Even though this has been a big week for me in the hotel industry I’m going to save my experiences and lessons learned from the GrandStay Hospitality Brand Forum for next week. This week I want to talk about the struggling Kansas City Chiefs. People have been asking me what is going on with them, while they are still in the playoff hunt due to a weak division I want to glance at what to expect next year.
Before you can decide what changes need to be made you need to first notice where the team is at right now. With the injuries to the Chiefs this year missing Tight End – Tony Moeaki, Saftey – Eric Berry, and Running Back – Jamaal Charles the areas of improvement are more noticeable.
The Chiefs need to add depth at the saftey position, Kendrick Lewis is great and imporving every game but John McGraw is older and nearing the end of his career. A solid back up at the saftey postion would go along way for the chiefs in the different packages that they can do. I would like to see this pick in the middle to late rounds of the draft similar to the way they found Lewis.
The Chiefs linebacking group is solid on the edges with Tamba Hali and Justin Houston has a bright future. They also have Andy Studebaker in on certain plays and makes a great back up and special teams contributor. The Chiefs spent the 2011 draft focusing on OLB with Houston and Gabe Miller. Derrick Johnson has been having a stand out year in the middle but could use an upgrade in the middle behind Johnson in the first 3 rounds of the draft and possibly again in the later rounds.
Some areas that could use upgrading but I don’t think will happen this year are the Defensive line. Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson both Top 5 draft picks have been progressing well and have been great run stoppers which is their main focus. The chiefs need a solid young Nose Tackle but I think they already have that in Jerrell Powe. As I have mentioned in previous posts I think he was a steal in the 6th round. I feel the chiefs bring in veterans to train the young players which is what Kelly Gregg has been doing with Powe.
The cornerbacks are another area that could use upgrades but with the hope that Brandon Carr gets a long term deal done before next year and Brandon Flowers continues to grow the rest is just development of young players. Donald Washington was drafted at a young age from Ohio State and needs to prove if he is a player or not soon. Jalil Brown will be expected to step up after his rookie year and Javier Arenas continues to grow.
It seems like every year Chiefs fans want to draft an offensive lineman in the first round. I think they will draft in the early to mid rounds of the draft. The needs currently are for a tackle and another guard. We currently have Rodney Hudson a center/guard who will most likely take the place for Casey Weigmann next year. As far as a tackle goes we have Branden Albert, Jared Gaither, and Barry Richardson. One of my favorite undrafted free agent pick ups was that of David Mims he is a developmental player but in 2 more years could be the starting right tackle. This being said I see the chiefs drafting a guard/center hybrid player and one that sticks out to me is listed below Senio Kelemente. He is a offensive lineman/ defensive lineman, team captain, and great athletic ability.
The next draft need, the chiefs have that could come at any point in the draft and will most likely be one of Piolis hidden gems is that of a Tight End. With Moeaki back next year and the hopeful resigning of Dwayne Bowe the Chiefs will have a great starting line up but could use another great tight end. The lineup would appear to be Charles, Bowe, Baldwin, Breaston, and Moeaki only the chiefs creating mental mistakes will take them out of games.
When Charles went down with his injury Jackie Battle stepped up in a big way but is he the back up running back that the Chiefs need? Thomas Jones is in his last year but don’t forget we still have Dexter McCluster that can be RB/WR/ATH. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Chiefs draft another running back in the late rounds of the draft.
While Pioli will use free agency to focus on getting veterans to come in and provide leadership and help the younger players grow. There are some key players that stick out to me in the draft that I think could come in and contribute for the Chiefs.
While it’s very early to be talking about the draft it’s never to early to talk about the Chiefs and the growth of the team.