The Kansas City Chiefs saw quite the turn around in 2013, going from a horrible 2-14 team to one that got the season off to an incredible 9-0 start. KC even stood toe to toe with the mighty Denver Broncos in two 2013 meetings, and barely lost an explosive playoff battle in the first round against the Colts.
Considering where they started from, their run in 2013 was a large success. Andy Reid and co. weren’t surprised, though, and they’ll be looking to do even more damage in 2014. For them to get better, though, they’ll need to land some impact players in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Let’s take a closer look at the Chiefs team needs to see who they might draft, and when:
Offensive needs: WR, TE, OT
Dwayne Bowe isn’t the same player he was three years ago. Even if that suddenly changes, KC has nothing behind him and even less now that Dexter McCluster is in Tennessee. They need to add a play-maker to open up this offense and will probably look to do so in the first round. The raw but massive Kelvin Benjamin is a hot name for KC, while Brandin Cooks and Odell Beckham also make a lot of sense. If they wait until round two, they could take a look at Allen Robinson or Paul Richardson.
Tight end is also a pretty big need. The Chiefs haven’t had a game changer at the position since the days of Tony Gonzalez and right now it’s just a committee with Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce. That won’t cut it. Jace Amaro or Austin Seferian-Jenkins could be first round picks, while ASJ or Troy Niklas might be options that slide to them in the second round.
Branden Albert is in Miami and Eric Fisher was a bit shaky as a rookie. Fisher should shift to the left side, which means the Chiefs will likely need more talent at tackle for the right side. If Taylor Lewan slides all the way to them, they’ll have to pounce on him. Morgan Moses or Antonio Richardson are much likelier choices in round two.
Alex Smith and the Chiefs are already engaging in contract extension talks and he’s just 29, but if KC questions him as a long-term franchise passer, they might grab a passer in the first three rounds. They have Chase Daniel in place, though, so they’ll only do it if someone they love slides to them.
Defensive needs: S, CB, OLB
KC had a pretty nasty defense to start 2013, and then it fell apart. Getting better depth will be key in preventing that from happening again. Husain Abdullah was brought back and looked good in the playoffs, but he’s not the best long-term solution. KC should consider spending an early pick on a safety with some upside. LaMarcus Joyner, Dion Bailey and possibly Jimmie Ward in round two could be worth a look.
Corner is also a need, if for no other reason to get some more depth. They probably don’t need to grab one in the first two rounds, but they should get one or two before the draft wraps up.
Justin Houston and Tamba Hali are stud outside pass rushers, but the Chiefs could really use a third guy to rotate in. They currently don’t have anyone else reliable, so grabbing a falling outside rusher in round three would be a good move. Someone with a high motor like Utah’s Trevor Reilly would be a good fit.
KC brought in Joe Mays to help at inside linebacker, but if the right guy falls to them at the right spot, they might think about adding someone to make this position more competitive, as well.