choosing Pittsburgh, the Chiefs could look for a starter in the draft. Adam Spieker from nearby Missouri is a player the team was scouting heavily during the 2007 season. The Chiefs’ zone-blocking scheme also favors mobile centers like Doug Legursky and Mike Pollak.
Then again, there’s a chance that the Chiefs will go with Rudy Niswanger as the starter.
Defensive line: Jared Allen will be back, barring a trade of the franchise player. Allen will be joined by second-year players Turk McBride and Tank Tyler at tackle, and Tamba Hali on the other end. There’s a lot of talent in this group, but not much depth. McBride has also bounced between end and tackle. Ron Edwards and Alfonso Boone offer some, but are not stars.
Tight end: Kris Wilson has bolted, leaving no experience behind 32-year-old Pro Bowler Tony Gonzalez. Gonzalez has been healthy throughout his career, but the team relies heavily on him in the red zone. Lining up a potential replacement will help the team immensely down the road.
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