Kansas City Chiefs 2012 NFL Draft Needs
The Kansas City Chiefs owned a 10-6 record and a spot in the NFL Playoffs two years ago. Fast forward to the present, and their head coach (Todd Haley) is out, and their supposed franchise quarterback (Matt Cassel) is being second-guessed by his organization.
There’s a new vibe with the defensive-minded Romeo Crennel taking over the reigns, and there’s a notion floating around that the Chiefs could be fairly unpredictable in this draft. They could go anywhere from offensive line, to defensive tackle, to outside linebacker, or even quarterback.
Those are just a few of the needs they could address early. Here’s a look at all of their team needs and what they might do in the 2012 NFL Draft:
Offensive Needs: QB, OL
I hear someone say that if the Chiefs had a legit quarterback, they’d be division champs and have a real shot at winning next year’s Super Bowl. Based off of how their rush offense and defense looks, I’d have to agree that’s at least possible.
Unfortunately, they have the average and inconsistent Matt Cassel. He has the size and tools to get the job done, but he’s never been overly accurate or consistent, and I’m just not sold on him being the future of any franchise – let alone the Chiefs.
This fact could prompt the Chiefs to grab Ryan Tannehill if he falls to them at 11, or simply trade up for him. They do appear to like him, but they’ll have to be smitten with him to make that kind of move. I’m not entirely sold on that even being possible at this point, but I do think drafting a big, interesting talent like Brock Osweiler in the second round is a possibility. If not Osweiler, maybe a cerebral guy like Brandon Weeden, who could come in and compete with Cassel right away.
Other than quarterback, the biggest issue on offense for the Chiefs is their offensive line. They brought in Eric Winston to shore up the line, but they still need depth and could go get a guard, as Casey Weigmann is “likely” to retire.
Another area of concern, though to a lesser degree, is tight end. Tony Moeaki is a solid talent but he’s not overly explosive and he is coming off of a serious knee injury. He’ll likely be even less explosive, while Kevin Boss isn’t really a difference-maker. Orson Charles could be a nice athletic find for the position in the third or fourth round, while they’d have to at least look at Coby Fleener if they have a shot at him in round two.
Defensive Needs: NT, OLB, CB
Outside of maybe finding an upgrade for quarterback, KC’s biggest issues are actually on defense, despite it being their strong suit. However, Kelly Gregg is ancient on the inside of the defensive line, and they need to think about depth and the future at the position. That’s why I love KC to go nose tackle with their first pick. I could be Dontari Poe, Michael Brockers, or maybe even Devon Still. One way or another, KC needs to make sure that run defense is rock solid.
On a side note, the Chiefs could shock everyone and beef up their inside line-backing with Luke Kuechly, simply because he’d (arguably) be the best overall talent available (if he’s there). Just an interesting thought.
Outside of their defensive line and Kuechly, the Chiefs could use another pass-rushing specialist. They have quality starters on both sides, but they need more depth. If they don’t see the guy they like at nose tackle early, they could pick-up Courtney Upshaw or Melvin Ingram if they’re around in the first. Nick Perry could be a possibility if he slips into the second, or if KC trades down.
If they opt for their pass-rusher in the second or third round, they could be looking at Oklahoma’s Ronnell Lewis.
Cornerback looks to be okay in the starting lineup despite losing Brandon Carr, but the Chiefs should still acquire some depth. Look for them to grab a corner in rounds 4-5 and also look at an inside linebacker in the later rounds, as well.
Kevin Roberts owns and operates NFL Soup and heads the fantasy football division of the site. Roberts also finished 2nd in the Wide Receiver position in Fantasy Pros expert fantasy football rankings in 2010 and 3rd in the Quarterback position in 2011. In addition to running the fantasy football section of the site, Roberts contributes to NFL Soup's NFL Draft coverage and breaking news reporting. Follow Kevin on Twitter @NFLSoupKevin