It is never too early to start looking ahead to next year's draft, especially if you've been a Kansas City Chiefs fan the past several years.
Now, this year has brought some optimism and a reason for excitement around town with the hiring of general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Todd Haley, but how big of a turnaround can you honestly expect after going 2-14? Miami's 10-game turnaround is a fluke and cannot be expected for most teams.
In all reality, the Chiefs will win somewhere around six games this year, and be picking in the bottom half of the top 10. With that in mind, here are some players the Chiefs should target that will not only pay dividends immediately and push for starting time as rookies, but can be stars down the road.
Lots of people will say we should get OL in rounds 1 and 2, but I'd argue that the value for the ones we need are found later in the draft. Wrapping top-15 money into our RT and LT I think is unnecessary. Most starting RTs in the league right now have come from later in the draft. I think we can do the same thing. Same goes for most interior linemen, but getting a top-notch OG in the second round I would not be opposed to.
With that said, Here's the 3 players I think we can get the most value out of in the first 3 rounds:
Cody is a massive 6'5", 365 lb. nose tackle from Alabama. The nickname "Mount Cody" was given to him at an early age, as even as a freshman in high school he was 6'2" and almost 280 lbs. In fact it was that year that his football coach called Cody's mother and said that her son would be in the NFL in eight years.
Alabama runs a 3-4 defense, so Cody is already used to playing directly over the center, and he could be just the clogger the Chiefs need in the middle of that line.
"He's a beast," said Georgia coach Mark Richt. "No one's blocked him. No one man has blocked him, and I haven't seen many double-teams block him, either. He's a problem, and probably the reason they are so outstanding against the rush. When you talk about guys who can push a pocket back in front of a quarterback, he can do it."
That is a glowing endorsement from an conference arch rival and music to Alabama fans' ears. He is a force to be reckoned with for sure, and could team with Tyson Jackson, Glenn Dorsey, and Alex Magee to form the best, young, defensive line rotation in the NFL.
Cody should be expected to be taken in the first round, if not on size and athletic ability alone.
Briscoe is a Texas kid now attending Kansas University. He is a big, imposing wide receiver at 6'3", 210 lbs., and can beat press coverage with ease. He, like Dwayne Bowe, is not a burner down field, but is deceptively fast and can get over the top of coverage when given the chance.
Briscoe displays excellent body control when going up for a reception, able to contort his body which ever way is needed to make the catch. He also does a very good job of timing his jump and high-pointing the ball (pic) much in the same way Larry Fitzgerald does (pic). Last year, he set school records in both receiving yards (1407) and touchdowns (15) for a season.
Briscoe is a junior this season, so it's possible he stays in school for another year, but it is expected that he will enter the draft along with Jr. wide receivers Arrelious Benn and Dez Bryant.
Depending on how he does this year, Briscoe should be available in either the first or second rounds. If he production drops off from last year, and he run's in the mid 4.5's at the combine, look for him in the second round. Getting him there would be a steal.
At 6'5" and 255 lbs., McCoy is a big target to hit. But he's different than Brad Cottam in that he's a much more natural pass catcher, and a great athlete on the field (pics). He came on strong at the end of last year for USC, catching 15 balls for 170 yards in his last four games.
He is also an accomplished in-line blocker, the National Football Post calls him a "coordinated blocker whose hands and feet consistently move in sync."
While it was expected that Cottam would be the starting tight end this year, it appears as though journeyman Sean Ryan is out playing him right now. Even if Cottam winds up starting by season's start, it's not a ringing endorsement for him.
The trading away of Gonzalez left a gaping hole in this offense, and McCoy won't necessarily fill that void, but he sure can help.