Kansas City Chiefs Plan of Attack for the 2014 NFL Draft
With the Draft just over the horizon, it’s time to take a detailed look at each team’s acquisitions and losses and gauge a plan of attack for how they should approach the first three rounds of this year’s draft. We’ll start with the lowly Houston Texans and work our way all the way up to the Super Bowl Champs in Seattle. The Chiefs are up as we sit exactly three weeks away from Draft Night.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Team Needs:WR, DE, QB, ILB
Free Agent Losses: OT Branden Albert, LB Akeem Jordan, S Kendrick Lewis, RB/WR Dexter McCluster, G Geoff Schwartz, S Quintin Demps, NT Jerell Powe, G Jon Asamoah, DE Tyson Jackson
Free Agent Acquisitions: G Jeffrey Linkenbach, DT Vance Walker, S Hussain Abdullah (resigned), LS Thomas Gafford, DT Cory Grissom, LB Joe Mays, CB Chris Owens, OLB Frank Zombo, TE Richard Gordon
Potential Round 1 Targets: WR Odell Beckham Jr., WR Brandin Cooks, WR Marqise Lee, WR Kelvin Benjamin, QB Teddy Bridgewater, QB Derek Carr, LB CJ Mosley
Potential Round 3 Targets: DE Brent Urban, WR Paul Richardson, WR Martavis Bryant, WR Bruce Ellington, WR Donte Moncrief, QB Tom Savage, QB Aaron Murray, QB Logan Thomas, LB Shayne Skov, G Dakota Dozier, G Cyril Richardson, G Trai Turner
Plan of Attack: The Chiefs surprised many with how well they performed in 2013, and will want to prove in 2014 that last season wasn’t a fluke. So while they’d be tempted if a QB like Teddy Bridgewater slides down the board, they may ultimately choose someone who can help them out immediately. One position they could use an immediate boost at would be wide receiver. They could look for a young speedster to pair with the big and physical Dwayne Bowe. They would love to see Odell Beckham Jr. from LSU on the board. Beckham can fly, knows how to separate from coverage, and has reliable hands. If he’s gone, they could look at Oregon St.’s Brandin Cooks. Cooks is also a burner, but isn’t as tall as Beckham. Cooks is a bit more versatile as he can be lined up all over the field, but will likely do most of his work out of the slot. If the Chiefs think they can get a quality wide receiver later in the Draft they could go with a middle linebacker to pair with Derrick Johnson. Alabama’s CJ Mosley could be considered if he falls down the board. He’s a three down thumper, who is aggressive, and a vocal leader. He’d be an upgrade over Nico Johnson and the Chiefs would see production from him from day one.
The Chiefs find themselves without a second round pick due to the Alex Smith trade, so they have to wait until round 3 before they find themselves on the clock. This could be the spot Andy Reid finds his young QB to nurture at his bosom. He could go with a big strong armed guy like Logan Thomas or Tom Savage, but maybe Georgia’s Aaron Murray is more up Reid’s alley. Murray would need to be brought along slowly as he recovers from an ACL injury, but he’s a smart quarterback who is very comfortable in the pocket. He’s got a quick release, and is a good leader on the field. The Chiefs could let him learn from Alex Smith for a couple of seasons, and then let him get a shot at the starting job when he’s in this third season or so. If the Chiefs once again decide they need a player who can help them be competitive in 2014, they could look at a defensive end. Brent Urban is an ideal fit as a five technique defensive end in their 3-4 defense. He is a thickly built run defender who can get after the QB every once and awhile. He could join the Chiefs rotation and earn quite a bit of playing time in year one. While it’s not a huge need, the Chiefs could also look to bring in a guard here to compete with newly acquired Jeff Linkenbach. Big Trai Turner or huge Cyril Richardson could be some powerful maulers they could look at. Or they could go with a guy who could restore some of the position flexibility they lost when Geoff Schwartz left in free agency. That would be small schooler Dakota Dozier from Furman. Dozier can play tackle or guard and could prove to be a valuable asset to have around.