Related: Pre-Draft Defensive Review
With needs on the offensive and defensive lines, predicting an “ugly” 2012 Draft for the Chiefs is a popular opinion.
And by “ugly,” I mean the first few rounds filled with the “big uglies” – offensive and defensive linemen.
Of course, that’s been the general consensus surrounding GM Scott Pioli’s three drafts with the team and it’s held partially true. Even though the Chiefs have made just one lineman a first-round selection (DE
What does this year’s draft hold in store? Let’s take a look at the Chiefs roster and draft needs heading into this week’s NFL Draft, this time focusing on the offensive side of the football.
Recent Additions: The Chiefs signed veteran
Key Contracts: Cassel’s contract runs through the 2014 season, but much of his guaranteed money was front-loaded into the first three years of the deal he signed prior to the 2009 season.
Draft Needs: Scott Pioli set the media abuzz last week by saying it’s the Chiefs goal to draft a quarterback each year, but the philosophy is nothing new. Pioli has said this plenty of times before.
This year, the Chiefs approach to drafting quarterbacks gained more traction due to Cassel’s season-ending hand injury, the team’s offseason pursuit of Peyton Manning and the possibility of Ryan Tannehill landing with the team in this weekend’s draft.
Cassel will be the Chiefs starting quarterback in 2012. The question is if the Chiefs see a potential franchise quarterback come available when they're on the clock or want to add more immediate competition for the backup job.
Mock Chatter: Ryan Tannehill has had his time in the spotlight, but most assume he’ll be off the board by the time Kansas City selects 11th overall. If Tannehilll is still available at No. 11, this draft could get incredibly interesting when the Chiefs go on the clock.
Position: Running Back
Recent Additions: Kansas City signed veteran
Key Contracts: Outside of Hillis’ one-year deal, the Chiefs running backs are locked up for the future.
Draft Needs: There is room for addition in the Chiefs backfield, but the player will need to factor on special teams. The Chiefs went with four running backs last season and used Jackie Battle as a core-four special teamer. Battle continued to cover kicks even when his offensive role expanded because of injury.
Adding a fullback in the late rounds is also a possibility.
Mock Chatter: Robert Turbin out of Utah State is a popular middle-to-late round name that gets thrown around. Kansas City’s current backfield situation seems to favor the possibility of adding a bigger running back.
Position: Wide Receiver
Draft Needs: The Chiefs have what they hope to be effective options at 1-2-3 with Bowe, Breaston and Baldwin. But who secures the No. 4 job? Who is the leading candidate to step-up and see an expanded role if one of the top-three isn’t available? Who can be groomed into a future starter?
Kansas City shuffled through reserve options last season, particularly at the slot . Adding a receiver at any point in the draft shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Mock Chatter: Most seven-round mock drafts include a receiver in the cards for the Chiefs somewhere between the fourth and seventh round, but Mike Mayock of the NFL Network recently hinted at the Chiefs targeting a wide receiver in the earlier rounds.
One of the most popular names tied to the Chiefs includes Iowa’s Marvin McNutt.
Position: Tight End
Recent Additions: Kansas City added veteran
Key Contracts: Moeaki’s rookie deal runs through 2013.
Draft Needs: The need at tight end saw a significant decrease when the Chiefs added Boss. However, Moeaki’s injury history could entice the team to select a tight end if the value is too good to pass.
Mock Chatter: Local guys generate the most buzz – Michael Egnew out of Missouri and former metro prep standout Drake Dunsmore of Northwestern.
Position: Offensive Line
Recent Additions: The unexpected release and addition of Houston right tackle
Draft Needs: Even with the addition of Winston, offensive line still ranks high on the Chiefs list of needs – both on the interior and exterior. There is little experience backing up any of the five players currently projected into starting roles.
With expiring contracts on the horizon and the need for swing players at tackle and guard/center, Kansas City could select offensive linemen early and often in this year’s draft.
Mock Chatter: Stanford guard David DeCastro is a favorite of both fans and mock drafts. His addition would provide the Chiefs with plenty of pairing options along the interior offensive front. He’s currently the leading vote-getter in KCChiefs.com’s Draft Challenge.
At tackle, Iowa’s Riley Reiff draws chatter because of Kansas City’s connections to the Hawkeye program. Ohio State’s Mike Adams, Stanford’s Jonathan Martin and Florida State’s Zebrie Sanders were all common names mocked to Kansas City prior to the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine.
Recent Additions: None.
Draft Needs: The Chiefs toyed with the idea of using a kickoff specialist last season and even brought one to training camp, claiming Todd Carter off waivers from St. Louis. Ultimately, the Chiefs stuck with just one kicker and Succop responded by finishing inside the NFL’s top-10 in touchback percentage (55.4%).
If the Chiefs bring in another lookie-lou, it won’t come via the draft.
Mock Chatter: None.