The Chiefs should be bold in next month's draft, and the bold thing to do would be to trade up and draft Justin Blackmon.
The Chiefs have made it clear that if you can't get a top tier quarterback then the next best option is to surround an average quarterback with as many weapons as possible. This was the Chiefs plan last year and it appears to be the plan for this season.
Pioli has done an excellent job so far of improving the running game this offseason with the additions of Peyton Hillis and Eric Winston. Add the return of Jamaal Charles and putting Dexter McCluster back into a roll that suits him better should mean that the Chiefs have a top ten rushing attack again next season.
The problem, as it as been for a while, is the passing game. I will agree that the passing attack should be better with the addition of Kevin Boss and the return of Tony Moeaki, and that the pass protection aspect of the offense should only improve with Winston's addition to the line.
But the wide receiver position is still very much a weakness for this team, and it is in danger of becoming worse if Dwayne Bowe is injured. Steve Breaston is a solid roll receiver, and Jonathan Baldwin does have upside to him, but does anybody want to go into a game next season with those two as the starting wide receivers? And do we trust Moeaki's health enough to make him the centerpiece of a passing attack?
Drafting Blackmon makes sense more so than any other player in the draft.
Consider the possibilities with Blackmon on the roster.
The addition of Blackmon gives the Chiefs depth at a position where depth doesn't exist. Last season proved how important depth is to a team. If there is one place on the roster where depth is a massive issue or where the drop off from the best player at his position to the next guy on the depth chart, it is wide receiver.
Bowe and Blackmon on each side with Baldwin and Breaston fighting for the third receiver spot helps put players in a roll that makes more sense for them. Breaston has already proved how good he can be in the third and fourth wide receiver roll with Arizona, and the drafting of Blackmon could put Baldwin on a better development path.
Additionally, the Chiefs would have diversity in targets for Cassel to throw to when you add the Four B's to Moeaki, Boss, Charles and Hillis. In 2010, specifically the Baltimore game in the playoffs, opposing teams would put eight men in the box, double Bowe, and dare Matt Cassel to make a play downfield. Blackmon would command more respect when in tandem with Baldwin or Breaston, which would either pull a defender out of the box or pull a defender off of Bowe. Either way it is a win for the Chiefs and a win for Cassel.
Drafting Blackmon would also put the Chiefs in a better position for the future. The Chiefs franchised Dwayne Bowe for two reasons: They were not comfortable signing him to an extension and they have nothing at the wide receiver position without him. If Kansas City drafts Blackmon then they have leverage against Bowe in a contract negotiation if they want to extend him in addition to having an in house replacement plan if Bowe leaves in free agency.
If Bowe stays, Kansas City is in excellent shape for the future at wide receiver between Bowe, Blackmon, Baldwin and Breaston.
If Bowe leaves the Chiefs still have the combination of Blackmon and Baldwin to build a passing game around in addition to the potential upside of Baldwin. Plus, Pioli would have a large chunk of cap space (over $9 million) opened up to give him options on what to do to re-sign other players already on the roster or to go after a free agent(s).
Blackmon is also one of the few "elite, unlikely to miss" prospects in this draft. Could he bust? Sure. But he is way less likely to bust than, say, defensive tackles Dontari Poe or Fletcher Cox or the defensive tackles that have been discussed at pick eleven. Blackmon has more potential to be a stud and be productive immediately with Bowe on the other side of him. Add the competition between Baldwin and Breaston and this smells like a really good situation for everyone.
I don't know what it would take to get Blackmon when it comes to a trade scenario, but the Chiefs roster does not have a lot of holes in it - meaning they do not need their full draft as much as some other teams do.
The reason why signing Winston, Hillis and Routt was such a big deal was because it gave the Chiefs the flexibility to make a big move in the draft. If they can draft Blackmon this year then they will have opened up the possibility for them to go out and trade up to draft a young quarterback next year. Imagine if Tyler Wilson or Tyler Bray came in next season with Charles, Bowe (if he re-signs), Baldwin, Blackmon, Moeaki and a good offensive line already in place to help ease his transition into the NFL?
Aside from Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, I don't know if there is another player in this draft that could alter the Chiefs present and future the way Justin Blackmon can for the Chiefs. If there were ever a time to make a bold move, now would be the time.