One thing that I've been thinking about a lot as we debate free agency and the draft is how many players do we really need to add this off season. Obviously when you have won a total of 10 games in three years there are a lot of places where you could upgrade. What I'm talking about are the huge glaring holes that must be filled before the season starts if we want to be competitive. Case in point: We could easily upgrade the TE position, however if we go into the season with Pope and Cottam it won't be the end of the world. The OL and S position are different though. If we started the season with only the guys currently on the roster we would really struggle. Below I've indentified 7 positions where I think we must have a significant player added to the roster.
C - Rudy isn't good enough to start. I like him for depth, but we need a new starting center.
RG - It looks like Wade Smith might be gone and that leaves a bunch of question marks. Brown, Richardson, Ndukwe, and even Niswanger could compete here but I don't feel comfortable not adding someone.
(Some may wish to draft Ts and move Albert, Waters, or O'Callaghan around, but the bottom line for me is still 2 offensive linemen.)
WR- I realize that we got Chambers back but I don't feel comfortable with Long or Lawrence as the #3. If something happened to Bowe or Chambers we would really be hurting.
#2 RB - We need someone that can give us 10 carries/game without hurting our production.
NT - This is probably the most important need for the defense. Edwards is great as depth for a rotation, but we need an upgrade here more then anywhere else.
S- I think we need at least one new starter a S. I would be okay with Page starting and McGraw and Morgan coming off the bench, but another starter must be found.
Pass Rusher- I know this is a little vague, but we need someone to line up opposite of Hali on clear passing downs. I don't care if its a true LB or a speed rushing DE, we have to get Tamba some help in getting after the QB.
So there are my seven must haves. I know others may have more, so to start the debate here are some of my thoughts on other positions that could of made the list.
FB and TE - We could use an upgrade here but I don't think its as big of need as elsewhere.
ILB - Again, we could upgrade here, but I think a combination of DJ, Williams, and Mays can be okay if there was a solid NT in front of them eating up blockers. If we don't upgrade NT then ILB would have to move onto the "must have" or we will get pushed around in the middle of the field.
CB- This is actually the position that I think can best be argued as a must have out of the ones that didn't make it. I only think Carr is average and Leggett and Washington looked really bad last year. I wouldn't have a problem with anyone who says it needs to be one of the must haves. If we fail to get a S that is strong in coverage then I don't think there is any arguing about it.
KR/PR- It would be great if the WR I mentioned wanting above could fill this void, but I think just being able to run routes and catch the ball is more important at this point. If we had to use guys like Lawrence and Long for another year it wouldn't kill us. It's a need, but secondary to those listed above.
So what's the point?
To me, signing free agents is less about the flashy name and more about trying to put together a complete team that doesn't have the glaring holes that our Chiefs have had the last few seasons. I feel that in this deep of a draft you could MAYBE count on your 1st-3rd round picks to fill these openings. After that it is just too much of a gamble. So that means we could fill 4 of those 7 must haves via the draft. I realize that all 4 of those picks may not be able to start out of the gate, but if they could at least contribute and be part of the solution we will be better off. That would mean we would need to fill 3 spots via either free agency or by developing a younger player on the roster who thus far has not been a big contributor. So for me, if we end up signing two FA that could start at one of these spots between now and the draft we are in good shape. Would I love it if those two were Thomas Jones and Ryan Lilja? Sure I would, but the bottom line for me is not getting the big names, but just making sure we are crossing a few items off our shopping list prior to the draft. The goal should be fielding a complete team not trying to collect big names and the big contracts that come with them.
128 votes total
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.