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Team needs: Kansas City Chiefs

Romeo Crennel AP

ACL tears robbed Kansas City of three of its top players in 2011, and the season seemed lost until the club reeled off three wins in its final five games, including a sparkling Week Fifteen upset of the Green Bay Packers. The late-season victories and returns of Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, and Tony Moeaki give Kansas City reason for 2012 optimism.

Defensive line: Ends Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson are both entering what amount to contract years (Jackson is owed a $14.72 million salary in 2013), and the only legitimate nose tackle on Kansas City’s roster is 2011 sixth-round pick Jerrell Powe. The Chiefs are commonly connected to Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe in mock drafts, but they may opt for a “safer” pick at No. 11 overall. They need an impact year-one nose tackle to clog lanes up front.

Inside Linebacker: Derrick Johnson has developed into one of the league’s top inside ‘backers, but the Chiefs need two of them to execute coach Romeo Crennel’s 3-4 scheme. Jovan Belcher is a replacement-level player who’s caused just one turnover in two seasons as a starter and comes off the field on passing downs. A linebacker capable of blowing up opposing lead blocks could shore up Kansas City’s defensive interior. Alabama’s Dont’a Hightower would certainly fit the bill if he’s available in the second round. A more realistic draft target might be Nevada’s James-Michael Johnson.

QuarterbackThe Chiefs will run a ground-and-pound offense under Crennel and new play-caller Brian Daboll. They are installing a zone-blocking scheme to cater to new right tackle Eric Winston’s strengths, and signed Peyton Hillis away from Cleveland to complement Charles in the backfield. Matt Cassel can play the game-manager role, but his consistency has been openly questioned by Crennel, and Cassel is not a quarterback capable of carrying Kansas City deep into the playoffs. If Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill falls to the 11th pick, G.M. Scott Pioli will surely give him a long look.

Offensive line: Kansas City has five solid starters in Branden Albert, Winston, Jon Asamoah, Ryan Lilja, and new center Rodney Hudson. Lilja and Albert are in contract years, however, and Asamoah’s deal lasts only through 2013. For a team built on running the football, talent infusion in the front five should be among Pioli and Crennel’s priorities in the middle rounds of the draft.

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37 Responses to “Team needs: Kansas City Chiefs”
  1. h3min1230 says: Apr 15, 2012 3:48 PM

    11-5

  2. jeffz303 says: Apr 15, 2012 3:50 PM

    With the 11th pick in the 2012 NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select . . . David DeCastro, Guard, Stanford.

  3. grbacgravy says: Apr 15, 2012 3:51 PM

    Evidently Silva doesn’t watch a lot of Chiefs games (although to be honest, there hasn’t been a lot TO watch for anyone other than us diehards lately)…KC has run a zone-scheme since 2009. In fact, a lot of Chiefs fans speculate that coach Bicknell could bring more man or power-zone concepts into the mix. Having Winston (and Ryan Lilja) ensures that zone will make up a big part of the system, though.

  4. urfinished says: Apr 15, 2012 3:56 PM

    Solid foundation but a real good example it’s a QB driven league.
    Brandon Flowers would be a star in a larger market.

  5. trbowman says: Apr 15, 2012 4:01 PM

    They don’t need a QB, they’ve got Brady Quinn. Just need to give him a shot to beat out Cassel and he will.

  6. Tarkus says: Apr 15, 2012 4:03 PM

    The Chiefs have already been running a ZBS, so there’s nothing to install for Winston, though I’m sure the new OL coach will have his own wrinkles.

  7. raiderredleg says: Apr 15, 2012 4:07 PM

    Still don’t understand why Peyton didn’t give KC more consideration…As a Raider fan even I will admit the Chiefs are one decent QB away from being able to contend for the AFC West crown year in and year out.

    BTW…If they do keep Cassel they definitely need to find a real back up QB…Watching Tyler Palko reminded me of the year Gannon went down for good and had to stomach Rick Meier finishing out the 2003 season.

  8. 6ball says: Apr 15, 2012 4:08 PM

    .

    A better roster than you think.

    .

  9. radrhatr says: Apr 15, 2012 4:10 PM

    DeCastro or Keuchley. Sat NO to Poe!!!

