The Chiefs reeled in a big fish last week signing free agent right tackle
It was a solid first wave of free agency for the Chiefs and the team is being praised accordingly by local and national media outlets.
Even so, the Chiefs aren’t done signing players. There’s still a lot of work to be done.
Free agency’s second wave will likely see the Chiefs make defensive additions and address depth issues on both sides of the football. A look at the current roster makeup shows several remaining areas of need.
Offensive Line: Eric Winston was a huge catch, but the Chiefs are far from done adding to the offensive line. There’s a true starting five in place from left to right –
The Chiefs usually carry eight offensive linemen on the 53-man roster, but often go into games with just seven active players. It’s a strategy that requires reserves be able to play multiple positions.
Hudson backed up all three interior positions last season while Jared Gaither served as the team’s swing tackle for the majority of the year.
Currently, the Chiefs’ offensive has little to no established depth behind its projected starting five. The reserves consist of players who spent all or the majority of last season on Kansas City’s practice squad. The Chiefs may also want to add a player (or two) who can make a push for a starting position.
The offensive line still has needs.
Running Back/Fullback: Peyton Hillis has fullback experience, but will be valued much more than a lead blocker in Kansas City’s offense. Last year’s starter, Le’Ron McClain, is now a San Diego Charger.
What the Chiefs do at fullback largely depends on new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s view of the position. History says he may opt for versatility.
Daboll used Charles Clay, a shifty hybrid-type player, as Miami’s primary fullback last season. In Cleveland, Hillis was originally penciled in as Daboll’s starting fullback before injuries called Hillis back into a feature role.
Wide Receiver: Whether it’s addressed through free agency or the draft, depth at wide receiver remains a team need – particularity out of the slot.
The Chiefs played Breaston outside the majority of 2011 and rotated Keary Colbert in the slot along with Jerheme Urban while Baldwin was nursing a thumb injury. Colbert was released when Baldwin returned to health and Urban is currently an unrestricted free agent.
Nose Tackle: The heart of the defensive line remains the Chiefs’ biggest question mark after a week of free agency.
Amon Gordon served a vital role on the defensive line last season, but was most effective as a versatile reserve.
The Chiefs have potential contributors at the position, but no clear-cut starter.
Though Wallace Gilberry’s role diminished in 2011, he still averaged over 20 snaps per game last season. Thus far, he remains an unrestricted free agent.
If Jackson or Dorsey fell to injury, is there a reserve (like Shaun Smith in 2010) who’s ready to step into a starting role for Kansas City’s 3-4 base defense?
There’s still room for addition here.
Inside Linebacker: The Chiefs have already made a pair of moves at the position, re-signing
Siler is currently the only reserve capable of pushing Jovan Belcher on the strong side. If healthy, Siler is also capable in being the top reserve behind
The team’s other reserves consist of weak-side linebackers. Special teams ace
Safety: This could be the most underrated position of need for the Chiefs.
Between injuries, and Romeo Crennel’s use of sub-package sets, the third safety is an important part of Kansas City’s defense.