Edwards says Chiefs haven’t finished building their roster
By ADAM TEICHER
The recently concluded draft might eventually be defined for the Chiefs not by what they achieved, but what they failed to accomplish.
They had wanted to add at wide receiver and build quality and depth on the defensive line. They feel they tackled both with Saturday’s selections of wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and defensive linemen Turk McBride and DeMarcus “Tank” Tyler.
But their biggest predraft goal was to fortify at cornerback, where they have the aging Ty Law and Patrick Surtain and little else of substance. Not one of the seven players they selected, including the four on Sunday as the draft concluded, is capable of playing cornerback.
When the draft was finished, the Chiefs acknowledged this was their biggest failure of the weekend.
“The corners went early, as we expected,” vice president Bill Kuharich said. “It seems like we were always trying to play catch-up. When we got to the second day, we didn’t have a fourth(-round pick) so we had to watch all of these players come off the board. We had some corners targeted in four, five and seven but once again, when it came time to pick, some of the guys we targeted (were gone). That happens sometimes. You get behind schedule on a position and you don’t get an opportunity to draft one.”
Their quest began to unravel in the first round Saturday when the corner they wanted, Aaron Ross of Texas was selected three spots ahead by the New York Giants.
Their best chance at a cornerback came in the third round when they could have selected Tennessee’s Jonathan Wade, a player the Chiefs liked.
But they didn’t like him as much as Tyler. Now the Chiefs are stuck hoping Law and Surtain hold up at least one more season and at least one capable cornerback is released by another team.
“There are a lot of different ways you can get players,” coach Herm Edwards said. “It’s not over yet. Our team at this point is not the team you’re going to see on opening day. There are a lot of things that will happen between now and training camp.”
The Chiefs believe they have two of the best pass-covering linebackers in Derrick Johnson and the reacquired Donnie Edwards. They are hopeful that the free-agent signing of defensive tackle Alfonso Boone, the drafting of McBride and Tyler and the return of ends Jared Allen and Tamba Hali will give them a greatly improved pass rush.
“If you want to help your secondary, you have to put pressure on the quarterback,” Edwards said. “Now we’ve done a pretty good job of really stacking this defensive line. We’ve got a great rotation, and we’ve got some guys that we feel can get after the quarterback.”
The Chiefs remain thin on the offensive line, where Will Shields recently retired and the availability of right tackle Chris Terry could be threatened by legal issues. But the Chiefs drafted only one lineman, Herb Taylor of Texas Christian in the sixth round.
Taylor, a college tackle, eventually could be switched to guard. He appears to be at least a year away from helping.
The Chiefs added to their depth at running back with the fifth-round selection of Louisville’s Kolby Smith. They may have improved at kicker with the choice later in that round of UCLA’s Justin Medlock, who should win the job from incumbent Lawrence Tynes.
The Chiefs also drafted a tight end, Michael Allan, from tiny Whitworth College, who doesn’t figure to put a scare into Tony Gonzalez any time soon.
The Chiefs may or may not be a better team than they were immediately before the draft. But, either way, they’re still not a complete team.
“We filled some needs,” Edwards said. “Did we fill all of them? No. But you can’t do that in the draft unless you have 20 picks. You have to do what the board dictates you do, and you have to get a little lucky at certain positions.”