  10. truthassassin says: Apr 15, 2012 4:10 PM

    The key to the Chiefs’ future is… a new quarterback!! Out with Cassel, AKA, “the Chin” (have you seen his NFL pic? That is a massive chin!)… Otherwise, this team is pretty much ready to go… But, looks like they’ll give the Chin one more year to succeed, so they should at least grab a good OLinemen who can get experience for next year’s new QB…

  11. truthassassin says: Apr 15, 2012 4:10 PM

    Happy Birthday babes! ;)

  12. chuckxx says: Apr 15, 2012 4:19 PM

    They need to trade down a few spots and pick up somebodys 2nd rounder. All the true Primo stars will be gone by #11 anyway. Pioli loves to trade down a few notches and I bet he does it again.

  13. damnyoulinelliot says: Apr 15, 2012 4:20 PM

    Team needs: Matt Cassel waived.

  14. damnyoulinelliot says: Apr 15, 2012 4:22 PM

    Thank god Romeo is our coach. This defense is going to unleash the fury.

  15. illiniftw says: Apr 15, 2012 4:24 PM

    I don’t get why the media wants so many teams to reach for Tannehill so high. I haven’t actually looked, but I doubt many drafts have had 3 legitimate franchise QB’s and you need a legit starter in the 1st round

  16. seatownballers says: Apr 15, 2012 4:26 PM

    Decastro offers the most value and production at pick eleven. Many other options, but he is the safest

  17. vols84 says: Apr 15, 2012 5:23 PM

    What is the obsession over Tanneyhill? Did anyone besides me actually watch A&M play this year? Don’t remember him ever being that good.

  18. Max says: Apr 15, 2012 5:30 PM

    Chiefs are certainly in a very good position. They got a damn fine roster. I won’t bother looking at Tannehill though. The author is spot on with his first instincts, Chiefs should get their NT (Poe) or get ILB (Luke Kuechly). I would say take a look at Michael Floyd if those two aren’t on the board, but Chiefs are also already good at the WR position. They may get a guard if NT or ILB is off the board in first. But they should not even consider drafting Tannehill, I am not endorsing Cassell but Tannehill is a wasted pick at this point in their roster development.

    Either Poe/Kuechly/Floyd should fall to them, but they may by-pass Floyd for a Guard.

  19. sturmbb says: Apr 15, 2012 5:58 PM

    The Chiefs are in the position to draft the best players available. They have solid starters everywhere, but no one who couldn’t be replaced. Even Charles may not return at 100%. I can say without much doubt that they will not reach for Tannehill. The KC management team will take a value pick on the line or on the defensive front 7.

  20. bigdawg24 says: Apr 15, 2012 6:03 PM

    Glenn Dorsey + Tyson Jackson * Cassel = Another year of Depression for Kansas City Cheaps fans.

  21. bigdawg24 says: Apr 15, 2012 6:05 PM

    After picks like Dorsey, Jackson, Baldwin – this is the least exciting draft of all time.

    The Cheaps did good on Eric Berry, he was a good fluke.

    When they have to pay him, he will be gone like Brandon Carr.

  22. mungman69 says: Apr 15, 2012 6:09 PM

    Brady Quinn? You’ve got to be kidding.

  23. yelix says: Apr 15, 2012 6:13 PM

    If everyone stays healthy and plays well, Cassel has no excuse to not succeed. The new offensive line will give him enough time, and he has a complete receiving corps. I imagine he’s on a pretty short leash.

  24. southie905 says: Apr 15, 2012 6:32 PM

    bigdawg24

    After picks like Dorsey, Jackson, Baldwin – this is the least exciting draft of all time.

    The Cheaps did good on Eric Berry, he was a good fluke.

    When they have to pay him, he will be gone like Brandon Carr.

    ——

    Berry is already one of the highest paid players at his position in the league…im not sure what you are talking about.

  25. eddiemeredith says: Apr 15, 2012 7:05 PM

    Decastro is an incredible offensive guard. Probably the best since Steve Hutchinson. It would be a prudent selection because Lilja is going into his contract year and he is old and although he is playing well he is going to go downhill really soon. It remains to be seen if Baldwin will workout but the real problem is mediocrity at QB. A great running game, which they are sure to have, is a fantastic tool but there is no replacing a great QB.

