NFL Kansas City Chiefs

5 NFL Draft Prospects Who Could Be Instant Starters For Kansas City Chiefs

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5 Draft Prospects Who Could Instantly Start For Kansas City Chiefs

5 Draft Prospects Who Could Instantly Start For Kansas City Chiefs
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

After starting the year on a nine game winning streak, a first-round exit in the playoffs capped off a disappointing end to the 2013 NFL season for the Kansas City Chiefs. They won games early because of their stout defense, but when they faced better competition, their secondary folded and allowed opposing teams to score 35+ points in five of their last seven games.

Although an 11-5 season in a coaches first year is normally seen as a sign of good things to come, the Chiefs were exposed late in the season and could have trouble reaching the playoffs in 2014.

The free agency period hasn’t even begun yet and the Chiefs are already hovering near the estimated salary cap limit of $126 million. They just released cornerback Dunta Robinson to save some money, but they already appear to be on the path to losing the majority of their soon-to-be free agents.

This means the Chiefs will have to be smart on draft day and possibly make a deal to acquire more picks. They do have a glaring hole at wide receiver that will likely be filled early in the draft, but must also add to their secondary in order to combat the dangerous passing attacks of the AFC West.

While they won’t be able to draft all of the following five NFL prospects, the Chiefs should take a close look at each player, as they all could be starters from Day 1.

Nick Baker is a contributing writer for Rant Sports and you can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Eric Ebron, TE, UNC

No. 5 Eric Ebron, TE, UNC
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs need an offensive playmaker, and although their current tight ends aren’t chumps, Eric Ebron is a player who could start right away and make a noticeable impact. The west coast offense the Chiefs run uses plenty of run blocking and short passes, meaning they can use two tight end sets and let Ebron flash his athleticism and speed as he becomes one of the teams leading receivers.

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4. Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor

No. 4 Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Right guard Jon Asamoah is about to become a free agent, and with left guard Jeff Allen having a disappointing sophomore season, the Chiefs could be looking for a guard in either the second or third round.

With running the ball key to the success of the Chiefs, targeting Cyril Richardson, or some other big bodied guard, should be a priority for the Chiefs.

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3. Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

No. 3 Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

As I stated earlier, the Chiefs need an offensive playmaker to pair up with Jamaal Charles. Jordan Matthews is that man, as he burst onto the scene this season by making big plays and showing his speed and elusiveness after the catch. His strong hands helped him reel in 112 catches this season, and with underrated top end speed, he could be a player who experiences a boost to his draft stock during the Combine. The Chiefs may need to use their first round pick on Matthews, but he’s a player who could start opposite Dwayne Bowe and thrive in their west coast offensive scheme.

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2. Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

No. 2 Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Simply put, Jason Verrett is one of the best defensive playmakers in the 2014 draft class. Not only could he start for the Chiefs immediately, but his services could be used by every team in the NFL. Many say that if he was an inch or two taller, he’d be a top 10 pick. With an attacking style defense, they could benefit from putting Verrett on his own island with an opposing wide receiver where his impressive ball skills will lead to countless deflections and interceptions.

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1. Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

No. 1 Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Just like Ebron and Matthews, Brandin Cooks is a run after the catch type of player who would immediately help quarterback Alex Smith. Cooks and De’Anthony Thomas are the two shiftiest players in the coming draft, but Cooks is the more established receiver who can turn nothing into something because of how quick and deceiving he is. Despite being just 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, he was able to total 128 receptions for an NCAA leading 1,730 yards this past season and is a borderline first round talent at the moment.