Kansas City Chiefs Team Needs: Draft Wrap Up
Kansas City Chiefs Team Needs
After the NFL Draft, teams have few options to address roster needs. They can trade for a player, which usually requires a fairly large investment. They can hope that one of the players currently on their roster develops into a quality starter or depth to shore up a weak spot. Or they can hope that one of their undrafted free agents proves to be a diamond in the rough and gives them a good return on a small investment. As training camp approaches, the last few spots on every roster become important because those depth players often provide insurance in case of injury to starters.
Following the draft, the Chiefs still have question marks at several positions. Having traded down out of the first round, it doesn’t look like Kansas City necessarily got a day-one star at any position. It’s possible, however, that their picks pan out and some of their players develop throughout the offseason into serviceable starters.
The Chiefs didn’t do much to address the safety position, which was a pretty pressing need before the draft. In late March, they had picked up veteran journeymen Jimmy Wilson and Stevie Brown; Wilson was released after the draft. Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s success has depended on a set of versatile safeties filling multiple roles. It looks like the Chiefs are depending on one of the players on the roster stepping into the starting role at the third safety spot.
2. Offensive Guard
Left guard Jeff Allen was picked up by the Houston Texans in free agency and right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif left a lot to be desired in 2015; after signing Mitchell Schwartz to take the right tackle spot, Jah Reid can move inside to one of the guard spots. Reid looked good in limited action at guard last season, but Duvernay-Tardif has a lot of room for improvement. The Chiefs grabbed offensive lineman Parker Ehinger out of the University of Cincinnati in the fourth round of the draft; he is a technically sound pass blocker but lacks nastiness in run blocking and has low athleticism. Assuming left tackle Eric Fisher, center Mitch Morse, and right tackle Mitchell Schwartz are locks to start, and Jah Reid is close to a lock for one of the guard spots, there is still a weakness on the Chiefs’ line. It looks like head coach Andy Reid trusts that one of his depth/development guys will take the spot by the end of the summer.
The Chiefs drafted three cornerbacks this year: KeiVarae Russell from Notre Dame in the 3rd, Eric Murray from Minnesota in the 4th, and DJ White from Georgia Tech in the 6th. Still, they’re in need of a starter opposite Marcus Peters. Russell looks the most likely to start if he is back to peak shape after a leg fracture that truncated his 2015 season. Murray and White might actually develop into a solid set of corners, with Murray potentially taking a slot corner spot early in the season. However, as of yet none of them are proven NFL quality players. The Chiefs will need them to develop.
The Chiefs have plenty of bodies to throw at these three positions, but some are either unproven at the NFL level or have shown that they need to improve by a large amount in order to provide quality play. Look for some heavy competition for these spots throughout the offseason.
Augustine Harmon is a Staff Writer for ProFootballSpot.com, @pfspot on Twitter. He covers the Kansas City Chiefs and the NFL Draft, and can be found at @34GusBus griping about how the spread offense is ruining football.