    Anyways, If they get Decastro it would force Asamoah into backup duties this year (or possibly lilja). They would probably have the best offensive line in the league with that addition and would have 4 core offensive linemen for the future (Alberts, Decastro, Asamoah and Hudson) with two excellent vets (Lilja and Winston).

  26. vols84 says: Apr 15, 2012 7:06 PM

    Berry a fluke? I don’t think so, scooter.

  27. eddiemeredith says: Apr 15, 2012 7:08 PM

    In the highly possible event that Decastro is off the board they ought to pickup the Best Value at NT, or LB. If they could get a truely elite passrusher for Hali to work with they would have a top pass defense.

  28. bobrobert48 says: Apr 15, 2012 7:30 PM

    I’m no expert,but from what I have been reading Dorsey and Jackson were the top DE as far as stopping the run! I was at traing camp last year and saw Jerrel Powe.He was all over the place. I think we should draft either DeCasto or Kuechly at 11.If they aren’t available trade back and take a good nose tackle,possibly Still and pick up a guard in the 2nd. We also good get Hightower if he was still available in the late 1st round. Cassel will manage a good team,but I don’t believe he could take us to a Super Bowl. We probably should wait until next year to find a Quarterback!

  29. chiefsfan88 says: Apr 15, 2012 8:47 PM

    I like how you call us cheap and say when we have to pay berry they won’t clearly you don’t want football he’s the highest paid safety in NFL history

  30. raiderapologist says: Apr 15, 2012 10:31 PM

    bobrobert48 says: Apr 15, 2012 7:30 PM

    I’m no expert,but from what I have been reading Dorsey and Jackson were the top DE as far as stopping the run!

    That’s a lot like saying, “For a top 5 left tackle, Robert Gallery was a pretty good guard.” Even in a 3-4, the Chiefs don’t get what they paid for with those guys. But it’s only April, and everyone except Miami and the Ohio teams still have a chance. The Chiefs have some nice pieces. And Matt Cassel. It should be interesting.

  31. sullijo1 says: Apr 15, 2012 11:55 PM

    The Chiefs haven’t won a playoff game in 19 years…maybe this year will be their year. Wait, never mind.

  32. trubroncfan07 says: Apr 16, 2012 1:54 AM

    Sounds like a a bunch of what if’s to me.

  33. mrgdawg says: Apr 16, 2012 8:30 AM

    Big 12 QB’s dont convert to NFL QBs. Tannehill will be a bust. And yes i know Gabbert is a ‘starter’ , but that is just making my point.

  34. andyreiddoublecheeseburger says: Apr 16, 2012 12:50 PM

    1. QB
    2. Head Coach
    3. GM
    4. Lamar Hunt to rise from the dead, and bring Hank Stram with him.

  35. clifforday says: Apr 16, 2012 6:47 PM

    DeCastro: No way.
    Poe: No way.
    Kuekley: No way.

    Answer: OLB or Jerrel Worthy, DT, MSU.

  36. laserrocketarm12 says: Apr 17, 2012 2:02 AM

    Wasn’t Cassell a pro bowler in 2010? Threw almost 30 TDs? That wasn’t forever ago, so it’s not like his skills have sharply declined or anything.

    With Quinn and Ricky Stanzi already there, I don’t understand the reasoning as to why they’d select a QB, Tannehill nonetheless, with their top pick.

  37. chiefsfaninpa says: Apr 22, 2012 11:59 AM

    I would draft Kuechly if he is still available at 11, if not then I would try to trade back in the first round and hope to pick up another pick in this years draft. I hope that they don’t pick up Ryan Tannehill, seems like the last few years the QB’s that have come out of the Big 12 haven’t done that well since most of them played in a spread offense and have to adjust to the pro style offense. So if I am drafting and I can pick up a QB, I would hope that Kirk Cousins is available in 2nd, preferably the 3d round and choose him. I don’t think that they should choose Dontari Poe out of Memphis St.

    According to Arrowhead Pride website of the players that KC has had in for a visit, the 1st, 2nd and 3d round potential players that have been in have been Dontari Poe, Ryan Tannehill, Brock Osweiler, Jerrel Worthy, Michael Brockers, Chandler Jones, and a few others obvious players like Luck and RGIII. I think that they will take DT Michael Brockers out of LSU in the 1st round. If they do take a QB, it will be either Kirk Cousins or Brock Osweiler in the 2nd or hopefully the 3d round .

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