It's no secret that football is a physical game, and oftentimes the most physical teams are the most successful (aside from the Raiders). If you really look at Kansas City's most successful years (1969, 1991, 1995, and 2003), the Chiefs were probably in the top 5 most physical teams in the league.
Next season, we are playing the most physical division in football (AFC North), featuring 4 of the nastiest teams in the league. We are also playing the Falcons and Buccaneers from the NFC South, two more fairly physical teams as well as well as playing the Raiders and Broncos twice, as usual.
How do you beat an incredibly physical team? One of the best ways is taking away their best asset of being the intimidator by being even more physical. That's the main reason how Denver beat Pittsburgh, and why Baltimore lost to Jacksonville, Tennessee, Seattle, and San Diego. Those kind of teams aren't used to being out-muscled and kind of fall apart.
Obviously physicality isn't the only factor in football. Cleveland, Tampa Bay, and Oakland are some of the meanest and biggest-hitting teams in the league and are perennial losers. But still it could help.
Where does Kansas City stand in these ranks? In the past 5 or so games, they were about all we could've hoped for. A shutdown defense that produced some nice hits and never allowed a massive amount of big plays. The O-line showed up and seemed to finally find themselves, the running game showed up, but our struggles in the redzone probably brought us down in that category.
And how do you increase redzone efficiency? How about not having the smallest O-line in the league? Say whatever you want about us not having the personnel for a power-blocking scheme, that we just aren't the kind of team that pound it in on the goalline anymore. But why can't we? It's not a coincidence that in the Schottenheimer and Vermeil eras, when we were that kind of team, we had great redzone TD percentage. Why not just bulk up a little, by moving Hudson to center and drafting Stanford guard David DeCastro.
David DeCastro, one of the best guard prospects in years. Many would say 11th overall is much too high for a guard, but why? He'll probably be the best available player at the 11th pick, and it's even better that he fits a need for next season. He's big, strong, mobile, athletic, and has that kind of confident mean-streak that just makes him seem like such an intimidating presence on the field. With a guy like him, along with promising young center Rodney Hudson, rising stars Jon Asamoah and Branden Albert, and run-blocking savant B-Rich or a free agent, we could have the best interior line in the league, and probably the best run-blocking and one of the most tenacious lines in the league. That's what I believe next season will come down to, how the O-line will be able to contain these great D-lines of the AFC North and the NFC South. We are going to eventually need a guy like DeCastro who can stonewall Ngata, Seymour, Keisel, and Atkins. Keeping the running game alive in those games will be key in victories, and running starts at the line.
Now, let's take a look at DeCastro's 6'5, 313 pound physique in comparison to some of the best all-around guards in the league, and in recent history.
Steve Hutchison, 7x Pro Bowler and All-Pro, 2x Offensive Lineman of the Year. 6'5, 313 pounds (Hmmmmm...).
Ben Grubbs. 6'3, 310 pounds.
Logan Mankins, 4x Pro Bowler, 3x All-Pro. 6'4, 310 pounds.
Kris Dielman, 4x Pro Bowler, 2x All-Pro. 6'4, 315 pounds.
Jahri Evans, 3x Pro Bowler and All-Pro. 6'4, 318 pounds.
Marshal Yanda, 1x Pro Bowler and All-Pro. 6'3, 315 pounds.
Brian Waters, 6x Pro Bowler, 2x All-Pro. 6'3, 318 pounds.
And of course, the one and only Will Shields. 12x Pro Bowler, 9x All-Pro. 6'3, 315 pounds.
What I'm trying to say is that DeCastro has all the potenial and one of the highest ceilings in the NFL, but it's up to him to do something with it. He's got the size, skill, and measurables to be a Hall of Famer, and I would kick myself if we passed up on this kid.