The offseason roster review of the Kansas City Chiefs rolls on today with a look at the corners. Previously, we’ve covered both lines, tight end and the safeties and you can find the links to those posts below. In each post we look at the Kansas City starter(s) and compare them to AFC West rivals, and the same is done here today.
Kansas City is solid at the corners with 25-year old Brandon Flowers grading out very strongly at ESPN’s Scouts Inc. Even though Flowers can mismatched by bigger receivers due to his 5’9” frame, but he plays bigger, jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage and plays the ball well. On the opposite side is Brandon Carr. While not a lockdown corner, Carr is a solid #2 man also able to play physical as his man comes off the ball and provide run support. The scouts would like to see him be less susceptible to double moves.
Denver’s also strong here with one terrific corner and another who’s good enough to be #2. Champ Bailey is still one of the league’s best at age 33, using improved instincts and knowledge to compensate for any loss of speed. Andre Goodman is also 33, and as another corner who’s less than 6’0” he can be beaten with a bigger receiver and Goodman doesn’t have the same ball skills and physical style as Flowers. What Goodman does win praise for his agility, making him especially effective on shorter routes and his willingness to play the run.
Quentin Jammer was once the class of the AFC West at this spot and the San Diego corner is still pretty good, but 32, his own years are starting to catch up with him. He’s still provides excellent run support and his cover skills are there, but he is downgraded—just a little bit—for being less effective at closing the deal with an interception. Antoine Cason is emerging as the top corner at Charger Park these days, with great cover skills. At 25, he still needs better upper body strength, not just for run support, but to leverage himself at the line of scrimmage.
Oakland isn’t bad, but the Raiders are clearly the weakest in the West, relying on Litto Sheppard and Stanford Routt. The former is praised as an intelligent player, but he can’t match up with bigger receivers, while Routt has all the tools, but needs to learn how to harness it. At age 28, how much more upside can there be?
As you look into 2012, you can make a good argument for Denver and San Diego’s corners being better than Kansas City’s, but you can make the same good argument the other way. More important is that if you look at the next 4-5 years, there’s no question it’s the Chiefs who have the best long-term stability at this spot.