There are few remaining options in NFL free agency for anyone right now, and while I think the Kansas City Chiefs are well-situated enough that they don’t have to make a move—and indeed, should exercise great caution, there are moves that fit both the goal of caution and incremental improvement. Nose tackle can be one of them.
ESPN’s AFC West blogger Bill Williamson proposes possible free agent fits for the division’s teams and his suggestion for Kansas City is Aubrayo Franklin, a nine-year veteran who spent last season with the New Orleans Saints. Franklin would be a nice fit in Kansas City.
The nose in the 3-4 scheme is one of the few remaining obvious holes Kansas City has—in fact, it’s the only clear weakness the team has. It’s a manageable flaw in a 3-4 scheme and therefore not unthinkable for the Chiefs to go into the season with the notion of just taking their chances. It’s also very realistic to fix the nose in the NFL draft, as Memphis’ Dontari Poe has seen his stock rise and is now ranked right around where the Chiefs will draft at #11. But an incremental solution in free agency clearly relieves some urgency at the spot.
Franklin won’t make any Pro Bowls and he won’t singlehandedly tie up three blockers, but he can be a competent fit at the position. He’d be enough to survive with if the Chiefs want to look elsewhere in the draft, and he could help with depth if general manager Scott Pioli wants to further address this area. Either way, as long as the financial commitment required is not steep—and I can’t think of any reason it would be—it’s worth it for Pioli to place a call to Franklin.