We begin our analysis of each team’s draft needs with a look at the Kansas City Chiefs, who hold the No. 1 overall selection and have eight picks overall — but lack a second-round selection after the trade for quarterback Alex Smith:
Offensive tackle: The Chiefs gave left tackle Branden Albert the franchise tag, but it seems they are open to considering moving him in the right deal. Even if the Chiefs keep Albert, drafting a top left tackle prospect like Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel or Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher makes a lot of sense. Albert is signed for just one more season, and he prefers left tackle, not right tackle.
Running back: The Chiefs have a clear-cut featured back in Jamaal Charles. However, the depth behind Charles needs improvement. Kansas City doesn’t necessarily need to address this position early in the draft, given how running backs are valued these days, but adding a back — perhaps one with a little more bulk than Charles — would be wise. The good news for Chiefs fans? The Eagles showed a sharp eye for running back talent throughout Andy Reid’s tenure as head coach.
Inside linebacker: Here’s another position where the Chiefs have a building block (in this case, Derrick Johnson) and some questions otherwise. Also, just like at running back, positional value would suggest inside linebacker is more likely to be addressed on the second or third day of the draft.
Outside linebacker: The Chiefs are set here entering 2013 with Justin Houston and Tamba Hali. However, they need to begin preparing for the future at the position. Hali has been productive (62.5 sacks) and dependable (two missed games in seven seasons), but he will be 30 in November. He has two years left on his deal, as does Houston — who comes off a 10-sack season in 2012 and figures to garner a big-time second contract, considering the value of pass rushers. The Chiefs might want to add a mid-round prospect and groom him for 2015. You can never have enough pass-rush help.
Tight end: It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Chiefs drafted a tight end even after signing Anthony Fasano in free agency. Tony Moeaki enters the final year of his contract, and more options at the position wouldn’t be a bad idea. Reid’s draft history suggests tight end might be more of a third-day consideration. The majority of tight ends selected in Reid’s Philadelphia tenure came off the board in Round Five or later.
We have seen far worse holders of the No. 1 pick than the 2013 Chiefs. This is a team that had a half-dozen Pro Bowl representatives in January — and all of them are still on the roster. Still, they have some work to do in April. With a good draft, a climb out of the cellar in the AFC West wouldn’t shock anyone, especially with the Raiders and Chargers trying to climb back into contention themselves. Finally, the Smith trade opens some options for the Chiefs. They don’t need a quarterback this year. If any team falls in love with a prospect, the Chiefs shouldn’t let the call go to voicemail.