The Kansas City Chiefs were the hottest team in the NFL in September as they smashed the Patriots, Eagles, Chargers, Redskins, and Texans to open the season, but soon the red-hot offense cooled down, injuries mounted and weaknesses in the roster became too much to overcome.
The build for next season has already begun with trades of Alex Smith and Marcus Peters that clear the way for a new era of the Chiefs to truly begin.
However, after yet another year without a home playoff win, the Chiefs need to do more than trade away players. They need to add more talent and fill in the gaps in their roster. The question is with just $22 million in cap space and six draft picks, where should they focus their efforts this offseason?
The Chiefs tried to solve their run defense by adding Bennie Logan last offseason, but it didn’t work. They finished dead last in run defense DVOA, allowing 4.3 yards per carry and 118.1 yards a game on the ground. They come into 2018 with Bennie Logan a free agent and having released veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson for cap reasons and a very thin front seven.
There are some veteran linebacker options like Brian Cushing who could help in run defense, but they need to try and find some help up front as well. Chris Jones is the only impactful defensive linemen they have, and while the likes of Kyle Williams or Chris Baker might be nice additions from the free agent pool, they aren’t going to be within the Chiefs budget. They may have to settle for a rotation of bodies that includes journeymen like Ricky Jean-Francois and Cedric Thornton, which isn’t awful but is hardly impressive.
The Chiefs spent their 2018 first round pick moving up last year to take Patrick Mahomes, leaving them with the 54th selection as their top pick. At that point it is a crap shoot as to who could still be on the board, but run defenders like Derrick Nnadi, Trenton Thompson or Taven Bryan could all be useful additions to the position group that would help them get back up toward league average.
The trade of Marcus Peters is somewhat nullified by Kendall Fuller coming over as part of the Alex Smith deal. Unfortunately, the Chiefs spent all of 2017 in need of a viable option across from Peters, and that is still a glaring problem for Andy Reid’s team.
Their options are limited, but a reliable veteran like Johnathan Joseph or Alterraun Verner could be at least a bridge to get them to 2019 when they can seriously address the position.
If they are feeling particularly brave they could take a shot at Patrick Robinson or Nickell Robey-Coleman and hope the market isn’t as robust as those players would expect, but this year the Chiefs are only likely to find a band aid to the hole in their coverage.
A place the Chiefs are likely to only add to in day three of the draft, their receiver corps is still very thin. Tyreek Hill is a unique weapon, and with Travis Kelce at tight end helping things they don’t need to find a Julio Jones or Antonio Brown at receiver this year, but adding a viable underneath option or big boy on the outside would be nice for their new quarterback.
Reid has never really invested heavily, and with former Chiefs player Jeremy Maclin newly released from Baltimore maybe he looks for a cheap veteran to come in and just add some reliability to the position as well.
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?