NFL Draft 2015: Kansas City Chiefs Team Needs


For a look at the Kansas City Chiefs’ team needs entering the 2015 NFL Draft, I got together with Arrowhead Addict‘s Brett Gering. Below are my questions followed by his answers.

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  • 1. How have the team’s draft needs changed since free agency opened?

    "In trading for Ben Grubbs, John Dorsey filled the void at left guard. However, on the heels of Rodney Hudson‘s departure, the Chiefs have questions at center and right tackle. Cutting Dwayne Bowe and signing Jeremy Maclin also sprung one leak to plug another. Since the latter is expected to be the “Z” receiver, the club will likely be in the market for a bigger-bodied wideout who can line up as the “X” and beat press coverage. Defensively, the safeties’ stock U-turned for the better. Eric Berry‘s future remains up in the air, and Tyvon Branch and Sanders Commings have been plagued by injuries over the past two seasons. But even if you axe those three from the equation, Kansas City is still left with Ron Parker and Husain Abdullah, who anchored the back end of 2014’s No. 2 pass defense.If he feels it’s a bargain, Dorsey might entertain the idea of plucking an early- to mid-round corner—especially since Sean Smith is in a contract season. Furthermore, if the secondary is starving for anything, it’s a slot specialist. The linebacking corps needs help on the interior. Derrick Johnson is rebounding from last year’s Achilles tear and, like Smith, is entering a contract season. The Chiefs re-signed Josh Mauga, but he struggled at his natural position (weak-side inside linebacker, which Johnson will now reclaim) in 2014, and his skill set isn’t typical of a strong-side ‘backer. With Joe Mays—last year’s starting SILB—out of the picture, the Chiefs need to, at the very least, add depth on the inside. Lastly, Dontari Poe, who’s a 340-pound polar bear, has notched 1,970 snaps over the past two seasons, which is borderline inhumane. At some point, Dorsey needs to find a serviceable second-string nose tackle."

    2. What would you say are the top three needs remaining?

    "Right tackle, inside linebacker, wide receiver."

    3. Are there any prospects that have caught your eye so far?

    "Andy Reid usually opts for versatile linemen who can latch onto targets in space, and tackles Brandon Scherff and T.J. Clemmings are two names that fit the bill. Scherff is one of the safer picks in the draft, and while Clemmings is still a work in progress, his ceiling is in the clouds. In terms of pass-catchers, Devante Parker is a perfect match for Reid’s offense. He’s a big-bodied wideout who totes sure hands and (usually) crisp route running. Plus, he understands how to read and react to coverage. Barring a miracle, though, he’s not falling to No. 18. I’m not as high on Jaelen Strong as others are, and though there are a handful of second- to third-round playmakers, the bulk of them are too lean to line up at split end. The wild card is Dorial Green-Beckham. He’s a massive target who oozes with talent, but considering the baggage, snatching him at No. 18 would obviously be a gamble. All things considered, though, Maclin’s injury history is far from blank, and Green-Beckham’s frame is tailor-made for the role of an “X” receiver. Reid has never seen a risk he didn’t like, and his lone trip to the Super Bowl stemmed from taking a flyer on a troubled wideout. Crazier things have happened."

    4. What do you think would make for a successful draft for your team?

    "First and foremost, Kansas City has to shore up its offensive line. The Chiefs are set on the left side—although, this is a make-or-break year for Eric Fisher—but the other three positions are up in the air. Adding weapons is great, but it’s all for nothing if the pocket looks like World War Z.Secondly, as effective as the defense was against the pass last year, it was equally awful in defending the run. The returns of Johnson and Mike DeVito—plus a healthier group of safeties—will be key in reversing the trend, but the former will turn 33 years old this year, and we still don’t know who’s going to be starting beside him. Dorsey would be wise to scour Day 2 or 3 for a potential SILB starter and/or draft Johnson’s future replacement on Day 1. As for pass-catchers, there’s a pretty sizable gap between Green-Beckham and the next-best physical wideout. If Kansas City doesn’t get its guy in Round 1 (assuming Green-Beckham doesn’t fall to Round 2), then Dorsey might target someone like Chris Conley—who’s drastically underrated—on Day 2."

    5. So much draft focus often goes to the first few rounds, but is there something you’d like to see your team do in the later rounds?

    "The Chiefs should be able to get a decent slot CB in the mid-to-late rounds. Outside of that, they could use second-string depth at center (if they don’t draft one prior), tight end, defensive tackle, inside linebacker and cornerback."

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    Next: Post-Free Agency Frenzy 2015 NFL Mock Draft

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