2013 NFL Draft: Top 5 Priorities for the Kansas City Chiefs
Top 5 Priorities for the Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs, a two-win team last season, have had one of the best offseasons of any NFL team. First they hired Andy Reid, the top head coach available, and then they traded for Alex Smith, the best of all the second-tier quarterbacks that have changed teams during the offseason. They also managed to hang onto their top wide receiver Dwayne Bowe.
Now the Chiefs will look to put the finishing touches on their 2013 offseason with a good draft. Kansas City is in the unique position of having the first overall pick in the draft in a year where there is no consensus top player available. This has complicated their pre-draft preparations because there are several different players the Chiefs could take with the top overall pick, and how they utilize the first pick will affect what they do with the rest of their picks. The best move they could make would be to trade away the top overall pick in order to accumulate more picks, but without a consensus top overall pick available this year, demand is low for that pick and they wouldn’t get a lot in return for it, so it looks like they’ll have to find a player to take with it.
As you might expect, a team with just two wins last season has a lot of needs to fill, and even after acquiring some players through trades and free agency, there is still a lot of work left to do in the draft. Let’s take a look at some of the positions Kansas City will be focusing on in the draft.
The Chiefs may have traded for Alex Smith, but he’s more of a short-term solution than a long-term answer, so the team is still on the look out for their quarterback of the future. Taking Geno Smith first overall isn’t likely, but it’s not off the table. Kansas City could also use its picks at the top of the second or third round to take a quarterback. If the Chiefs are smart, they won’t have a youngster breathing down Alex Smith’s neck in his first year with the team and they’ll wait until next year to draft a quarterback, but Andy Reid is probably going to want a young player to groom at that position.
4. Offensive Guard
The Chiefs were downright awful along the offensive line last year, and will definitely be looking for more big bodies up front. Kansas City will probably wait until the middle rounds to take an offensive guard, but there should be plenty of good options waiting for them in either the third or fourth round.
3. Free Safety
Kansas City has one of the best cornerback contingents in the league, as well as a Pro-Bowl caliber strong safety in Eric Berry, so all that’s keeping them from a top-notch secondary is a free safety. This is a good year to be looking for a safety, and the Chiefs should definitely look to take one before Day 3.
2. Middle Linebacker
The Chiefs have two elite pass rushing outside linebackers in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, but they’re in need of someone that can play alongside Derrick Johnson at inside linebacker. If they’re lucky, either Manti Te’o or Alec Ogletree could drop far enough to be available for the Chiefs at the start of the second round, which would be ideal. If not, the Chiefs could be hard pressed to fill the void in the middle of their defense.
1. Left Tackle
It’s looking more and more likely that Branden Albert will be traded, which will create a big opening for Kansas City at left tackle. Not so coincidentally, it’s also looking more and more likely that the Chiefs will use the top overall selection to take Luke Joeckel, or possibly Eric Fisher. It may not be the sexy pick, but taking either Joeckel or Fisher would be the smart pick. No matter what happens, the Chiefs need to make sure that by the time the draft is over they have their starting left tackle.