5 Players Who Should Be On Kansas City Chiefs’ Board For 2014 NFL Draft
2014 NFL Draft: Who Should Be On The Chiefs' Board?
The Kansas City Chiefs had a great season that was a total surprise to basically everyone aside from Keyshawn Johnson and the Chiefs faithful gathered outside of Arrowhead Stadium at 7 a.m. on Sundays. Their transformation from worst team in the NFL to its last undefeated team is among one of the greatest turnarounds in the history of football.
The ousting of Scott Pioli and addition of Andy Reid did wonders for a fan base that was starting to lose confidence in Kansas City's front office and coaching staff. Reid brought more than a recognizable name and great mustache to the organization; he brought his offensive expertise and calm demeanor to a franchise desperately seeking leadership.
While the season as a whole was more successful than most could've imagined, the Chiefs ended the year allowing the second-largest comeback in NFL postseason history to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. Kansas City exited the AFC Playoffs still not having won a playoff game in the last 20 years.
Kansas City completely broke down especially on the defensive side of the ball, a unit that had been among the league's best for the majority of the season. Their secondary was embarrassed as Luck moved the ball downfield quicker than Tom Brady running the two-minute drill.
If there was any good to come out of the Chiefs' first-round loss, it's that fans and management got a great look at what improvements need to be made at which positions before the next season. A weak secondary and a questionable pass offense should be among Kansas City fans' main concerns. It's never too early to start looking at next year, so here are five players who should be on the Chiefs' draft board come April.
5. QB Derek Carr -- Fresno State
Hear me out here. I know Smith has done an excellent job this year managing the Chiefs' offense this year, but he just isn't the guy to lead the Chiefs to a Super Bowl. Running back lifespans are growing increasingly short these days, and Jamaal Charles may only have one or two years of premium production left in him. Having a quarterback capable of opening up the field and taking some of the load off Charles for these years will be crucial. Carr (5,082 yards, 50 TDs, eight INT at Fresno State) has the arm and the moxie for me to think he could be the Chiefs' man.
4. DE Trent Murphy -- Stanford
While the secondary only began to falter late in the season, the Kansas City rush defense had never been there to begin with. Murphy has been super impressive this year at Stanford. A converted linebacker, Murphy is 6-foot-6, 261 pounds and runs a 4.8 40-yard dash. Opposing rushers would be weary coming up the middle in 2014 to see Murphy and Dontari Poe ready to pounce.
3. S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix -- Alabama
By far the most concerning aspect of Kansas City's game, their defensive secondary must make some serious changes. If Clinton-Dix slips to Kansas City in the first round, he could be part of the solution to this glaring problem. Clinton-Dix has a prototypical safety frame, is freakishly athletic, and has shown great awareness and instinct over his last two seasons at Alabama. Eric Berry and Clinton-Dix could be one of the top safety duos in the league for quite some time if the Chiefs choose to go this route.
2. WR Kelvin Benjamin -- Florida State
There comes a time when you need to know when to let a good thing go ... especially when that good thing happens to be a bad thing anyway. It hasn't been a good fit for Dwayne Bowe or the Chiefs, and it's time the two sides parted ways. Benjamin has been a beast at Florida State this year, recording 957 yards while averaging 19.1 yards per catch. Benjamin has three inches on Bowe, and there isn't a considerable drop-off in speed from Bowe to Benjamin. Ditching Bowe would save Kansas City money and provide a much-needed deep threat for the Chiefs.
1. CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu -- Oregon
While the safety position could use some fine-tuning, the Chiefs' second cornerback position needs a new engine. Ekpre-Olomu should be available for the Chiefs late in the first round, and they'd be wise to swoop him up. He's been a playmaker for the Oregon defense over the past two seasons, and plays very physically against opposing wideouts. An additional plus that is Ekpre-Olomu doesn't give up the big play that's haunted Kansas City cornerbacks this entire season.
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