What a season it was for the Kansas City Chiefs. They managed to have as many Pro Bowl players as their rival (and division champion) Denver Broncos, yet they finished with the worst record in the NFL.
Well, Romeo Crennel is a great defensive coordinator and a terrible head coach, and the Chiefs don’t have a quarterback. Those are two very big problems that can take the most talented team (arguably) in the division and net them the first overall pick in the draft.
The Chiefs, despite their talented roster, still have some glaring needs this offseason. Here they are, in no particular order (with exception to #1).
This is a bad year to need a quarterback. The Chiefs aren’t looking at a Luck, Griffin, or maybe even a Wilson with the number one overall pick. If they take a quarterback first overall, it’s likely to be West Virginia’s Geno Smith. I have Smith much more highly rated than others, but the comparisons for Smith range from Tony Romo to Aaron Rodgers (my optimistic comparison). I think Smith has a chance with good coaching to be a stud in the NFL, as he was able to consistently improve upon insane numbers at West Virginia and started for three years. He also is a very good athlete. Still, the Chiefs are talking about potentially acquiring new head coach Andy Reid’s former 2nd round pick Nick Foles, or maybe giving up a mid-round pick for Alex Smith. If they go after one of those two guys, we’ll probably be talking about this as their #1 need again next year. Those are all three the most likely options in my opinion–Geno Smith, Alex Smith, or Nick Foles.
**Traded for 49ers QB Alex Smith 2/27/13**
**Signed QB Chase Daniel (Saints) to 3-year contract**
2. Wide Receiver
Dwayne Bowe is extremely inconsistent, and not a good teammate to have obviously.
The Chiefs are going to be ridding of that headache this offseason, but Jonathan Baldwin has hardly proven capable of taking over the #1 receiver job in KC. He had just 20 catches last year. Dexter McCluster is a RB/WR hybrid, and I didn’t see enough from anyone else on the roster to believe that this isn’t a top need going into the 2013 season. Despite Bowe’s inconsistencies, he was still the best receiver on the team by far, so this is a position of priority for the Chiefs.
**Re-signed WR Dwayne Bowe**
**Signed WR Donnie Avery (Colts)**
3. Left Tackle
Branden Albert reportedly passed his physical, so he is healthy enough to return. The question is, do the Chiefs feel like filling up HIS wallet, or Luke Joeckel’s? Joeckel, the All-American OT from Texas A&M, is in contention for the top overall pick. If the Chiefs don’t re-sign Albert this offseason, it will be a clear indication of their direction with the #1 overall pick unless they go after a guy like Jake Long.
**Franchise tagged OT Branden Albert**
4. Defensive Line
Glenn Dorsey is a free agent, and Tyson Jackson’s contract will have to be re-structured or he’ll be cut. The Chiefs have some nice young pieces in Dontari Poe and Allen Bailey, but this could quickly become an area of weakness for them. Ropati Pitoitua and Shaun Smith are also free agents this offseason, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Chiefs go after a defensive lineman or two in this year’s draft. It’s also a dark horse for the #1 overall pick. They have their nose tackle, but they need to surround him with some more guys. It’s a shame things didn’t work out with Dorsey or Jackson to this point.
**Tyson Jackson re-structures base salary from roughly $14M to $4M**
**Signed DE Mike DeVito (Jets)**
5. Inside Linebacker
The Chiefs tragically lost Jovan Belcher late last season, and replacement Brandon Siler is an impending free agent. The Chiefs could potentially find a solid starter in free agency here, but they should look to a young player as well to fill the gap next to Pro Bowler Derrick Johnson.
The Chiefs need another solid starter next to Eric Berry, who is one of the best in the NFL. Kendrick Lewis is a solid backup safety, but there is a need for another starter here. Backups Abram Elam and Travis Daniels are also both free agents.
I think Javier Arenas is best suited as a nickel cornerback in the NFL, a role he really excels in. The Chiefs have one of the best corners in the game in Brandon Flowers, but Arenas’ starting position could be upgraded. The Chiefs thought they had an answer with Stanford Routt, but he was let go. Flowers was the only cornerback on Kansas City’s roster last year who had an interception, and they finished with only seven as a team.
**Chiefs sign CB Dunta Robinson (Falcons) to 3-year deal per Adam Schefter (3/8/13)
**Signed CB Sean Smith (Dolphins)**
**Chiefs sign P Dustin Colquitt to long-term deal**
**Chiefs sign TE Anthony Fasano**
**Chiefs sign OT Geoff Schwartz (Vikings)**