1. DE (early rounds) We have 6 sacks. Clearly we need a premium pass rusher. There are some tall, athletic guys in the draft (e.g., Michael Johnson, Brian Orapko.) Let’s get the right one. That is, someone who is going to come in and actually shine in his first year on the Chiefs defensive line. (Unlike Dorsey, McBride, Tyler, Johnston.) Mmmmm…… My crystal ball sees us starting McBride and Hali again next year and rotating this guy in on passing downs.
2. LB (early rounds) This is our weakest position on the team. We need two new starters to complement Derrick Johnson (a serviceable player who is never going to be “The Man”.) One of the top LBs in the mock drafts – James Laurinaitis or Rey Maualuga – would be a great addition. Lucking out with a mid-round pick at LB as well would be even better!
3. QB (early-to-mid rounds) We need competition at QB. Competition for the starting position, at least nominal competition. Plus depth; Huard, Croyle, or both are out of here.
4. OT (early-to-mid rounds) We need a replacement on the right side of our offensive line. Either tackle or guard. They are both bad, but McIntosh costs more than Jones so a new right tackle sounds good.
5. OG (early-to-mid rounds) See above.
6. WR (mid-to-late rounds) Bradley is a serviceable 2nd or 3rd wide receiver. Finding a deep threat to complement Bowe and push Bradley/Franklin for serious playing time sounds fantastic. However, it is highly unlikely this late in the draft. Nevertheless, we can dream. Okay, let’s be realistic: a 4th or 5th WR who makes a noticeable dent on special teams.
7. RB (mid-to-late rounds) The Larry Johnson Era is coming toward an end. Really, we need special teams help.
7. LB (mid-to-late rounds) Our weakest position. Our defense is worse than our offense. Our special teams are really really bad. A linebacker would help all of that.
Really, I’d like to see us trade down for a mid-1st round pick, and gain a 2nd and a 4th in the process.
Free agent signings
Yes: DE (replacing Hali)
Yes: LB (replacing Thomas, MLB)
Yes: LB (replacing Edwards, OLB)
Maybe: OT (replacing McIntosh)
Or: OG (replacing Jones)
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Youth development (after this season)
6 in defensive backfield:
Flowers 2nd season
Carr 2nd season
Leggett 2nd season
Morgan 2nd season
Pollard 4th season
Page 4th season
5 on defensive line:
Dorsey 2nd season
Johnston 2nd season
Tyler 3rd season
McBride 3rd season
Hali 4th season
5 at offensive “skill” positions:
Charles 2nd season
Cottam 2nd season
Franklin 2nd season
Bowe 3rd season
Tyler 3rd season
5 at offensive blocking positions:
Albert 2nd season
Cox 2nd season
Richardson 2nd season
Taylor 3rd season
Niswanger 4th season
Plus 6 or 7 draft picks from the class of 2009 that will make the team.
That’s at least 27 players in seasons 1 through 4. More than one-half of the team!
Shooting for .500 next year is a lofty target. Maybe five or six wins next year are realistic. In 2010, anything is possible. We have so many darn rookies (and 2nd, 3rd year players) this year, players who have a lot of potential (as well as some question-marks), that projecting beyond next year is pretty tricky. God bless parity in the NFL.